Kick vs Jazz: what’s the difference?

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Thomas Lee

The Knightette Kick team performing their 2nd place routine at the State Tournament.

As the winter sports season has commenced, the BSM Knightettes are in full swing. The Dance Team competes in two styles of dance: Kick and Jazz. After a successful last season, they are looking to continue to be one of the top AA teams in both events.

First, it is important to understand the difference between Kick and Jazz. Kick dancing encompasses lots of choreographed movements that are organized into a line of people, usually seen doing like it sounds, kicking. Jazz dance differs as it is characterized by highly energetic and emotional expressive movement that is telling a story. The Jazz team has 14 people on the floor, whereas kick has 20 on the floor, but there are more dancers on each practice team. A good kick routine includes elegant transitions and formations, along with dancers appearing perfectly in sync with each other. An impressive jazz routine also has elegant transitions, but is more characterized by movements and technique of skills like leaps, jumps, and turns.

In the past, the jazz team has had more success. The Knightettes jazz team has won 11 state championships, with the first being in 1985, and the most recent in 2022. Jazz is not only more successful, but is more popular among the team. “I like jazz because it’s less upbeat and allows us to make more emotional movements,” Sophomore Ellie Shideman said.

Over the past season the Knighettes kick team left a lasting impact on the program as they were the first kick squad to ever place when they got 2nd. Kick is a lot more exhausting due to the upbeat pace that the routine embodies. “We run around a lot and switch formations more than we do in jazz which can get pretty tiring,” Shideman said.

Though both styles of dance encompass a lot of different components, they also have their similarities. Both styles are incredibly complex, and require tons of practice for every member of the team to work in unison with each other. They also have been inspired from a variety of other dance styles and bring them together to perform their own. Each routine also has mixes of songs that go together with the vibe of each dance. “ Our coaches take suggestions from us [captains] and then they put them together for us to dance to,” Senior Captain Abby Lohmann said.