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Lyrical dance is a style of dance created by merging ballet and jazz.[1] The style is usually danced at a faster pace than ballet but not as fast as jazz.[2] Because of the links between the styles of dance, teachers originally struggled with whether to teach lyrical dance alongside jazz or ballet or as its own, separate style.[3] Lyrical dancing is performed to music with lyrics to inspire movements to express strong feelings and emotions the choreographer feels from the lyrics in the chosen song.[4] Because lyrical dancing focuses on the expression of strong emotion, the style concentrates more on individual approach and expressiveness than the precision of the dancer's movements.[5] Because of this, there is not as much focus on the choreography, and, in fact, the choreography often exists only as a general guide for the dancer, not as a routine that has to be exactly followed.[6] The emergent lyrical style has a relatively recent history and a genesis based on the coming together of ballet with rock/folk/pop/alternative music and a variety of jazz dance styles and modern dance. Dancer, teacher, and choreographer Suzi Taylor, who holds regular classes at Steps on Broadway in New York City, is considered by many to be an early mother of lyrical dance, having emphasized a unique brand of musicality and expressiveness which influenced many future teachers and choreographers.[7][8][9] Although lyrical dancers are often featured today on popular dance television shows, including Fox's "So You Think You Can Dance?," the style did not gain popularity until the 1990s.[10]


  1. ^ The Dance Is a very difficult skill It is Logical to know ballet and jzz before startin (lyrical)The Contemporary Conundrum --Dance Spirit magazine
  2. ^ "What Is the Lyrical Dance Style?". ThoughtCo. Retrieved 2017-11-08. 
  3. ^ "History of Lyrical and Contemporary". The History Of Dance. Retrieved 2017-11-08. 
  4. ^ What is Lyrical Dance? Archived 2015-06-17 at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ Lyrical Dancing Archived 2015-04-03 at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ "What Is the Lyrical Dance Style?". ThoughtCo. Retrieved 2017-11-08. 
  7. ^ Matisse Dance with Joyby Susan Goldman Rubin
  8. ^ Dance Teacher, The Practical Magazine of Dance
  9. ^ Jones, Jen. "America'S Sweetheart." Dance Spirit 13.9 (2009): 64-68. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 31 Jan. 2010.
  10. ^ "History of Lyrical and Contemporary". The History Of Dance. Retrieved 2017-11-08.