Jump Rhythm® Technique is a vocally accompanied, rhythm-driven system of dance and theatre-movement training. Its goal is to immerse performing arts students of all backgrounds, ages, and levels of experience in the joys and challenges of full-bodied rhythm-making™. This performance process uses the combination of rhythmic movement and rhythmic vocalization to give clear, outward expression to one’s inside-felt physical and emotional energies.
Inspired by the beat-driven, syncopated sounds of the blues, swing, funk, hip-hop, and world music, we use the body’s primary “drumbeaters” – the hands, head, feet and other body parts – to express what we feel and think. Accompanied by the rhythm-singing voice, these drumbeaters percussively “play” rhythmic accents against the “drumheads” of the space – both the imaginary spaces surrounding the body, and, as in floorwork or tap-dancing, the actual drummable surfaces of the floor itself.
A relaxation-based, injury-preventive concept called Standing Down Straight® (SDS) guides all alignment work, exercises, and dancing. Excess strain or “holding” tension is reduced if not eliminated because SDS invites the body to embrace a more gravity-friendly, body-healthy relationship to the floor. This relaxed-but-grounded connection between body and earth both loosens the body’s joints and liberates the performer to move with greater animal-like fluency and focused energy.
“There is nothing in conservatory and undergraduate dance training that teaches students to embody Time, Space, and Effort the way Jump Rhythm does. It serves, in my opinion, as the true foundational technique of all dance and theatre movement. It is the happy precursor to everything we do in dancing, acting, or musical theatre. It is also for anyone who simply loves to move in a way that fills the mind and body with music and joy.”
(Martie Barylick, CMA/Certified Movement Analyst; instructor in graduate dance education, Rutgers University and New York University)
“Jump Rhythm Technique teaches students how to embrace the inside of rhythm.”
(Diane Grumet, Co-Artistic Managing Director, STEPS on Broadway NYC; Artistic Director, STEPS Conservatory Program)
Loose-fitting clothes and rubber-soled dance shoes or sneakers. The best kind of footwear is the Converse-type sneaker since the sole is flexible and has enough grip to prevent sliding. NO socks. Bare feet ok. Running shoes fine if the participant doesn’t have Converse-type sneaks or “tennies."