Jazz dance is the performance dance technique and style that emerged in America in the early twentieth century. Jazz dance may refer to vernacular jazz or Broadway or theatrical jazz. Both genres build on the African American vernacular style of dancing that emerged with jazz music. Vernacular jazz dance includes ragtime dances, Charleston, Lindy hop, and mambo.
Jazz dance, any dance to jazz accompaniments, composed of a profusion of forms. Jazz dance paralleled the birth and spread of jazz itself from roots in black American society and was popularized in ballrooms by the big bands of the swing era (1930s and ’40s). It radically altered the style of American and European stage and social dance in the 20th century. The term is sometimes used more narrowly to describe (1) popular stage dance (except tap dance) and (2) jazz-derived or jazz-influenced forms of modern dance. It excludes social dances lacking jazz accompaniment—e.g., the rumba and other Latin-American dances.