Forum: General / Jazz / Jazz - Beginners

Is ballet neccessary?
By lamariesusanne
On Sun Oct 13, 2013 09:10 AM

Lately, an article on the internet has left me thinking. I already posted in the ballet forum, because it gave me many questions, but I wound up wondering whether ballet is neccessary for a jazz dancer nowadays. I read this article on ("A Love Letter To Ballet"), which was about why ballet is beautiful and also stated that it is still the base of all other dance styles, and thought, well, of course, and later I watched an episode of Dance Moms with Abby stating that the kids' "ballt moves weren't that good".

It got me thinking, because I would've also seen ballet as the fundation and definitely neccessary. To me, the Dance Moms girls seem to have really good technique, clean jumps and beautiful turns, and I would've said that's because of good ballet training, but as I watched them in ballet class, it wasn't really what you would expect from a young ballet dancer their age.

So, do you think we can teach jazz technique without doing ballet classes?

6 Replies to Is ballet neccessary?

re: Is ballet neccessary?
By ChristinePremium member
On Mon Oct 14, 2013 06:34 PM
I find that at first the jazz dancers manage ok without ballet but by third year the ones without ballet have a hard time keeping up.

It is sooooooo much better for everyone if they have a good foundation in ballet. Placement, vocabulary.... the works!

Keep On Dancing*
re: Is ballet neccessary?
By Sumayah
On Mon Oct 14, 2013 07:59 PM
I concur. Ballet is very complimentary to jazz. While ballet may not seem useful right off the bat, there's a lot more turnout in jazz than there immediately seems. For instance, your grand battement a la seconde in ballet with nice square hips is going to set you up in the future for Russians. The emphasis of working through your toes will help clean up the preparations and give you better lines. There's a lot of stuff in ballet that doesn't seem relevant, but will help in surprising ways your future technique. I'd definitely recommend a ballet class in addition to a jazz class.
re: Is ballet neccessary?
By ajones
On Tue Oct 15, 2013 09:15 AM
I find that ballet is necessary is jazz. I've just started jazz myself and find that the balance that I've gotten from ballet has helped a lot. Plus the turns are alike in both jazz and ballet so I also find that really useful.
re: Is ballet neccessary?
By panicmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sun Oct 20, 2013 11:36 PM
Like it or not (and I do not), Jazz is an offshoot of Ballet. The techniques are VERY similar (compared to, say, hula or Irish), and the terminology is interchangeable in many (most?) cases. That said, taking a separate ballet class is absolutely NOT necessary. A good jazz (modern, contemporary, tap, etc) teacher will make sure you learn the appropriate fundamentals. Sometimes, this means a full-on ballet class leading into your jazz or modern class. And sometimes, your teacher will just incorporate ballet technique into your jazz warmup.

Most dance studios are ballet-centric. They often require children to take ballet before they take jazz - although that's just blatant ballet snobbery, IMO. As you get older, the classes become more self-contained, so adults are almost never required to take ballet in order to take jazz. Those classes just incorporate the important ballet concepts directly into the jazz classes.

Ballerinas like to believe ballet is the foundation of all dance. It's not. Ballet technique and jazz technique have a lot in common. But it makes absolutely zero difference whether you learn proper technique in a ballet class or in a jazz class. So I would say ballet is absolutely NOT necessary to be a good jazz dancer. But proper technique IS necessary. And for many studios, the easiest place to find straightforward technique instruction is in a ballet class.
re: Is ballet neccessary?
By jsmith198328
On Sun Dec 08, 2013 11:58 PM
This is a good conversation. Because to be honest i feel very confused about it all.

Did you ever look at the 80's television show called Fame? . . .

on that series they trained in ballet, jazz, modern - and they all seemed like well rounded dancers because both on and off screen debbie allen trained-drilled them in ballet, jazz and modern.

if you notice Gene Anthony Ray (Leroy) really was at his physical peak in the last two years. check it out. . . .

I'm 31 years old and I'm in the process of finishing up school and I will spend a year in the gym getting back in shape and working on building up stamina and flexibility in my knees/joints/ankles and doing splits.

but eventually i will find a good dance trainer/instructor and I hope...with hard work i can become good like this guy later on in the future. but i know it will be hard because i'm starting so late. . . .
re: Is ballet neccessary?
By luv2plie
On Sun Dec 29, 2013 03:59 PM
I agree that having ballet training is very useful for a person taking jazz classes. At first you will not notice but as you get into more advance jazz classes you will be lost due to lack of having ballet training. Just my opinion


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