Dance Genres Offered

While classical ballet is DanceArts Greenville’s core discipline, a wide variety of other dance genres are offered to our students.  Below are a description of dance genres offered.


Contemporary fuses Modern, Ballet and jazz. Modern dance stresses movement from the torso, floor work, contractions & releases and fall & recovery. Contemporary elements allow dancers to express a unique vision through movement.  

Contemporary is offered as a part of our DAYCO program for our most advanced dancers.  Dancers build upon skills learned in lyrical and jazz classes during their dance schedule to enhance their contemporary dance studies.  Utilizing the choreography skills of many of our instructors, DAG dancers have the opportunity for a well developed contemporary dance experience.

DanceArts Greenville’s co-director, Hernan Justo’s choreography is used as repetoire studies for classes, workshops and summer camps. In the videos below, elements of ballet, modern and jazz lay a strong foundation in the dancers movements. Ballet technique is used as a platform for the other styles.

Somebody to Love - choreography by Hernan Justo | Music: Queen

Hairband - Choreography By Hernan Justo | Music: Deep Purple

Hip Hop

From R&B and House to Club and Pop, Hip Hop classes utilize upbeat music from various genres, in addition to the latest Hip Hop hits. The outcome is an energetic class that not only teaches you Hip Hop movements and technique, but also instills rhythm and precision in your muscles.


Although jazz dance’s roots lie in African American dance and music of the early 1900s, the iconic style we now know as “classical jazz” hit its stride in the middle of the 20th century, in the work of choreographers and teachers like Jack Cole, Bob Fosse and Luigi. (Think smooth stretching, isolations and lots of épaulement.) Their styles still shape your typical jazz class today. (Lea Marshall , 2008,

Jazz technique includes:

  • Combinations in place and through space at slow and fast tempos
    • Adagio – controlled extensions in centered and off centered positions, parallel and turned out rotations of the limbs; shaping of the torso; shifting of the body axis.
    • Allegro – demonstrating command of rhythmic complexity and speed; large jumps, legs folded and extended demonstrating elevation.
    • Combinations demonstrating turns (including pirouettes) and syncopation at slow and fast tempos.
  • Torso isolations and that demonstrate rhythmic sophistication and improvisation skills.
    • In Place – total body movement at all spatial levels demonstrating rhythm, musical phrasing and body isolations.


Lyrical Dance is the combination of Ballet, Jazz, Modern and Contemporary dance styles. Song lyrics serve as the key inspiration and driving force behind the body language conveyed by the Lyrical dancer’s moves. Intense emotional expression of the face and body are necessary to tell a story that evolves along the lines of the song to which the dance is performed.


In Tap, the dancer also becomes a percussive musician. Tap dance is often characterized by syncopation and improvisation by making rhythmical tapping sounds attained by small metal plates on the dancer’s shoes. Tap dance flourished throughout the US in the first half of the 20the century.  It was at this time that Tap was performed mainly to jazz music, earning it the alternative name ‘Jazz dance’.


Tap technique:

  • Clarity of taps
  • Nimbleness, speed and dexterity
  • Stylish use of upper body, head, arms and hands



Many dancers today consider themselves “well rounded dancers”.  To me, well rounded would mean knowing and being able to perform all styles of dance…at least knowing the basics of the styles you are not as strong in.  So, are you really well rounded if you don’t know tap?

  1. Musicality: In tap dancing, many times the accents you hit are sounds in the music that people wouldn’t normally hear.  When you accent them, the audience hears that part of the music.  This helps dancers with their musicality.
  2. Rhythm! Tap dancing helps dancers on their rhythm, which then carries over to help them with other styles of dance as well.
  3. Syncopation: A lot of tap dances involve practicing syncopation.
  4. Builds Ankle Strength: When tap steps are done up on your toes (toe stands, toe shuffles, etc.), this requires the dancer to build stronger and more stable ankles.
  5. Culture: The culture behind tap dancing is important for children to know.  Tap dancing evolved mainly from Irish Americans and African Americans, both having their own unique style of tap dancing.
  6. Coordination and balance: These important aspects of dance are practiced with a variety of tap steps and movements.
  7. Many young children that are just starting dance love tap class because of the noise the tap shoes make and that they can listen and respond to the music.  This helps with their development as a child because they practice their timing by making the sounds together as a class.
  8. For older dancers that are trying to become professional dancers, and attending audition after audition, tap dancing sets them apart from every other dancer in the “dance world”.  If they know you are a versatile dancer, with tap in your background, that could easily become your stand out moment.
  9. It is ENTERTAINING!  I don’t know many people that would get bored watching a good tap dance, in awe at how fast the feet move.

-This is an article from (, Kelsey Anderson , 2013)