To Jazz or Not To Jazz: Frequently Asked Questions About Vernacular Jazz Classes

As we've been running workshops and classes there are a number of people that want to come, but hesitate for a number of reasons that we hope we have the answers to.  Here are some of the questions or concerns that have come up:

1.  What is Vernacular Jazz dancing?

Vernacular Jazz is a collection of dances created in the African-American communities during the late 1800’s through mid 1900’s, to jazz and swing music. The term Vernacular Jazz or Authentic Jazz Dancing is used as a way to distinguish itself from the modern dancing  and Ballet-connected “modern” jazz dance movement that started more and more to take over the term ‘jazz dance’. So

2.  What level of dance experience should I have to participate?

We recommend that participants have a beginner to intermediate level of dancing/movement experience.  This doesn't necessarily mean that that you have that experience in jazz dancing - you can have that level of experience in other dance styles as well, so long as you are comfortable with transferring the weight of your body from side to side and open to trying something new.  The effort and the will are what's important.

3.  I wanted to come but was nervous!

Not to worry.  Go with your first gut instinct and join us.  Classes are non-competitive and open for those who want to learn a new style or enhance what they already know.  The hardest part is actually making it to class.  Once you're there, you've already succeeded!

4.  What should I expect in class?

Expect to work on your inner groove with the music, develop the bounce in your step, use your stamina, learn variations of the Charleston, and grow your dancing vocabulary with a variety of jazz steps.  At times we'll put those steps to show how they can be danced together through small choreographed combinations.  Wear comfortable footwear and clothing, bring a bottle of water - you might break a sweat or two!

We've got classes planned for July and August. Visit our Workshops & Classes page for details on dates and location!