Love jazz dancing? Read our guide to learn about this popular dance style and how to find jazz dancing auditions

Jazz Dance History

During the jazz age, popular forms were the Black Bottom, the Jitterbug, the Boogie Woogie, and the Lindy Hop. Later, jazz was popularized by Bob Fosse and Broadway musicals like “Chicago.”

There are many styles of jazz dancing and the steps are mixed in with other dance styles. Today, it is still a big part of musical theater and cabaret. You can also perform in music videos, in competitive dance tournaments, on the television show, “So You Think You Can Dance,” and the new movie “Make it Happen,” which mixes jazz and hip hop styles.

Basic Jazz Dance Steps

Jazz Square

This iconic step consists of you stepping forward, then crossing the other foot over, stepping back with the first, and then bringing your feet side by side. It can be done to the left or right side, and usually is done with some extreme movement in your upper body, exaggerating the motion.


Isolation is a key skills for any jazz dancer and is the first thing you practice and warm-up to. You have to learn how to move parts of your body individually. For hands and other extremities, this is pretty easy. But to master jazz, you need to be able to isolate your chest and hips too.


This jazz dance step draws from the ballet dance style. The chassé is literally a “chasing” step, where one foot steps forward, and the other is brought up behind, the first stepping off immediately, which forms a sort of skipping move across the floor.

Jazz Layout

Another classic jazz step where you kick high up in the air while doing an extreme back bend, keeping your head arched back and arms extended. You must have excellent balance and extreme flexibility.

Jazz Walk

It is impossible to really describe the “jazz walk.” It is an example of how you can mix different dance styles into jazz dancing.

Jazz Dance Audtions

TV Show Competitions

You can audition for all the talent competitions on TV like “America’s Got Talent” or “So You Think You Can Dance.” Practice your dance piece until it is perfect. You only get one chance in front of the judges at the audition. If they think you are talented enough to compete, they will want you on their show.

Events, Cruises, Live Acts

Search for auditions and gigs for any local and live events. Many cruise lines also hire a lot of entertainers and you get to travel!

Other Things You Need to Know

How to Find Dance Auditions

Audition Tips for Dancers

Popular Dance Styles