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North Shields Dance School Lyrical Dance Blog image of your woman dancing

Lyrical dance may be one of the newcomers to the range of dances being learned around the country. But it has quickly become popular for everyone from kids learning their first dance to adults looking to expand their dancing skills. But what is lyrical dance and what makes it so popular?

What is lyrical dance?

Lyrical dance is a combination of ballet and jazz dance that often uses music with lyrics to inspire the movements of the dancer. Choreographers use the lyrics from the song to inspire the dance and the result is a style that focuses on strong emotion as well as a more individual approach than some dance styles. It is also a very precise dance with the dancer’s movements portraying the emotion and story of the song.

Lots of different types of music are used for lyrical dance. These include pop, rock and blues as well as hip-hop and music from around the world. Minimalist music such as the creations of Philip Glass has been used by lyrical dancers as well as the work of Steve Reich. More recently, music from Africa has become a part of the dance style, with the sounds from places such as Soweto being used.

Differences from ballet and jazz

Ballet has been around a lot longer than lyrical dancing and started back in the 15th century. It became a type of concert dance using music and a choreographer to become the classic dance we associate today with productions such as the Nutcracker. It is a dance often done by trained professionals at the highest levels with top orchestras and using famous composer’s music. But children as young as two can start to learn it.

Jazz dance came alongside jazz music and is a fun and energetic dance style. There are lots of quick turns and daring leaps with plenty of fancy moves involved. These dancers have grace and balance but also the fluid movements that lyrical dance has inherited. It is a popular dance to learn for adults but also for kids who learn a range of associated skills from it.

Why it lyrical dance popular?

Lyrical dance combines both of these older styles of dance and some experience with them can help you learn this style – although this isn’t compulsory to take lyrical dance lessons. It has been made famous by productions such as those of Cirque du Soleil and the emotional content of it appeals to many people.

It is a great dance style to learn kids because they can easily relate to that emotional content. It is less physically demanding than jazz dance or ballet with the concentration being more on individual style than exact dance moves and this makes it accessible for people of all ages and dance abilities.

Lyrical dancing is also evolving and changing as the dancers and choreographers learn and develop their styles. This means that there is plenty of room for self-expression in the style and there is something that will appeal to almost everyone in it.