How can I educate people about jazz dance as an art form through choreographing and performing a jazz routine?

Nov 26, 2013

I can educate people about jazz dance as an art form through choreographing and performing a jazz routine by showing people dance can be one of the many ways one can express their identity and individuality and their feelings. Dance is a form of expression and almost like a therapy to me. Whenever I feel upset about something that may have occurred at school, I will be able to let out my anger and sense of shock by dancing. Usually I tap to release my anger as it can be extremely fast and will make me concentrate solely on feet. I usually start dancing ballet if I feel sad or melancholy about something. Usually when I feel blue, I feel heavy. Ballet makes me feel light and calm again. Dancing makes me forget about what I was upset about previously. It is a cleansing palette to me that has no other substitution.

Dancing can also be a form of expressing my happiness. If I recieve a good grade at school or if I have been able to do something I could have never done before, I break out into my “happy dance”. Of course, this is a mild moderation of what I would do if I found out a piece of great news in private. I usually start doing a routine that I learned in ballet or start tapping away. Sometimes, when I feel like mixing certain dances, I will dance both ballet and tap. Alvin Ailey, an important person in the dance world, also believed in the synthesis of certain dances: “This piece which made Ailey the first choreographer to blend classical ballet with modern dance” (Yartey). I was surprised to see that Ailey also thought the idea of combining dance steps was interesting and was sometimes nicer than just one type of dance step. Variety and a willingness to try new things is something dancers must have.

Jazz has now been added to my list of expressing myself and how I feel. Alvin Ailey combined and synthesized certain dances to create what we now know as modern jazz dance. “He believed in the combination of all dance forms-jazz, ballet, modern,etc” (Yartey). “This piece which made Ailey the first choreographer to blend classical ballet with modern dance” (Yartey). Ailey believed that dance was another way of showing a person’s freedom and their ability to express themselves. Inspired, I decided to do the same. As soon as I learned how to do a few dance steps, I began to practice at home. If I feel frustrated or hectic about something, I usually try to do a step I might have had trouble with in dance class. Once I am able to master or accomplish this dance step, I am able to convince myself that I can finish a homework task or whatever I was stressing about. By dancing when I was in a certain mood helped me comprehend which movements expressed a certain idea. Of course, as a dancer, I have to be able to understand what my body is capable of doing and what is difficult for me. As can be seen in this research review by Francis Nii Yartey, Alvin Ailey, a very important icon in the dance world, was said to be " tune with his body, mind and soul" (Yartey). He was a very skilled performer and in order to perform well in front on my audience, I will have to be just as confident although it will be a new field for me. In order to analyze movements to see whether it is in my capability, I have to presented with a series of techniques and movements. For example, as can be seen on the "Love to Know" website, the jazz layout can be complicated for beginners. When I learned this step, however, I found it easy to accomplish and though I may not have been able to reach my head to the floor (a limitation I recognized), I was still able to master this step.

Dance has always been something that I have enjoyed to do. It has been my savior in many ways. I hope that after I choreograph and perform a jazz routine, I will able to show people the great things about dance too.

Title: ALVIN AILEY: a revolutionary in dance, a historical and biographical sketch of his choreographic works
Type of source: PDF
Person: Francis Nii Yartey
Date: 1991

Title: "Love to Know Dance: Basic Jazz Dance Steps
Type: Blog post
Person: Rachel Hanson
Date: 2009