Introducing the Jump Rhythm Technique


Discover a new way to move and experience rhythm! The Jump Rhythm® Jazz Technique is a unique form of American rhythm dancing that has been called “the first genuine jazz technique in 40 years” (Dancer magazine, 1998). Created by Billy Siegenfeld, this technique combines vocalizations of rhythm (most commonly known as “scat singing”) with body percussion, tap dance, and movements based on the anatomical structure of the body and its natural alignments. Because dancers are working within the natural framework of body movement and structure, injury is less likely and dancers are able to extend the years that they are able to dance. (Siegenfeld, the founder, is still dancing professionally in his 60’s!) Dancers based in this technique are freed to use body movements and rhythm to tell stories without language, to place an emphasis on emotionally- and narratively-driven dancing.



What does Jump Rhythm look like? Combine the jazz and tap techniques of Fred Astaire, The Nicholas Brothers, and Gene Kelly, with the scat-singing of Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong, add in a dash of body percussion, and shake things up with music (everything from George Gershwin to Jessie J), and you begin to get an idea of what you’ll experience!


What does a Jump Rhythm class look like?


Each Jump Rhythm Technique class is focused on getting the energy inside of us out! In Jump Rhythm Jazz classes, we focus on how to express rhythm through the entire body. In Jump Rhythm Tap, we focus more on the feet (obviously!) and will build on the foundations of energy expressed rhythmically first. When we say “rhythm first,” we mean it! Before we start dancing, we prepare our bodies for movement by “scat” singing the rhythms to help us internalize the energy and direct it from our core. A typical class will start of will scat singing in a group, lead by the teacher, usually in a circle or half circle. This builds into the opening movement exercises designed to focus the dancer on moving with energy and a specific rhythm, not worrying about their “look” or the shape that their bodies are making.


Each class period will focus on a particular aspect of Jump Rhythm and expand on these basics. Throughout the class, we will build our understanding of musicality, discuss the different approaches to movement, look at the anatomy of the human body and how it is designed to move, qualities of movement, postural habits, injury prevention, and more. During the exercises we will discuss certain elements relating to the focus of that class, and how they specifically relate to what we are doing. Usually the class concludes with learning choreography, either from the Jump Rhythm Jazz Project company repertoire or from a new piece.

Benefits of the Jump Rhythm Technique


Some of the many benefits from this technique include increased energy, injury prevention and recovery, cross-discipline skills, an increased musical understanding, and many more!


More Energy

Through Jump Rhythm, you’ll discover the most efficient and natural way to move – the way the body WANTS to move. When move you in the way your body is designed to move, you experience a natural increase of energy. You’ll stop expending energy in fighting to get your body into certain positions and instead be able to use it to express the emotion and energy of the music.


Injury Prevention and Recovery

Another direct correlation with moving in the way the body is built to move is natural injury prevention. When the weight of the body is allowed to travel through the axis of gravity, passing through the joints and directed through the arches into the ground, the body is freed to react and protect itself from injury. If you have been injured or experience injuries frequently, the Jump Rhythm Technique can help repair and prevent further injuries.

Most injuries are caused by habits. Habits that have been reinforced by societal expectations, and postural affectations. By studying Jump Rhythm Technique, you discover the way the body is meant to move, based on the anatomy and structure of the skeleton. Through this approach, you begin to to replace old and inefficient habits with new one that encourage and promote health and well-being in the body.


Increased Musical Understanding

The Jump Rhythm Techniques focuses on strengthening the energy inside of us and expressing externally through rhythm. Because of this, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of musical concepts such as timing, dynamics, phrasing, rhythm, and musical expression. In Jump Rhythm, you don’t just listen to or dance with the music, you play a part in creating it with your body! This concentrated focus on expressing energy through rhythm reinforces the understanding of these musical concepts and creates the basis for helping you move with greater musicality.


Cross-discipline skills

The Jump Rhythm Technique is a unique and innovative approach to movement and music. You can reap the same benefits in energy, injury prevention, and increased musicality as you incorporate the principles learned into other dance forms – as well as other performance disciplines like acting. The Jump Rhythm technique doesn’t end with jazz and tap dance!