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So You Think You Can Dance

SYTYCD Dance Glossary: What Is Afro-Jazz?

In today’s So You Think You Can Dance Glossary, we’ll continue to amp up your dance know-how and give you the 411 on Afro-Jazz.

According to FOX’s Dance Dictionary, Afro-Jazz, or African Jazz, blends together a number of dance styles, including Caribbean, African, South African Marabi, swing, and jazz dance. The style is rooted in traditional African dance and music, but incorporates technical elements such as turns, jumps, and partnered moves.

We first had a glimpse of Afro-Jazz on Season 6 of SYTYCD when Noelle Marsh and Russell Ferguson danced a riveting Sean Cheesman routine to Mickey Hart and Planet Drum’s “Frog Dance.” It was a big moment for more the dance style and SYTYCD.

While that may have been the first mainstream exposure for Afro-Jazz, the style has been a long time staple of great American dance companies such as NYC’s Alvin Ailey Dance Theater and Dance Theater of Harlem.

Want to see more Afro-Jazz? Check out this video of Ailey II dancing the main company’s staple piece Alvin Ailey’s Revelations.

Sources: Fox’s Dance Dictionary, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Dance Theater of Harlem, YouTube

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01.26.2012 / 02:40 AM EDT by Stephanie Wolf
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