Dance With Me Tonight

Amanda,Angela,Eva,Bri,Emma,Cydney / Miller AA1 Spring 1 2016

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Jazz Synopsis

Jazz dance is often credited as an American creation, however in actuality it originates from African American vernacular dance that came about during the late 1800s. The first official American "jazz dancer" was Joe Frisco around the year 1910, who performed in vaudeville, however its roots trace much further back than this, with many moves being created by the slaves as a much needed physical and emotional outlet. Slave traders often allowed them to dance during their journey over to America, as an attempt to keep them physically fit. Not only did it work, but it formed an impressive series of dance techniques and steps that made history.

The original steps were exemplified out in the plantations, and jazz dance itself came about as a crossbreed of American culture, European jigs and the music and movement tradition of the African slaves. Jazz music obviously inspired some of the first documented jazz dance choreography, and this further adds to the rich and diverse history of jazz dance. Europe lent elegance to the technique, Africa gave it its movement and rhythm, and America allowed it to have the exposure and growing popularity that has sustained it as a cherished dance style today.

Where did it evolve?

It started evolving in New York with Broadway such as Chicago.


Jack Cole, considered the father of jazz dance technique. He was a key inspiration to b, Jerome Robbins, Gwen Verdon, and many other choreographers. He is credited with popularizing the theatrical form of jazz dance with his great number of choreographic works on television and Broadway.

Who were the leaders and when was it created?

Some of the main influences on the history of Jazz dance are Bob Fosse, and Gene Kelly. Both major influences on the dance and theatre world. Popular forms of Jazz dances started appearing in the late 1800’s to early 1900’s.


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"History of Jazz Dance." LoveToKnow. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Feb. 2016.

"Jazz Dance." - Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Feb. 2016.

"DanceConnectionRochester." DanceConnectionRochester. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Feb. 2016.