The History of Street Jazz Dance

DANCE NIGHT image by RenRov from

Improvisational in nature, street jazz dance stems from modern-day dance styles, like hip hop, breakdancing, funk and electronic dance. Elements of the rigid robotic movements, the marked spins often found in breakdancing and the fluid movements of hip hop are found in the street jazz dance culture.

Often, street dance encourages dancers to interact with other dancers and even the audience. Street jazz dance emerged from an amalgamation of modern dance styles that were performed in nontraditional settings.


Street jazz dance evolved from informal dancing often done in informal settings in nightclubs, schools and on the street. Street jazz dance was inspired by traditional dance performed outside of professional studios.


Jazz dance, modern hip hop and funk make up street jazz dance. In fact, the hip hop and funk dance styles that appeared on dance scenes in the 1970s inspired the development of today’s street jazz dance.


Considered by some as a sub-dance style or variation of hip hop, street jazz dance has several forms: hip hop, jazz dance, broadway dance, breakdancing and contemporary dance.


Urban styles, such as elements of breakdance, tecktoniks, and other dance forms, are featured in street jazz dance.


Street jazz dance can be identified by performers’ fast and intricate footwork, refined spins and acrobatic flips and moves. Inspired by modern hip hop, street jazz dance resembles this original street style.


About the Author

Based in Chicago, Riya Aarini started writing professionally in 1999. Her work as appeared in "Cricket Magazine" and she also writes for several nonprofits. Aarini has a Bachelor of Arts in English language and literature from Benedictine University.

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