In this class for Intermediate and Advanced jazz dancers, take your solo jazz to the next level with world-renowned teacher Sharon Davis. Go beyond your classic steps, understand rhythm, master transitions and flow, find your personal style and develop confidence freestyling. Click here to see the class topics by date.
What will I learn? Each class will incorporate an important higher concept for your jazz dancing, usually a short routine, plus freestyle practice time. The concepts covered are the same each term, but the choreographies and exercises will change to keep the classes fresh and challenging for returning students. Click here to see the class topics by date.
Click here to see the class topics by date.
Improvisation & Freestyling: 14th January, 28th April & 8th September
Improvisation is the heart and soul of jazz. It’s a skill that can be learned, a muscle that must be maintained, and a journey to finding your true and unique self in the dance. In this class Sharon will identify the skills you can practice to become a great freestyler. We will learn some tools to spark creativity, master transitions, pursue flow and create a satisfying sense of form. We will consider the role of interaction and call-and-response, and different types of musical interpretation. And don’t worry – this class is about taking the stress out of improv. We will practice freestyling together, you won’t ever be asked to dance alone in front of the class. Come join the fun and live in the moment!
Advanced 1920s Charleston: 21st January, 5th May & 15th September
Charleston is the mother of all swing & jazz dances, and should be more than just a finite collection of antique 1920s steps in your repertoire. Explore transitions, flourishes, kicks, twists and syncopations. Learn how jazz dance legends transformed the Charleston from the 1920s to the 1960s, and how advanced dancers use Charleston free movement as a foundation for improvisation and choreography. Charleston forever!
Spins & Slides: 28th January, 12th May & 22nd September
Come work on two elusive and spectacular skills that are central to advanced jazz dancing (and your partnered dancing too!). Spinning and sliding also teach you balance and control, which will help you keep your feet in the rest of your dancing too. Sharon will break these skills down into clear, understandable drills and exercises, and prove you don’t need to have a background in iceskating to incorporate impressive twirls, slips and slides into your solo jazz. Wear flat shoes with slippery soles (ideally leather or suede) and/or bring a pair of thick socks. Weeeeeeeee!
Jazz Performance Skills: 4th February, 19th May & 29th September
Dance like nobody’s somebody’s watching! Of course we dance jazz for ourselves, but it’s also an important part of swing culture to dance socially in jam circles, competitively in jazz battles, and performatively in shows and contests. This class is your chance to focus on the aesthetics and style of your jazz. Performance dancing is your opportunity to communicate your ideas, inspire onlookers and spread the love! Dancing in a cypher, for an audience or even a judging panel doesn’t need to be scary! With some simple tools you can understand stagecraft, amplify your dancing, connect with an audience and captivate their attention. Sharon will also explain etiquette and tactics for jam circles, jazz battles and stage dancing.
Understanding & Using Rhythm: 11th February, 26th May & 6th October
Want to be a more musical and rhythmic dancer? In this class Sharon will explain how rhythm works for jazz dancers, and teach you the same vocabulary that jazz percussionists use to understand rhythm. Sharon will break down rhythm theory into clear, understandable exercises, to help you experience it physically, develop your own rhythmical ideas and begin to include more complex rhythms in your jazz. We’ll also learn a short jazz routine full of sweet rhythms, to understand how rhythm exists within jazz forms. Plus you’ll also get time to practice these skills in freestyle. Rhythm is our business!
Slow Jazz & Solo Blues: 18th February, 2nd June & 13th October
Dancing to slow music is the ultimate test of your jazz movement, control, rhythm and balance, with many diverse styles to explore. Slow jazz can be cool and groovy, or dapper and refined, eccentric and spectacular, or intense and sexy. Can you Slow Strut like The Berry Brothers, Snakehips like Earl Tucker and Boogie like Sandra Gibson? In this class you will get comfortable moving to slow music, and practice adapting your jazz vocabulary to suit a slow tempo. Explore the musical textures and intensities that are unique to blues, and how you can translate them into your dancing. Wear loose, comfortable clothing you can stretch and move freely in.
Is this a drop-in class or a course? This is a drop-in class, so you can start anytime and drop in when you like. Each class is different over a 6-week cycle, so if you attend all 6 classes in a row, you will get a comprehensive advanced jazz program.
This class only runs for the first half of each term, until the start of the Solo Jazz Performance Routine course. Attending some or all of these classes would be a perfect primer for the performance course.
What is the level? This is a Level 2/3 class for dancers with some jazz dance experience. You should know your classic jazz steps and 1920s Charleston, as well as a few vintage jazz routines such as the Shim Sham. This is a solo dance class, no partner needed.
This is a 1-hour class at 9.00pm on the following Tuesdays…
2020 Term 1:
Tuesday 14 January
Tuesday 21 January
Tuesday 28 January
Tuesday 4 February
Tuesday 11 February
Tuesday 18 February
2020 Term 2:
Tuesday 28 April
Tuesday 5 May
Tuesday 12 May
Tuesday 19 May
Tuesday 26 May
Tuesday 2 June
2020 Term 3:
Tuesday 8 September
Tuesday 15 September
Tuesday 22 September
Tuesday 29 September
Tuesday 6 October
Tuesday 13 October
£15 (or 1 JazzMAD credit) per class
Buy an online class package to get great savings:
- 5-Class Package: £60 (£12 per class)
- 10-Class Package: £100 (£10 per class)
(and your class packages credits can be used for all JazzMAD drop-in classes and our end-of-term parties!)
prices at the door
£15 per class, or discounted to £10 per class if you take more than one class that evening (ie: £20 for two classes, £30 for three classes).
We accept cash, debit/credit card & mobile payments at the door.