Lyrical Dance: Perfect for Kids and Teens
You might not have heard about Lyrical Dance, but you’ve almost certainly seen it: is the type of dance you are likely to see on television shows like So You Think You Can Dance. Grown out of the rigid structures of ballet but loosened up with Jazz influences, this style of dance is choreographed to songs with lyrics, meant to visually represent the emotions described through the words or the affect of the music.
Lyrical Dance is slower than jazz but quicker than ballet. What ballet loses with increased tempo, lyrical dance maintains: ballet movements tend to become exact, small, and sharp as music goes faster, but lyrical dance can maintain fluid and spontaneous-looking movements. Where ballet was developed out of the rigid confines of the French Royal court in the late 17th-century, lyrical dance reflects the emotional and physical freedoms we experience today.
Children, and teens especially, are attracted to lyrical dance as instructors often use popular songs for choreography. Using materials that are already familiar to the students, like songs from the radio, helps the young dancers connect the meaning of the song with a physical expression of emotion through movement. Since lyrical dance often breaks the “rules” of ballet, this means that, in the name of exploring the vast depths of emotions, arms can be used for reaching, grabbing, and yearning movements, or the head can move freely on the shoulders in exaggerated fashions.
Teens enjoy lyrical dance because it provides an avenue of meaningful expression, bypassing the verbalization of the complex new feelings brought on by adolescence. Perhaps not surprisingly, lyrical dance can be especially beneficial to students who have recently immigrated and aren’t fluent yet in English. Lyrical dance gives them the chance to trust and connect with students their own age without needing words, and provides a much needed emotional outlet.
The Omaha School of Music and Dance offers lyrical dance classes for ages 9 and up. Even our adult dance class is including an element of lyrical dance. If you are interested in our dance classes–for your child or yourself!–give us a call or register online. Classes are filling up for our fall term. Remember that if you refer a friend, both you and the friend get an Amazon gift card!
“Lyrical Dance: What is it? There’s a Definition for Every Taste.” Dance Studio Life. December 1, 2009. Accessed October 5, 2017.