Jazz dance is a classification shared by a broad range of dance styles. Before the 1950s, jazz dance referred to dance styles that originated from African American vernacular dance. In the 1950s, a new genre of jazz dance — modern jazz dance — emerged, with roots in Caribbean traditional dance. Every individual style of jazz dance has roots traceable to one of these two distinct origins. Jazz was a big hit in the early 50's and it is still a well loved style of dance all over the world. Moves Used In Jazz Dance include Jazz Hands, Kicks, Leaps, Sideways Shuffling, Rolled Shoulders, and Turned Knees.
Modern dance encourages dancers to use their emotions and moods to design their own steps and routines. It is not unusual for dancers to invent new steps for their routines, instead of following a structured code of technique, as in ballet. Another characteristic of modern dance in opposition to ballet is the deliberate use of gravity. Whereas classical ballet dancers strive to be light and airy on their feet, modern dancers often use their body weight to enhance movement. This type of dancer rejects the classical ballet stance of an upright, erect body, often opting instead for deliberate falls to the floor.