How to Do a Basic Jazz Square

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The History of Jazz Square

Jazz
jennyfdowning/Getty Images

Basic Jazz Square is a dance move found in various styles of dance, from line dance to disco and hip-hop. Due to the footwork pattern dance being only four steps, jazz square gets its name for forming the square shape. Jazz square dance is a smooth and sassy step and is also known as Jazz Box.

Jazz dance is unique in that it showcases the individual and unique style of a dancer, highlighting the originality that they interpret and execute. Due to its high energy, footwork and turns, jazz dance is considered an essential part of a contemporary dance, musical theater, and choreography today in modern life, whether in jazz dance schools or on popular television shows like "So You Think You Can Dance."

Bob Fosse is known as the noted jazz choreographer who created jazz dance. He was inspired by burlesque and vaudeville styles along with Fred Astaire and Gus Giordano, influential dancers and choreographers. The origination of jazz dance came from African American vernacular dance between the 1800's and 1900's.

It is easy for beginners to do a jazz square dance move. Learn some basic jazz dance and its mix of ballet, African and Celtic moves below in just a few steps.

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Starting Position

Jazz walk. Photo © Tracy Wicklund

In your starting position, get ready by standing with your feet together. Keep your arms down by your side and your knees softly bent.

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Cross Your Right Foot Over Your Left Foot

Cross over left. Photo © Tracy Wicklund

Step forward on your right foot. Take the right foot and step it across the left.

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Step Back

Step back. Photo © Tracy Wicklund

Step back with your left foot.

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Step to the Side

Step to side. Photo © Tracy Wicklund

Step to the side with your right foot.

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Step Front

Step front. Photo © Tracy Wicklund

Step to the front with your left leg. Your right leg is now ready to step across the left, to begin another square.