Jazz Dance History

Decent Essays
The Jazz dance form is quite popular and is enjoyed by all for its energy and rhythm. It is often thought of as an American creation, but it truly originates from a form of dance that was African American in origin. This occurred during the late 1800s. The first man to officially perform jazz dance was an American called Joe Frisco in around 1910. Though this was the first recorded history of jazz dancing, its roots seemed to lie further in the past than this.
When slaves were transported from Africa to America, they were allowed by their traders to dance as it kept them physically fit and emotionally going. The moves thus created by these slaves were a number of jazzy steps that no one knew would become a major dance
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While Europe lent Jazz dance some grace and elegance, Africa lent it the rhythm and moves and America gave to it the popularity and exposure it required.
Together are these three attributed to for the huge hit that this dance form has become!
Types of Jazz dance
1. Cakewalk- Literal to the name, this form of jazz originated when the slaves danced for a piece of cake. The slave masters and aristocrats would sit around and enjoy the performances where the slaves mimicked their masters. As a reward, the best dancer received a piece of cake. However, this style faded out between 1915 and 1920.
2. Black Bottom- In the early 1900s, this dance form evolved by slapping the dancers’ bottoms. Solo performers and duet dancers had to take to the dance, rotate their hips, and slap their bottoms. This extended as a dance form itself.
3. Charleston- Charleston was the first to become a popular style of jazz dancing in the 1920s and is practiced till date. The main step of the Charleston includes pivoting of the feet in and out while bending and straightening the knees alternately. Weight is shifted from foot to foot and the free foot kicks out forming an oblique
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The Lindy Hop and Jitterbug- Originally devised in the late 1920s, in the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem, The Lindy hop is characterized by intricate solo footwork following breaking away from the embrace of a couple. Popularly it is known as the jitterbug today. The name, though now encompassing many dance styles, formerly was thought to have originated from the fact that the whites when danced the Lindy Hop they appeared to be intoxicated.
5. Swing and Boogie Woogie- The boogie-woogie is thought of as a swing style form of jazz dance where dancers dance to a medley of blues and big-band swing. The boogie-woogie is a fast moving dance style incorporating the dance flying feet, stomps, hops and
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