Solo Jazz is a general term that can refer to anything from the pre-Cake Walk dances to the post-war era material linked with be-bop as well as rhythm 'n' blues music. In modern terminology, it often refers to dancing without a partner rather than dancing with a partner, and it comes without any influences of ballet or any other modern contemporary techniques. Solo Jazz can be danced freely and improvised or in routines such as Shim Sham Shimmy, Big Apple or Tranky Doo.
Origin: various places and time periods all over the U.S., but taken to a peak in Harlem, New York City in the 1920s, 30s and 40s.
Music: all kinds of jazz and jazz-related music.
Synonyms: Vernacular Jazz, Authentic Jazz and Original Jazz.
Film clips: Keep Punchin' (1938), Stormy Weather (1943) and Spirit Moves (1950).
This week’s solo jazz programme is designed for swing dancers with some solo experience, but who are still limited in its vocabulary and in using it regularly. The course will focus on lots of basic material presented to slow to medium tempi: Charleston, Trucking, and Suzy Qs to name a few …
Available: Week 1
This is where the average old-school jazz dancer with a decent knowledge around traditional solo steps and traditional routines will feel comfortable. This level will for sure deal with rhythmical fundamentals, but will also open doors to new rooms. The material will cover choreographed pieces, combinations, traditional steps as well as some slightly faster music here and there.
Available: Week 2
If the intermediate level will open doors to new rooms, this level will offer full entrance and presence inside the rooms. Dancers on this level should be able to somehow understand and speak the physical language of swing, and be familiar with lots of traditional solo jazz steps and routines. This programme will generally focus on elements around improvisation and the development of sensitivity in connection to the music.
Available: Week 3