Lyrical dance

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Lyrical dance is a dance style that embodies various aspects of ballet, jazz, acrobatics, and modern dance.[1] The style combines ballet technique with the freedom and musicality of jazz and contemporary.[1] According to Jennifer Fisher, lyrical dance is “strongly associated with clearly displayed emotional moods, fast-moving choreographic strategies, emphasis on virtuosic display, illustration of song lyrics, and, in group form, exact unison.”[2] The style is usually danced at a faster pace than ballet but not as fast as jazz.[3] Lyrical dance is a category typically found in dance competitions.[4]

Style vs technique[edit]

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.[5] The main concerns with lyrical dance is the distinction between lyrical as a style and/or a technique. Lyrical has been described as a "pseudostyle" or a "pseudogenre"[2] because it utilizes steps from other, more established styles of dance. Lyrical dance utilizes training from jazz technique, ballet technique, and modern technique as a basis for movement.[6] These well-known movements are elongated, taken off their center, and distorted to create a new aesthetic in lyrical. Although advertised by some studios as a class, “lyrical technique” does not technically exist. A dancer cannot be proficient in lyrical dance without knowledge and mastery of basic technique from jazz, ballet, and modern.[4]

Use in popular culture[edit]

Lyrical dance is competition dance style and is only used to describe a specific style of dance in the world of competitive dance. “Lyrical” is used to describe a quality or movement type in other dance settings, but not as a style name such as Jazz or Ballet. There has only been one instance of lyrical being used in a professional setting. This was on Season 1 of the popular American dance show So You Think You Can Dance. Contestants on this reality show were asked to compete in many different styles such as ballroom, hip-hop, jazz, and lyrical. The term lyrical was replaced by the term contemporary in Season 2 of the show. This was thought to have been done to professionally legitimize this show. Despite the name change, the type of dances performed in this style remain very similar.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Lyrical Jazz". Oeiras Dance Academy (in Portuguese). Retrieved 2022-12-16.
  2. ^ a b Fisher, Jennifer (23 Oct 2014). "When Good Adjectives Go Bad: The Case of the So-called Lyrical Dance". Dance Chronicle. 37 (3): 312–334. doi:10.1080/01472526.2014.958650.
  3. ^ "What Is the Lyrical Dance Style?". ThoughtCo. Retrieved 2017-11-08.
  4. ^ a b c Weisbrod, Alexis (Oct 2014). "Defining Dance, Creating Commodity: The Rhetoric of So You Think You Can Dance". The Oxford Handbook of Dance and the Popular Screen. doi:10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199897827.013.021.
  5. ^ "History of Lyrical and Contemporary". The History Of Dance. Retrieved 2017-11-08.
  6. ^ Weisbrod, Alexis. "dance: Redefining Dance in the United States". UC Riverside. eScholarship. Retrieved 23 Oct 2018.