Jazz dance is an umbrella term encompassing different styles of dance with African and European roots from the early twentieth century. It is a uniquely American creation which developed simultaneously in New Orleans with Jazz music.

In the 1940’s the social aspect and improvisation of jazz dance started to be replaced with intricate choreography as more technical ballet dancers took up the style, and its popularity grew through broadway stage shows.

Today Jazz dance continues to evolve and blend with other dance styles and uses popular music as part of its inspiration. The use of Isolations, contractions and a grounded feel to the floor are identifying elements of jazz. In Australia it is more often referred to as jazz ballet or jazz funk.