We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Lyrical Dance?

Tricia Christensen
Updated May 23, 2024
Our promise to you
Musical Expert is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At Musical Expert, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Lyrical dance is a modern dance form which fuses modern dance, jazz, and ballet. This form is often referred to as contemporary dance. It requires excellent technique to perform, as the moves are often difficult and precise. Moreover, the dancer should be aware of his or her facial expressions while dancing.

The origins of lyrical dance are unclear. The form is most often seen in live shows of contemporary music artists and some types of stage shows. The goal of the dancer is to convey the emotion of a song's lyrics through dance. Intense emotional expression of the face and body are necessary to tell a story that evolves along the lines of the song to which the dance is performed.

Unlike other dance forms, lyrical dance is far less concerned with a dancer's physique. Often, excellent jazz and ballet dancers are drawn to the lyrical style because they lack the traditional dancer's build. It is quite common to see dancers who are not extremely thin; however, lyrical dance demands a high degree of flexibility and complicated lifts, so dancers with a nontraditional build still need to be in excellent physical shape to perform lyrical pieces.

Lyrical dance also appeals to both those who are slightly older and slightly younger. Some dance teachers comment that it is quite difficult to teach this style of dance to younger students, as they simply lack the ability to convey emotions they have yet to experience to any great degree. There are exceptions, of course, but one frequently sees many lyrical dances performed by dancers who at the age of 25 to 30 are considered too "old" for ballet. Despite their possible lack of experience, many younger dancers are attracted to this style for its focus on emotion.

Characteristic of this dance style is flowing dance moves that connect throughout the dance. The upper body movements are generally quite different from ballet styles, and one often sees body angles unfamiliar to either jazz or ballet. In some ways, the upper body movements resemble traditional African dance forms.

Lyrical dance is often performed with toes pointed in partner lifts or in leg lifts. Common practice often demands leg lifts with toes flexed, which is much more challenging to the dancer's flexibility. Choreography frequently features partners, as interpreting ballads often means interpreting the intensity of love relationships or lost love.

As an evolving form, most practitioners and choreographers are better known for either their contributions to the jazz or ballet world. The form has received much attention from various television dance competition shows. Choreographers like Mia Michaels, who has her own successful lyrical company, have become well known for this style.

Musical Expert is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a Musical Expert contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.
Discussion Comments
By anon972152 — On Oct 02, 2014

Lyrical dance is beautiful and fun to watch, but it's also extremely popular in the world of competitive dance.

By anon928848 — On Jan 29, 2014

Lyrical dance is so fun! The expressions really magnify the beauty of the dance. I agree with you.

By anon308656 — On Dec 11, 2012

Do you know what country lyrical dance originated from?

By anon21838 — On Nov 23, 2008

Facial expressions are *not* a big component of Lyrical. A key facet of lyrical dance is to convey emotions directly with the *body's* fluidity, sharpness, and *timing*. Facial expressions are less important and often discouraged because they would be tacky and replace the physical expression demanded by truly embodying the choreography and merging physically with the music. Facial expressions factor far more prominently, for example, in theater dance (i.e., Broadway musicals). The acting in Lyrical dance comes from the *body* and *timing*.

Lyrical dance is closest to ballet, not African dance. It can be best described as Ballet set to contemporary, popular, alternative music -- everything from ballads to thrashy.

By anon13188 — On May 21, 2008

Dancer-- Im A Lyrical Dancer myself and it is such a pretty dance ... especially if the dancers have a lot of emotion....if interested search Lost-By Anouk....its a beautiful lyrical song that my bffl dances to..thanks for writing such a good piece on lyrical dancing

By WGwriter — On May 20, 2008


I'm totally with you. Mia is an amazing choreographer, and I'm really looking forward to another season of "So you Think You Can Dance." Plus, this year they're adding ballet! I think it starts the second to last or last weekend of May and I can't wait! I only wish there weren't soooo many commercials.

T. Ellis-Christensen

By anon13100 — On May 19, 2008

Mia's routines are amazing. My favorite routines on So You Think You Can Dance that she did were the Park Bench and the one that was with Neil and Lacey, and they resembled her and her father.

Lyrical is something I've always been interested in because it has so many awkward movements that you can't help but watch.

By cayenne — On Mar 29, 2008

Lyrical dance can also express emotions quite beautifully - I have had two friends who had people close to them perform lyrical dance at their weddings and seen others do it at church services and it is really moving.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a Musical Expert contributor, Tricia...
Learn more
Musical Expert, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

Musical Expert, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.