Originally, Jazz dance referred to any kind of movements performed to jazz music, including tap dancing. Early Jazz dancing was interpretive and unstructured but soon it evolved into more structured, theatrical performances.
Today, jazz dance is present in many different venues and different forms. Jazz dance thrives in dance schools and remains an essential part of musical theatre choreography. Jazz dancing can be seen in music videos, stage shows, and also be seen on the hit show, "So You Think You Can Dance", and is performed by dance companies around the world.
Technique is the foundation for all dance movement. A strong technical foundation enables a dancer to focus on the stylistic and performance aspects of dance.
Centre control is important in Jazz dance technique. The body's centre is the focal point from which all movement emanates, thus making it possible to maintain balance while executing powerful movements like jumps and turns, where correct posture is essential to properly execute such moves. Also, jazz dancers' strong and sharp movements are greatly aided by a good background in ballet technique.