What is ballet, jazz & acro? The dance styles explained…

dance classes in kansas city

Dance provides significant benefits to children and adults. The popularity of shows such as “Dancing With the Stars” has more people noticing dance and the various types available. Each type of dance has its own benefits and methods so it is important to choose the right type of dance in order to gain the most benefits when choosing dance classes in Kansas City.


Ballet is an art form that tells a story or expresses thought. It is theatrical, normally performed on a stage and is considered magical, thought-provoking and exciting by those who enjoy it. There are several types of ballet. Story ballets tell a story with narrative action and characters. There is a beginning and an end to a story ballet. In addition, viewers should be able to understand the story even though no words are spoken. Plotless ballet utilizes the movement of the body to interpret music or create an image. Ballet can also be classical, neo-classical or contemporary.

Benefits of Ballet

Ballet is an excellent form of exercise, but it can also provide other benefits to both adults and children. Ballet dancers learn what their mind and body are capable of doing, increasing self-confidence. Ballet helps people develop empathy with others as they work with a group of dancers to complete a performance. In addition, ballet helps increase focus and concentration while reducing stress. Ballet dancers often report more flexibility, better posture and stronger muscles.

Famous Ballet Dancers

Mikhail Baryshnikov, a Russian-American dancer, choreographed several well-known ballet pieces and he has been called one of the greatest ballet dancers of the 20th century. Vaslav Nijinsky was a dancer celebrated for his virtuosity and the intensity of his characters. Anna Pavlova created the role “the Dying Swan,” and became the first ballerina to tour internationally. Margot Fonteyn spent her career with the Royal Ballet and was appointed Prima Ballerina Assoluta by the Queen. Rudolf Nureyev was a Soviet-born dancer whose skills provided a new role for the male dancer.


Jazz dance showcases a dancer’s individual style and originality. Each dancer interprets and executes moves in their own unique way. It is usually energetic and fun, incorporating footwork, leaps and quick turns. Many of the movements in jazz dance are similar to those used in ballet, but are slightly more relaxed than those performed during a ballet.

Benefits of Jazz Dance

Jazz dancers build stronger lower body muscles since power is necessary to jump and twist. In addition, jazz can improve posture and assist in developing better concentration skills. Jazz dancers are often more flexible than those who do not dance. The classes are also fun because they are often performed as a group dance. This offers dancers socialization and enhances mood.

Famous Jazz Dancers

Jack Cole is considered the Father of Jazz Dance Technique as he was the first dancer to combine popular jazz steps with modern dance and ethnic influences. Lester Horn developed a style of dance that incorporated Native American and ethnic dances that worked well in films of the 1940s. Katherine Dunham founded the first black modern dance company, integrating the rhythms of Haiti, Cuba, Brazil and the Caribbean into American dance.


Acro dance incorporates acrobatic movements into dance. Dancers incorporate gymnastic moves such as handsprings, cartwheels and handstands into their dance routine to the rhythm of the music. acro dance requires a significant amount of agility. Dancers do not attempt to represent the emotion of the music as they do in other types of dance, but instead fits acrobatic skills into a dance interpretation.

Benefits of Acro Dance

Acro dance builds significant strength and agility. In addition, acro dancers have more flexibility and control than those who engage in other types of dance. There is a higher risk of injury in acro dance, so supervision is recommended when students are learning the genre.

Famous Acro Dancers

Sherman Coates was one of the first to perform acro dance. Tommy Woods became well-known for slow-motion acrobatic dance moves. Today, examples of acro dance include shows like Cirque du Soleil. Kristin Allen joined Cirque du Soleil after winning the 2010 Acrobatic Gymnastics World Championships. Dance provides significant benefits to both children and adults. All types of dance can improve self-esteem and offer fitness benefits that other forms of exercise may not. Dance classes in Kansas City are an excellent way to build flexibility, improve muscle tone and have fun while doing it.