Jump into Jazz
by Minda Goodman Kraines
and Esther Pryor
National Dance Week is April 22-May 1
Jump into Jazz is the jazz dance textbook that I had in college. It is appropriate for beginner through intermediate. I have the fourth edition which is copyright 2001. I’m sure they have something more recent now. This book is divided into twelve chapters that cover pretty much anything that you would want to know.
Chapter 1: Basic attire, shoes, types of jazz dance, how to have a successful class.
Chapter 2: Basic body alignment
Chapter 3: Ballet exercises for jazz dancers. Although it’s not required at the recreational level, a lot of jazz dancers take an additional ballet class, as it’s very good for body alignment and can also be relaxing and promote awareness of different muscle groups. A lot of the time a jazz dance teacher will incorporate ballet exercises into the class, but they may practice them in parallel position instead of turned out.
Chapter 4, 5,6: Basic positions, warm-ups, basic jazz steps.
Chapter 7: More advanced steps.
Chapter 8: Information on musicality, staging, performing.
Chapter 9, 10: Fitness, injury prevention, and nutrition.
Chapter 11: Different jobs in the dance field.
Chapter 12: One of the most interesting chapters, a history of jazz dance.
All in all, this is a really well thought out book, one that you can keep for years. It has nice illustrations of both male and female dancers, and some photos of dancers performing as well.