I’m going to break down a couple of basic jazz dance terms for you. The first one is a pirouette. Here we go. You start with the preparation. Arms are in a nice L position, you step back with your right leg, ball, change, nice deep plié into the ground, you push off your back right foot into a passé, and arms go into a round first position and then drop down to neutral. I’ll break that down one more time. Ball, change, up, and down.
A great way to break this down for kids or even beginner adults is to go in the box. Ball, change, hold, and down. Face to side. Ball, change, hold, and down. Face the back, ball, change, hold, and down. Face the side, ball, change, hold, and down. Face the front. Then you break it down into a half turn. Ball, change, face the back, and down. Ball, change, face the front, and down. Important is that the passé leg is completely connected to the knee, okay. So that it’s pressed against, the core is activated, stomach is pressed down into the lower back and you’re also holding your arms in a nice round position, lifting up through the body.
After the half turns then you should try for a full turn. If you step on your right and pick up your right leg you turn to the right, and ball, change, up, and down. One more time, ball, change, up, and down. That can then go into a double, triple, quadruple, or five, six, seven, eight turns as the students become more and more advanced with turning. Double, ball, change, up, up, down. You should really try to teach to clean it in a nice parallel position.
We can also, and also you need to do that on the right and the left, which I’ll show you with the music. Another basic jazz turn is an inward turn. Inward turns look like this. You start with a nice tombe, arms are prepared and then you pick up your left leg but turn towards your right, using your right arm. Up, and down. Again, the inward jazz turn is up, and down. Again, keep thinking about really pushing off that back leg into the passé right away. I’ll show you to the left. Left arm opens, right arm closes, you push up into the passé and drop down. That’s the inward jazz turn.
So there you are. Those are two very basic jazz turns that you can teach your students, inwards and outwards. Ball, change, passé, and down. Side, ball, change, up, and down. Face the back. Ball, change, up, and down. To the side. Ball, change, up, and down. To the front half turn, and to the front. Try to hold that releve as long as possible. Now singles. One more time. Go for a double. Good job. All right you need to reverse that to the left. I’m not going to do that right now, but you guys need to do that. So right and left are very, very important.
All right here are the inward turns. Nice tombe, and use your arms pull it up. Up, and down. Good, one more time. Up and down. Other side I will do this time. Up and down. One more time. Up and down. Good. Really try to sustain those turns and lengthen up through your torso.