Differences between Ballet and Jazz Foot Positions

There are lots of differences between ballet and jazz. When we make a comparison between the two dance styles, we came to know that jazz is a more relaxed dance style.

In ballet dancing, you will have to follow a definite set of body positions, so until you don’t fully get used to these positions, you will feel uncomfortable. In ballet, almost everything is done in a turnaround position.

Ballet Foot Position

On the other hand, in jazz, everything is performed in parallel. Jazz is practiced in contemporary music, and ballet is a classical form of dance, so it is performed on classical music. In this article, you will find out the major differences between ballet and jazz foot positions. 

What is the difference between Ballet and Jazz?

  • Ballet was originated in France in the 16th century, and it is a classical dance style. On the other hand, jazz was originated in New Orleans in the US at the start of the 20th century, and it is a casual dance form. 
  • Ballet is more graceful than jazz because it involves more complex steps. 
  • Ballet dance is more vibrant than jazz and jazz is based on natural body movements. Jazz is more fluid than ballet. 
  • Jazz is a foot-tapping dance, and it is usually performed for own satisfaction while ballet is performance-oriented. 
  • Jazz offers more improvisation and freedom than ballet dancing. 
  • If you want to dance for fun, then you can pick jazz because it is a casual dance form. 
  • Techniques, structures, and foot positions in ballet are more complex than jazz.
  • Jazz has gained popularity because of its entry in TV dance shows, Broadway musicals, and movies. 
  • Ballet is performed on your toes while jazz is performed on the ball of your feet. 
  • The main difference between the two is; jazz is modern while ballet is a classical dance. That’s why jazz is performed on contemporary music, and ballet is performed on classical music. 
  • In jazz dancing, one step will be slow like a dream moment, and the next step can be pretty sharp. On the other hand, ballet is very graceful to watch because it looks like it involves poetry in motion. 

Similarities between Ballet and Jazz Dance Styles

When the experienced and skillful dancers perform these dances, both styles look similar. Both these dance styles were originated in different countries but still involve lots of similar techniques. The main similarity between the two is the technique. Although in jazz dance, you perform freely, and in ballet, you have to control movements. Jazz follows some basic dance techniques of ballet. Some jazz moves such as toe rise and pirouette came from ballet. Contemporary ballet is influenced by jazz, so both these styles have these things in common. 

Another similarity between these two styles is balance. Ballet dancers, dance on their arched or toes. Jazz dancers execute great leaps, fast runs, and kicks. So, for executing these steps, you will have to maintain balance. So, it is another similarity between jazz and ballet dance. 

How Can Ballet Help To Improve Your Modern Dance Technique?

You can use the ballet dance style for the improvement of your skills in other dance styles. Follow the below-given steps for skills improvement. 

  1. If you don’t want to focus ballet, still take ballet class 1-2 times per week. 
  2. Learn the ballet terminology and see where you can use these dance movements in other dance styles. Try to understand the difference between ballet and jazz. Let’s say a jazz pirouette (in parallel) versus a ballet pirouette (turned out).
  3. Take ballet class to look for the imbalances between your right and left sides and try to improve them. 
  4. When you are in a ballet class, use this time to improve personal dance technique, never involve moves of jazz dance during this time. 
  5. You will have to train your mind and body to become familiar with ballet musicality. This basic musicality can help you to adapt to more complex rhythms easily. 

Ballet dance is the backbone of many dance techniques, so it can help you to make your dance journey successful. It keeps the body agile and strong. When you have learned the basics of ballet, it will make other movements clean and polished. It allows you to improve your jumps, extensions, leaps and turns so that you look better when you are performing on stage.  Ballet can help you to look at a well-rounded and stronger dancer. 

Basic Foot Positions in Ballet and Jazz

Students can compare and contrast the basic vocabulary of ballet and dance through their experience and observation. Ballet has five basic positions. Let’s have a look at all of them. 

First: heels touching and feet forming a straight line.

Second: heels are wide apart and feet forming a straight line.

Third: one foot is in front of the other, and heels are in line.

Fourth: feet apart and one in front of the other but heels in line.

Fifth: one foot in front of the other with the heel against the joint of the big toe. 


Ballet and jazz are two very famous dance styles. Both styles require flexibility, balance, and resilience, and that’s why both styles are mesmerizing to watch. Jazz is considered to be casual, while ballet is the most classical dance style. Although along with the differences, there are lots of similarities between the two dance styles as well. Jazz is a much-relaxed dance form than ballet. You can do jazz for fun, but ballet is mostly for performance. So, overall both dance styles are fun to watch. If you can learn a ballet dance, it will help you in other dance styles as well. Along with differences, some similarities between the two dance styles are also highlighted. Both of these dance styles require a high degree of balance. Some ballet dance techniques are used in jazz and vice versa. 

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Author: Sky Hoon
Into Watching Tik Tok Dancing. He loved to watch creative Tik Tok Dancing that show a person's personality. Created this blog to learnt more about dancing.
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