A unique blend of energy, expressiveness, individual interpretation, and physical conditioning, VOP is the hot style of jazz dance that’s captivating dancers and audiences alike. Frank Hatchett—one of the most well-known, influential teachers and choreographers in the world—coined the term VOP while teaching his students how to accent a step and stylize a movement. Since that time, VOP has become synonymous with Hatchett’s style of jazz dance.
Hatchett perfected his unique style while teaching stars such as Madonna, Brooke Shields, Naomi Campbell, Vanessa Williams, Olivia Newton-John, MTV’s Downtown Julie Brown, Justine Bateman, and Savion Glover. All documented in this one-of-a-kind book, Frank Hatchett’s Jazz Dance gives you a behind-the-scenes look at Frank Hatchett and his exciting style of dance, with an in-depth look at what VOP is and where it came from.
After you gain a basic understanding of the Hatchett style, it’s time to lace up your jazz shoes. Warm-ups include rhythmic, center, floor, and isolation exercises that not only increase flexibility, strength, and control but also get you in the mood to move. Whether you’re a beginner or a professional, you’ll easily follow the step-by-step approach that’s accompanied by 242 photographs demonstrating the proper movements and techniques.
Frank Hatchett’s Jazz Dance is divided into four levels of difficulty, allowing you to easily progress through the stages of basic, beginner, advanced beginner, and intermediate/advanced. Hatchett hints accompany each step to address proper alignment, technique, common areas for improvement, and how to stylize the movement.
Once you’ve learned this unique approach, you can add your own artistic interpretation, creating jazz movements and combinations to make the style come alive. Then you will truly understand the innovation and spirit in this magnificent art form.
Part I: Frank Hatchett’s VOP
Chapter 1. The Evolution of VOP
Chapter 2. The Spirit of the Dance
Part II: 5, 6, 7, 8, VOP!
Chapter 3. Ready, Set . . . Warm Up
Chapter 4. Basic Movements
Chapter 5. Beginner Movements
Chapter 6. Advanced Beginner Movements
Chapter 7. Intermediate and Advanced Movements
Chapter 8. Put It Together With VOP
Appendix A: Dance Finder
Appendix B: Dance Terms
Loved and admired throughout the world for his unique style of jazz dance and inspirational teaching, Frank Hatchett is quite simply one of the legendary jazz dance masters. Hatchett is currently the dean of dance at the prestigious Broadway Dance Center in New York City where more than 250,000 dancers come to learn each year. He's had an impressive roster of students including Madonna, Brooke Shields, Naomi Campbell, Olivia Newton-John, Justine Bateman, Vanessa Williams, Julie Brown, Suzette Charles, Savion Glover, and dozens of Broadway and daytime television actors and actresses.
Dubbed “The Doctor of Jazz” by ABC's Good Morning America, Frank Hatchett has a very high-profile career. He's been featured on the Emmy Award-winning CNBC episode of Real Stories and spotlighted on MTV's show The Real World. He has also received the prestigious L'Hult D'Or Award from Paris. Hatchett teaches classes throughout the country at national dance conventions but calls New York City home.
Nancy Myers Gitlin has been a student of Frank Hatchett's for over 30 years. She graduated from the Boston Conservatory of Music with a BFA in dance and has taught at Broadway Dance Center, the Boston Conservatory of Music, Johnson County Community College, and numerous dance studios.
Gitlin has developed college dance curriculums and is currently on the dance faculty at Lake Michigan College. She is also dance/fitness coordinator at the YMCA Family Center in St. Joseph, Michigan, where she resides with her husband and two children.
“I've been studying with Frank for almost 20 years. If you can't take a class with the man himself, this book is the next best thing.” Tamara Tunie Actor, singer, and dancer Acted in Snake Eyes, The Devil's Advocate, The Peacemaker, and played Jessica Griffin in the CBS daytime drama As the World Turns for eight years
“A long overdue book from Frank! Excellent!” Joe Tremaine President, Tremaine Dance Conventions and Competitions
“Frank did it again. He is the master of VOP—and now the first book about contemporary jazz dance. He has helped so many young students in the art of today's dance, and now this magic book will inform all of the dance public. Way to go, Frank—5, 6, 7, 8, VOP!” Gus Giordano, BA Founder/director of Gus Giordano Dancer Center Recipient of the Third Annual Katherine Dunham Award
“Frank Hatchett's life in the dance world is one of love and passion for art. By knowing the roots of art, or in this case one man's art, it gives us a true understanding of the art that Frank shares with dancers, actors, singers, models, and people from all walks of life. It is an honor to watch Frank Hatchett teach a class, and it makes me proud to know he is teaching not only dance, but also the need for positive reinforcement. Bravo to Mr. Hatchett.” Chet Walker Director of 8 & Ah 1 Musical Theatre Dance Company Original creator of the Broadway show Fosse
“I love this book—it's honest. This book helps me to develop an “I can do it, too” mentality by sharing the keys to Frank's success. Frank Hatchett's Jazz Dance shows that having heart is very important for longevity whether you're a dancer, teacher, or choreographer.” Pepper Von Performer, Choreographer, Educator Co-Owner and artistic director of Step One Dance and Fitness United States National Aerobics champion