Jazz/Hip Hop, & Lyrical

Our jazz classes start at age 8 and older.  It is the Academy’s opinion (based on scientific studies) that children should not be introduced to the strenuous nature of jazz (or ballet, or tap) until then because younger than that, their little bodies, bones, and muscles are not ready to handle the precise movements.  Our student’s safety and well-being ( not only today but well into the future)  are very important to us!  The Academy also strongly recommends that the student has completed at least one year of classical ballet training; however, we do understand that taking a year of ballet may not be an option for some students and we are willing to work with that in mind. WHY is ballet so important?  For any dancer, classical ballet training is invaluable because not only are most dance forms based from ballet, ballet also provides a basic understanding of dance principles and instills the proper execution of dance techniques. Ballet will also develop the line and form (the two and three dimensional images created by the dancer’s body), muscle strength, joint flexibility, balance and co-ordination; all of which is vital for a “good”, strong dancer.  

All about your jazz class Registration Dress Codes Tuition Schedule Class Structure

Jazz dance is difficult to define as it encompasses many types of dance and expression. Historically, Jazz developed slowly and tended to be directly related to  cultural fads so, in this way, jazz dance has a constantly changing style. Jazz is a purely American form of expression that roots in African-American theatrical and ethnic dance. With a strong base in ballet, Jazz also borrows from tap, folk, ballroom, and modern dance. It is one form of dancing that certainly wears many different faces!   Jazz is appealing because of its energy and variety. Jazz movements can be sharp or smooth quick or slow, exaggerated or subtle. It can contain expansive leaps or contained turns. Jazz can reflect and inspire a wide diversity of moods; from the classic Broadway style, to the funk of hip hop, to the flowing and expressive lyrical. Here at the Academy, we strive to introduce as many of these “faces” as possible as students progress and become proficient.  

     The Academy of Expressive Dance follows the Canadian Dance Teacher’s Association jazz syllabus and jazz terminology.  Please see our dress code information sheet on what you will require for your level of class.  

    Jazz class always begins with a pre-warm up that helps to increase blood circulation and to prepare your muscles for the demands of the rest of class. The barre is used as a means of support in the next segment of class where the basics of all subsequent steps and movements are introduced and practiced. The barre allows students to fully concentrate on the movement and proper execution of each step. These steps are then later practiced in the centre, without support. Stretching is an important part of any dance class, and promotes flexibility and strength. There is also a section of traveling across the floor and a centre combination. Throughout the class students work on proper technique, musicality, dynamics, and style. Through these exercises students learn how to move expressively to music and also become more aware of their body and movements.   As mentioned before, we strive to introduce our students to as many “styles/faces” of jazz as possible--of course, depending on the ability and level of the class.

     Beginner Levels (1-3 years of training) introduce the fundamentals traditional steps of jazz with an emphasis on developing proper technique (including balancing and turning). All students are taught basic weight changes and correct body placement.  Exercises and dances in the beginner levels consist of simple structures at slower tempos to co-ordinate steps in basic patterns and sequences.

  Intermediate Levels (3 to 6 years of training) expand the vocabulary of steps/exercises and structures become more complex.  A variety of music styles are introduced, there is less repetition, and tempos increase.  There is a reinforcement to develop clean “lines” and proper body placement.   

 Advanced Levels (6 years or more of training) , steps have dramatically increased in difficulty, attention is given to directional changes and traveling within the framework of the rhythm, complex turns and increased  vocabulary  are learned.  There is an emphasis on “flash” steps and developing greater technique, speed and diversity of styles.

The Academy of Expressive Dance

316 Latimer Road,

South Mountain, ON   K0E 1W0



The Academy of Expressive Dance

DIRECTOR:   Andrea Gaw-Prekob, C.D.T.A.

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