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Gus Giordano's Philosophy

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"Jazz dance is a career of discipline requiring the perfect blend of mind and body which has a technical basis that includes ballet and modern dance. The growth of the jazz dancer is incomplete without the elements of these dance forms."

"The dancer seeking a professional career in dance learns very quickly, through experiences of failure at auditions, that the basic 'nuts and bolts' of technique, i.e. flexibility, center placement, multiple turns, clean lines and leaps, and transmitting quickly from the brain throughout the body, are the keyboard for the all-around dancer."

"In today's world, a student is sometimes misled to believe that the essential fundamental techniques are non-compulsory. Style becomes more important than technique - a major blunder. We do not wish to create a world of dilettante jazz dancers who dabble in the art formant are only interested in fashionable fads. This would certainly be a sad demise of the American jazz dance legacy that was born of a soulful movement."

"[Frank Hatchett, Luigi, Matt Matto, Joe Tremaine, and myself] have dedicated our lives to the preservation of jazz as a dance form. We have survived the cranial non-dance of the 60's - disco, break dancing, vogueing, lambada, street dancing, rap and whatever jazz dance fads the future has in store for us."

"The organizations and presenters of dance conventions have done a monumental job by presenting master classes in order to expand the dance teachers' knowledge of their craft while they continue to make dance a very popular style of movement."

"I realize that not all people taking dance classes are going to become professionals, but we are ignoring the serious group that will become dancers or teachers for a life time. We must administer to both of these groups."

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"Jazz dance, because of its accessibility to the mass audience has usually been regarded as a dance for peasants. It is continuously overlooked by critics and balletomanes. If jazz dance is accepted, it is only when it is presented as a historical art form, especially when depicting the mood of the 30's, 40's or 50's. The acceptance of jazz dance is usually categorized as 'solid gold dance', the music and dance of TV. It is artificial in nature actually choreographed and fabricated by technicians, or the TV videographers, and the dancers become clones for the featured 'Top 40' singer of the moment. Through the years, it has denigrated a very long way from the feeling and soul of jazz."

"When I became acquainted with jazz dance in the 50's, it was called modern jazz dance, partly because it was the dance of time and also, in some cases such as mine, modern dance was used as the basic teaching structure. We had no complete body warm-up that had been specifically devoted to jazz dance. Some early teachers used African movements, or a ballet warm-up, of the isolation exercises of Indian dance, and the swinging rhythms of tap dance. Jazz dance, since those early formative days, has designed a sophisticated method for teaching the strength, flexibility and power-controlled center the total jazz dancer requires."

"It would be very arrogant to ignore the process and many turns that make up jazz dance, but we as teachers and serious students of this unique American dance form, cannot lose the principles and discipline of dance, the training of the total dancer."

"It seems that we must cater to five different groups, teachers, children, hobby dancers, serious dancers and audience members. We need the power and strength of all of these groups to survive academically and financially. We must concentrate on the growth of these groups as I can't wait to see what the next form of jazz will be as I know one thing for certain about jazz dance, it’s a living art form which is always about to do something new!"

 
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Luigi, Matt Mattox, Joe Tremaine, Frank Hatchett, Gus Giordano