Difference Between Jazz and Ballet

Jazz vs Ballet

Ballet and jazz are two very popular dance forms in the western world. Both dance forms are very mesmerizing to watch as they require a lot of balance, flexibility, and resilience on the port of the dancer. Ballet is considered more of a classical dance form whereas jazz is believed to be a casual and relaxed dance form. There are many similarities between the two genres of dancing though there are many differences also that will be highlighted in this article.


Ballet is a very charming dance style of the west that is performance oriented. It originated in France in the 16th and 17th centuries and later spread to other parts of Europe. Ballet is a tough dance to master, but girls make a beeline to get a chance to learn this dance form in dance schools and studios. Ballet is a very strict and classical dance form and requires a lot of practice and rehearsal on the part of the student. However, once mastered, ballet also happens to be a very rewarding dance style as it brings a lot of appreciation form the audiences to the dancer.


Jazz is a dance form that originated in the southern states of US when African migrants to the country confronted the European music and tried to create a fusion of their own music with this music. It is a dance form that is inspired by jazz music of the African American communities that settled in US. However, with the passage of time and popularity of this dance form among all ethnicities, the dance form continued to involve and took influences from many other dance forms such as ballet and other western dance styles.

What is the difference between Jazz and Ballet?

• Ballet is a classical dance style that originated in France in the 16th and 17th centuries, whereas jazz is a dance form that is casual and originated in the early 20th century in New Orleans in US.

• Ballet is more graceful and has more complex steps than jazz.

• Jazz is based upon natural body movements and is more fluid, whereas Ballet is more vibrant.

• Ballet is performance oriented whereas jazz is for one’s own satisfaction, a foot tapping dance.

• The structure and technique of ballet are far more complex than that of jazz dance.

• There is more freedom and improvisation in jazz than is possible in ballet.

• For a casual dancer, it is easier to pick up jazz and have fun.

• Jazz became popular because of its use in TV dance shows, movies, and even Broadway musicals.

• Jazz is a modern dance whereas ballet is a classical dance.

• Jazz can be slow and dreamlike one moment while it can be sharp and abrupt another moment. On the other hand, ballet is poetry in motion being very graceful to watch.