Ball change, chassé, pivot step, and fan kick were some of the first steps that I learned when I was taking my first jazz class in middle school. I was introduced to the jazz technique style when I was fourteen years old; I attended an art middle school where the dance department offered ballet, modern, and jazz. There I was taught how to dance all three dance styles, but jazz was always the one that always caught my attention because of its unique movement and rhythm. Over the two years that I was there, our dance teacher focused on jazz combinations that were very cheesy. We danced to Cher, James Brown, but most of the time to Broadway music; in fact we even did a combination To All That Jazz and performed it everywhere! The next four years that followed, I continued taking some jazz classes in high school and that’s when I noticed that the movement began to change a little more. After experiencing more jazz classes, I learned that many dance teachers have their own style in jazz just like modern and ballet. After becoming aware that jazz was just like any other style, I also learned that it was important to always maintain the first basic steps that were taught by the first teacher.
At SMU I was introduced to other styles, for example in Danny’s jazz class I learned to become grounded. The movement that was given became vernacular and there was a lot of motion of the arms that connected to rest of the body. The presentation of the movement is given in another form; it is now portrayed to be shown in a performance level and not simple. I believe that the same is going on with Lauren’s class. Her style has helped me become aware of my body, for example, I am noticing if I am using every detail she has given me, from using my plie to jump higher, to maintaining an engaged center through a combination.
Overall I believe that my progress in jazz has made a big change and will continue to do that. I still don’t have every step perfect, but what all those different classes have done to me is just given me the opportunity to work and learn the variety of styles that exist