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Types of Jazz Dance Steps

Some of the types of dance steps you’ll learn in jazz dance are:
Axel Turn РAn axel turn is really two turns combined into one. It combines a chene turn, where one leg goes up into pass̩, then the other leg follows and develops into a fully rotating jump in the air.
Ball Change – A ball change is an easy, transition-type step incorporated into many jazz dance routines. To perform this move the dancer changes the weight distribution on the balls of their feet.
Chasse – Also a ballet move, the chasse step resembles a galloping motion. One foot appears to chase the other. Jazz dancers typically use this movement to travel across the stage or to incorporate two moves together.
Drop – Modern jazz routines feature the drop. This occurs when a dancer executes a controlled fall from an isolated position.
Extension – This term is used in a variety of dance styles and is when a leg or an arm is extended outward and then held for a set amount of time before continuing the movement.
Fan Kick – Many Broadway-type routines utilize the fan kick. To perform this move, the dancers body should stay in place as one leg starts an inward motion and then kicks all the way around in a circular motion and returns to its original position.
Jazz Walk – There are several variations of the jazz walk. They include the jazz run and the jazz drag. In this movement, the dancers’ posture is low and their feet are dragged slightly across the dance floor. This modified walk is used often for traveling across stage.
Knee Turn – This step is really not a step but a movement performed on one or both knees. It includes a chene turn while positioned on one or both knees.
Layout – This jazz dance step is performed by kicking one leg up in the air while the dancers’ torso is leaning back into the most dramatic arch as possible. The dancers head should be dropped back and arms will also be extended backward. The dancer should almost be able to touch the floor with their hands.
Pivot Step – This simple step occurs when one foot steps in front of the other and then the dancers’ body pivots around back into the original position.
Release – When a jazz dancer releases into a free form from an isolated pose, this is called a release.
Stag Leap – As its name implies, the stag leap is a very high jump during which the dancer simulates splits in the air. One leg is bent and the dancers’ foot is tucked under their knee.

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