Welcome to the Janita Jansen Dance Academy Homepage

Based out of the Northern Suburbs of Cape Town, we provide the following Services: –

      • Multi-Disciplined Dance Classes
      • We cater for ALL age-groups
      • Personalised engagement with all Students
      • Perform Registered Examinations
      • Perform at events on request


JJDA was established by Janita Jansen in 2003

As a mother, Janita is only too aware of the benefits that Dance can bring to any child, and their development

Self-expression – specifically through non-verbal communication – is very important in the growth of any child

Janita’s parents are both Teachers, and through this she has come to understand the balance that is required in enabling children in realising their full potential

Janita does not believe in simply delegating to “Assistants”, and is involved personally with each class as delivered by JJDA

JJDA is well established in the Cape Town Northern Suburbs Community, and has long-standing relationships with both the NG Church, Brackenfell (since 2004), and Laerskool Mikro, Kuilsriver (since 2008) where classes are delivered on a regular basis

Times for all classes are subject to confirmation, so please reach out to Janita via the Contact JJDA form

Dance Disciplines

JJDA caters for all age-groups (from 4 years upwards), and covers the following Dance Disciplines: –


Modern dance is a broad genre of western concert or theatrical dance, primarily arising out of Germany and the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries

Modern dance is often considered to have emerged as a rejection of, or rebellion against, classical ballet

Socio-economic and cultural factors also contributed to its development. In the late 19th century, dance artists such as Isadora DuncanMaud Allan, and Loie Fuller were pioneering new forms and practices in what is now called aesthetic or free dance for performance

These dancers disregarded ballet’s strict movement vocabulary, the particular, limited set of movements that were considered proper to ballet, and stopped wearing corsets and pointe shoes in the search for greater freedom of movement

Throughout the 20th century, sociopolitical concerns, major historical events, and the development of other art forms contributed to the continued development of modernist dance in the United States and Germany

Moving into the 1960s, new ideas about dance began to emerge, as a response to earlier dance forms and to social changes

Eventually, postmodern dance artists would reject the formalism of modern dance, and include elements such as performance art, contact improvisation, release technique, and improvisation

Modern dance has evolved with each subsequent generation of participating artists

Artistic content has morphed and shifted from one choreographer to another, as have styles and techniques

Artists such as Graham and Horton developed techniques in the Central Modern Period that are still taught worldwide, and numerous other types of modern dance exist today

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Contemporary dance is a genre of dance performance that developed during the mid twentieth century and has since grown to become one of the dominant genres for formally trained dancers throughout the world, with particularly strong popularity in the U.S. and Europe

Although originally informed by and borrowing from classical, modern, and jazz styles, it has since come to incorporate elements from many styles of dance

Due to its technical similarities, it is often perceived to be closely related to modern dance, ballet, and other classical concert dance styles

In terms of the focus of its technique, contemporary dance tends to combine the strong but controlled legwork of ballet with modern that stresses on torso

It also employs contract-release, floor-work, fall and recovery, and improvisation characteristics of modern dance

Unpredictable changes in rhythm, speed, and direction are often used, as well

Additionally, contemporary dance sometimes incorporates elements of non-western dance cultures, such as elements from African dance including bent knees, or movements from the Japanese contemporary dance, Butoh

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Tap dance is a type of dance characterized by using the sounds of tap shoes striking the floor as a form of percussion. The sound is made by shoes that have a metal “tap” on the heel and toe

There are several major variations on tap dance including:

  • Flamenco
    • Think of Spanish bull-fights and the dancers that performed here with Castanets…
  • Rhythm (jazz) tap
    • Rhythm tap focuses on musicality, and practitioners consider themselves to be a part of the jazz tradition
  • Classical tap
    • Classical tap has a similarly long tradition which marries European “classical” music with American foot drumming with a wide variation in full-body expression
  • Broadway tap
    • Broadway tap is rooted in English theatrical tradition and often focuses on formations, choreography and generally less complex rhythms; it is widely performed in musical theatre
  • Post-modern tap
    • Post-modern or contemporary tap has emerged over the last three decades to incorporate abstract expression, thematic narrative and technology

There are different brands of shoes which sometimes differ in the way they sound

  • “Soft-shoe” is a rhythm form of tap dancing that does not require special shoes, and though rhythm is generated by tapping of the feet, it also uses sliding of the feet (even sometimes using scattered sand on the stage to enhance the sound of sliding feet) more often than modern rhythm tap
    • It produced what is currently considered to be modern tap, but has since declined in popularity

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Hip-hop dance refers to street-dance styles primarily performed to hip-hop music or that have evolved as part of hip-hop culture

It includes a wide range of styles primarily breaking (or “break-dancing”) which was created in the 1970s and made popular by dance crews in the United States. The television show Soul Train and the 1980s films Breakin’, Beat Street, and Wild Style showcased these crews and dance styles in their early stages; therefore, giving hip-hop mainstream exposure

The dance industry responded with a commercial, studio-based version of hip-hop—sometimes called “new style”—and a hip-hop influenced style of jazz dance called “jazz-funk”

Classically trained dancers developed these studio styles in order to create choreography from the hip-hop dances that were performed on the street

Because of this development, hip-hop dance is practiced in both dance studios and outdoor spaces

The commercialization of hip-hop dance continued into the 1990s and 2000s with the production of several television shows and movies such as The Grind, Planet B-Boy, Rize, StreetDance 3D, America’s Best Dance Crew, Saigon Electric, the Step Up film series and The LXD, a Web Series

Though the dance is established in entertainment, including mild representation in theater, it maintains a strong presence in urban neighborhoods which has led to the creation of street dance derivatives Memphis jookin, turfing, jerkin’, and krump

1980s films, television shows, and the Internet have contributed to introducing hip-hop dance outside the United States

Since being exposed, educational opportunities and dance competitions have helped maintain its presence worldwide

Europe hosts several international hip-hop dance competitions such as the UK B-Boy Championships, Juste Debout, and EuroBattle

Australia hosts a team-based competition called World Supremacy Battlegrounds and Japan hosts a two-on-two competition called World Dance Colosseum

What distinguishes hip-hop from other forms of dance is that it is often “freestyle” (improvisational) in nature and hip-hop dance crews often engage in freestyle dance competitions—colloquially referred to as “battles”

Crews, freestyling, and battles are identifiers of this style

Hip-hop dance can be a form of entertainment or a hobby. It can also be a way to stay active in competitive dance and a way to make a living by dancing professionally

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Please note that when we say that we cater for all age-groups, we mean ALL 🙂

Please feel free to reach out and arrange a session to discuss any of the above that may be of interest


Please feel free to contact Janita at any time via the following “Contact JJDA” form: –

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