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What music do jazz dancers dance to?

Jazz dancing has been a popular form of dance since the early 1900s. This dance style incorporates a variety of moves including jumps, turns, and kicks, and requires a lot of energy and rhythm. One of the essential elements in jazz dancing is music. Jazz dancers will often choose their music based on the genre that will showcase their moves and style. In this blog post, we will explore different types of music that jazz dancers typically dance to.


Bebop is a style of jazz that evolved in the 1940s and 1950s. This style is characterized by fast tempos and complex harmonies. Bebop music is great for jazz dancers because it provides an opportunity for them to showcase their fast footwork and intricate movements.

Some famous bebop artists include Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, and Thelonious Monk. Their music provides an excellent soundtrack for dancers to execute complex moves such as turns on one foot, as well as jazz hands and kicks.


Nu-Jazz is a modern interpretation of jazz music. This style is a fusion of jazz with elements of electronic music, funk, and hip hop. Nu-Jazz is perfect for jazz dancers who want to add a contemporary twist to their routines.

Artists like Nostalgia 77, Amon Tobin, and The Cinematic Orchestra are known for their Nu-Jazz style music. Dancers can incorporate a mix of jazz and hip hop moves to their routines while dancing to Nu-Jazz music.

Big Band

Big Band jazz is a style of jazz music that features a large ensemble of instruments, including trumpets, saxophones, and trombones. This style of music is great for jazz dancers because it allows them to showcase a variety of moves with the different sections of the band.

Classic Big Band jazz artists include Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and Glenn Miller. Jazz dance routines set to Big Band music often involve intricate footwork and upbeat moves.

Samba/Jazz Fusion

Samba/Jazz Fusion is a style of dance that utilizes the rhythms of Samba music, a Brazilian style of music, combined with jazz. This hybrid genre is perfect for jazz dancers who want to add a cultural twist to their routines.

Some popular Samba/Jazz Fusion artists include Sergio Mendes, Stan Getz, and João Gilberto. Dancers who are interested in this style of music can expect lots of hip and shoulder movement in their routines.


In conclusion, jazz dancers dance to a variety of music types, including Bebop, Nu-Jazz, Big Band, and Samba/Jazz Fusion. Each of these genres has unique characteristics that provide a stage for dancers to showcase their skill and style. The type of music that jazz dancers choose for their routine depends on personal preference and the message that they want to convey through their dance. Whether you are a professional jazz dancer or a beginner, it’s essential to experiment with different types of music and find what works best for you.


Do people dance to jazz music?

Jazz music has been around for over a century and has always been closely associated with dancing. In the early 20th century, jazz music was the soundtrack for the lively and energetic dance styles of the time, like the Charleston and the Lindy Hop. Jazz music continued to evolve throughout the decades, and so did the accompanying dance styles.

In the 1940s and 1950s, as jazz music became more complex and sophisticated with bebop and other innovations, some people thought the music stopped being danceable. However, this was not necessarily true. While the new jazz styles were not as easy to dance to as the earlier forms of jazz, they gave birth to new dance styles, like the bebop and cool jazz styles of Lindy Hop and Jitterbug. Jazz music has continued to evolve and new forms of jazz dancing continue to emerge alongside the music.

Moreover, jazz music has continued to be a staple in ballroom dance and other social dance communities. Jazz music is often used in competitions for ballroom dancers, who perform styles like the foxtrot, quickstep, and tango to jazz standards. Some people even choose to learn social dance styles like swing and blues dancing precisely because they want to dance to jazz music.

Jazz music has a long and rich history of being danceable and is still widely enjoyed today by people who love to dance. While newer jazz styles may not be as accessible to some dancers, jazz music is still an important part of many dance communities, and jazz-inspired dance styles continue to evolve alongside the music itself.

What kind of music is used by upbeat dancers?

Upbeat dancers prefer music with high energy and a fast tempo. Some of the most popular genres include house, techno, drum & bass, jungle, hardcore, electronica, industrial, breakbeat, trance, psychedelic trance, UK garage and electro. These genres typically have a fast tempo and heavy basslines, making them perfect for dancing to. House music, for example, is characterized by its four-on-the-floor beat and repetitive patterns, which create a hypnotic and energetic sound. Techno music is another popular genre among dancers, known for its high energy and driving beats.

Drum & bass and jungle music are also popular among dancers who prefer a faster tempo. These genres feature complex rhythms, fast breaks, and heavy basslines, making them perfect for showcasing fancy footwork and intricate movements. Hardcore music, on the other hand, is characterized by its fast tempos, aggressive beats, and distorted sounds, which make it perfect for intense and energetic dance routines.

Apart from electronic music genres, there are also much slower styles, such as downtempo, chillout and nu jazz. These genres offer a more relaxed and mellow vibe and are popular among dancers who prefer a more laid-back and fluid style of dancing.

The type of music used by upbeat dancers varies depending on personal preference. However, the most popular genres tend to be those with high energy, fast tempos, and heavy basslines, such as house, techno, drum & bass, jungle, hardcore, and electro.

What is an example of jazz dance style?

Jazz dance has its roots in the African American communities in the United States, particularly in New Orleans in the late 1800s. It is a style of dance that combines elements of African American vernacular dance with the grace, fluidity, and technique of ballet. Jazz dance is characterized by its emphasis on individual expression and improvisation, and its focus on rhythm and musicality.

One of the most famous examples of jazz dance style is the Charleston. The Charleston was a popular dance in the 1920s and is still recognized today as a symbol of the Jazz Age. The Charleston is a lively dance that is performed to fast-paced jazz music. It is characterized by quick, sharp movements of the feet and legs, while the upper body remains relatively still. The dancers step in and out with their toes, crossing their feet in front and behind each other. This creates a syncopated rhythm, which is characteristic of jazz music in general.

Another example of jazz dance style is the Jitterbug. The jitterbug is a dance that evolved from the Lindy Hop, which was also a popular dance in the 1920s and 1930s. The Jitterbug is a fast, energetic dance that is characterized by acrobatic movements, spins, and lifts. It is usually danced to swing music, which is characterized by its fast-paced, rhythmic style.

Other examples of jazz dance style include the Cakewalk, Black Bottom, Boogie Woogie, and Swing. Each of these styles developed during different periods in jazz history and has its unique characteristics and movements. Jazz dance continues to evolve, with new styles and techniques emerging all the time. Today, jazz dancers still use these traditional styles as the foundation of their work while continuing to push the boundaries of what is possible in jazz dance.