Class Genres

Dance Genres


Ballet– is a type of performance dance that originated during the Italian Renaissance in the 15th century. It has since become a widespread, highly technical form of dance with its own vocabulary based on French terminology. It has been globally influential and has defined the foundational techniques used in many other dance genres and cultures.

Tap-is a form of dance characterized by using the sounds of tap shoes striking the floor as a form of percussion. The sound is made by shoes that have a metal “tap” on the heel and toe. There are several major variations on tap dance including: rhythm (jazz) tap, classical tap, Broadway tap, and post-modern tap.

Jazz– Jazz is a fun dance style that has a performance dance technique and style that emerged in America in the early twentieth century.   Over time, a clearly defined jazz genre emerged, changing from a street dance to a theatrical dance performed on stage. Jazz music began to spread and became well known in Chicago and New York. This led to the jazz age.  The dances that emerged during this period were the charleston and the lindy hop.  Over many  years, jazz has evolved and has been defined. There are now many subcategories of jazz that each have their own distinct qualities and characteristics.

Hip Hop– Hip hop is an upbeat dance style, usually danced to hip-hop or pop music, that evolved from the hip-hop culture. Hip hop uses some jazz technique with other fun, isolated movements. This is the type of dancing featured in today’s music videos and concerts. Improvisation and personal interpretation are essential to hip-hop dancing.

Lyrical– Lyrical dance is a dance style that blends ballet and some jazz technique. Lyrical is generally smoother and a bit faster than ballet. A lyrical dancer uses movement to express strong emotions such as love, joy, sadness and anger.

Contemporary– Contemporary dance is the name for a modern concert dance genre. It is not a specific dance technique but a collection of methods. Contemporary dances usually have a more lyrical feel but are more intense and tend to be sharper at times.

Pointe– Pointe technique is the part of classical ballet technique that concerns pointe work, in which a ballet dancer supports all body weight on the tips of fully extended feet. This style is only offered to experienced ballet dancers once they reach a certain technique level in our Company Program.

Musical Theater– is a form of theatrical performance that combines songs, spoken dialogue, acting and dance. The story and emotional content of a musical – humor, love, anger – are communicated through the words, music, movement and technical aspects of the entertainment as an integrated whole. Since the early 20th century, musical theatre stage works have generally been called, simply, musicals.





















Bedinghaus, Treva. “Types of Dance.” About.com. http://dance.about.com/od/typesofdance/tp/Dance_Types.htm

Taylor, C. “Contemporary Dance.” Dancecentral.co.uk. http://www.dancecentral.co.uk/DanceNtral/Articles/contemporary.htm