My Experience

April 7, 2010

Jazz is sort of like ballet, however, the movements are stiffer and don’t usually flow as freely as Ballet does.  I guess the best way to put it is that Jazz is not as structured as Ballet.  Jazz dancing and Hip-Hop dancing are pretty much one in the same.  Hip-Hop dancing is basically Jazz dancing with more vulgar (for the lack of better words) movements added to it.

My Experience

April 7, 2010

I would have to say that Tap is my favorite form of dance.  Tap is a good way to express yourself through percussive beats.  Its also a good way to relieve tension or stress.  Although Tap dancing can be a beautiful form of dance, unlike Ballet, it can look ugly and still be beautiful.  I like Tap dancing you because you are creating music with your feet.  My favorite broadway musical is Stomp, where the performers not only use their feet to make music but they also use various types of items such as brooms, sinks, garbage cans, etc.  It is mesmerizing to watch, so if you haven’t seen it I would strongly encourage you to do so.  At Oglebay Institute I was a part of a group called Object Imagination.  We did our own little version of Stomp which was a lot of fun.  We performed at Elementary and Middle Schools all over the Ohio Valley.

My Experience

April 7, 2010

I started Ballet when I was 2 years old and continued studying it for about 20 years.  My daughter who is 5 now takes lessons at Oglebay Institute School of Dance in Wheeling, WV with the same instructor I took lessons from.  My daughter is the instructor’s first second generation student.

I danced with Oglebay Institute for about 18 years.  During that time I did a lot of performances with them, mostly at Towngate Theatre.  I also got the opportunity to dance with professional Ballet Companies.  I performed with the Alabama State Ballet Company for 3 years and I performed with the Moscow State Russian Ballet company for 5 years.  Both were awesome experiences.

Ballet Dancing

April 1, 2010

Ballet is a formalized type of performance dance, which originated in the Italian Renaissance courts of the 15th century, and which was further developed in France, England, and Russia as a concert dance form. The early performances preceded the invention of the proscenium stage and were presented in large chambers with most of the audience seated on tiers or galleries on three sides of the dancing floor. It has since become a highly technical form of dance with its own vocabulary. It is primarily performed with the accompaniment of classical music. It has been influential as a form of dance globally and is taught in ballet schools around the world, which use their own cultures and societies to inform the art. Ballet dance works (ballets) are choreographed and performed by trained artists, include mime and acting, and are set to music (usually orchestral but occasionally vocal). It is a poised style of dance that incorporates the foundational techniques for many other dance styles.

This type of dancing is very hard to achieve and takes much practice to master. It is best known in the form of Late Romantic Ballet Blanc, which preoccupies itself with the female dancer to the exclusion of almost all else, focusing on pointe work, flowing, precise acrobatic movements, and often presenting the dancers in the conventional short white French tutu. Later developments include expressionist ballet, Neoclassical ballet, and elements of Modern dance.

The etymology of the word “ballet” is related to the art form’s history. The word ballet comes from the French and was borrowed into English around the 17th century. The French word in turn has its origins in Italian balletto, a diminutive of ballo (dance). Ballet ultimately traces back to Latin ballare, meaning to dance.

Jazz Dancing

April 1, 2010

Jazz dance is a classification shared by a broad range of dance styles. Prior to the 1950s, jazz dance referred to dance styles that originated from African American vernacular dance. In the 1950s, a new genre of jazz dance—modern jazz dance—emerged, with roots in Caribbean traditional dance. Every individual style of jazz dance has roots traceable to one of these two distinct origins. 

Until the mid 1950s, jazz dance referred to the dance styles that originated from the African American vernacular dance of the late 1800s to mid-1900s. Jazz dance often referred to tap dance because tap dancing, set to jazz music, was one of the predominant dances of the era. Jazz dance evolved over time to spawn a diverse range of social and concert dance styles. During the later jazz age, popular forms of jazz dance included the Cakewalk, Black Bottom, Charleston, Jitterbug, Boogie Woogie, swing and the related Lindy Hop. Today, many of these dance styles are still popular and continue to be practiced and taught.

After the 1950s, pioneers such as Katherine Dunham took the essence of Caribbean traditional dance and made it into a performing art. With the growing domination of other forms of entertainment music, jazz dance evolved on Broadway into the new, smooth style that is taught today and known as modern jazz, while tap dance branched off to follow its own, separate evolutionary path. The performance style of jazz dance was popularized to a large extent by Bob Fosse’s work, which is exemplified by Broadway shows such as Chicago, Cabaret, Damn Yankees, and The Pajama Game. Modern jazz dance continues to be an essential element of musical theatre, and it can often be seen in music videos and competitive dance.

Tap Dancing

April 1, 2010

Tap dance is a form of dance characterized by a tapping sound that is created from metal plates that are attached to both the ball and heel of the dancer’s shoe. These metal plates, when tapped against a hard surface, create a percussive sound and as such the dancers are considered to be musicians.  Tap dancers make frequent use of syncopation. Choreography typically starts on the eighth or first beatcount. Another aspect of tap dancing is improvisation. This can either be done with music and follow the beats provided or without musical accompaniment, otherwise known as a cappella dancing.

Let’s Dance!

March 25, 2010

Learn about types of Dance and talk to people who love to Dance!

Express yourself

March 25, 2010

Not only is dancing fun, it is one of the best ways to express yourself.   And the best part about it is that everyone can do it!  I’m sure there are a lot of people out there who think that they can’t dance, but when it comes to dancing there really is no right or wrong.