'DWTS' is mostly known for ballroom dancing, but the show has also featured a few other styles over the years. Two that have become regular dances used on the show are contemporary and jazz, but is their inclusion more of a positive or negative thing?\n\n\n\nContemporary and Jazz on DWTS\n\n\n\nThe Classic Ballroom Styles\n\n\n\n\nhttps:\/\/www.youtube.com\/watch?v=1zQSwb1LUCM\nKrisit Yamaguchi and Mark Ballas dance a Viennese Waltz on Dancing With the Stars\n\n\n\nBefore we get to contemporary and jazz, let\u2019s take a brief look at the traditional ballroom styles used on DWTS and why they work so well for the show.\n\n\n\nThere are 10 dance styles in the main ballroom syllabus: under the standard ballroom category are foxtrot, tango, waltz, Viennese Waltz, and quickstep, and under the Latin ballroom category are cha-cha, samba, Paso Doble, jive, and rumba. These are the 10 styles traditionally taught and performed in most ballroom competitions (and are the 10 that don\u2019t allow for legal lifts).\n\n\n\n\nhttps:\/\/www.youtube.com\/watch?v=jyy4ht67QnE\n Rashad Jennings and Emma Slater dance a Viennese Waltz on Dancing With the Stars \n\n\n\nThis is important to know because these are the styles the majority of the pro dancers on\u00a0DWTS\u00a0have been trained in their whole lives. They are very familiar with all these styles and know how to teach and choreograph them. There are also couple other ballroom styles that aren\u2019t part of these 10 that are also heavily featured on\u00a0DWTS\u00a0- most notably\u00a0Salsa,\u00a0Argentine Tango, and occasionally\u00a0charleston\u00a0- but given their similarities to the other styles, the pros who might not be trained in them are generally still able to competently work with them.\n\n\n\nContemporary\n\n\n\nA lot of fans claim to have contemporary as a style gives a couple an unfair advantage like jazz since it also allows for lifts and doesn\u2019t have as much of a syllabus of steps to follow as the ballroom dances do. Let\u2019s clear a few things up about that.\n\n\n\n\nhttps:\/\/www.youtube.com\/watch?v=QPxEKdR1RKA\nGinger Zee and Val Chmerkovskiy perform a contemporary routine on Dancing With the Stars \n\n\n\nContemporary has been featured on shows like So You Think You Can Dance for a long time, but it was first introduced to DWTS a few years ago. It is very different from the aforementioned ballroom styles; yes, it does permit lifts, but there are a bunch of steps in its syllabus just like the ballroom dances. The actual problem with having contemporary on the show is that only a few of the pros have actually been formally trained in it. The ones who haven\u2019t been tend to deliver haphazardly-choreographed and awkwardly-executed performances with their celebrity since they\u2019re not experts in the style the way they are with the ballroom dances.\n\n\n\n\nhttps:\/\/www.youtube.com\/watch?v=cv9W6F6iVYc\nRiker Lynch and Allison Holker (who is formally trained in contemporary) perform a proper contemporary routine on Dancing With the Stars\n\n\n\nAnother issue with contemporary on the show is head judge Len Goodman\u2019s disdain for the style. He really shouldn\u2019t be judging routines on whether or not he personally likes the assigned styles (the teams don\u2019t usually get to pick what they dance) but the fact of the matter is he has openly admitted to scoring lower because of it, creating another reason for contemporary to be a potential disadvantage for a team to have.\n\n\n\nJazz\n\n\n\nJazz gets many of the same complaints from DWTS fans as contemporary: permits lifts and allows the couples to do whatever they want. Only this time, these claims are absolutely warranted.\n\n\n\n\nhttps:\/\/www.youtube.com\/watch?v=Tp9kgtFcT5k\nAmy Purdy and Derek Hough perform a proper jazz (to actual jazz music!) on Dancing With the Stars\n\n\n\nLike contemporary, jazz as a style is very distinct from the ballroom dances and has its own syllabus of steps. However, unlike contemporary, DWTS has effectively decided to ignore all that and use \u201cjazz\u201d as an umbrella term for almost any style that isn\u2019t one of the previously mentioned ones. This is most often done with dances that should really be labeled as \u201chip-hop\u201d but has been for other styles as well.\n\n\n\n\nhttps:\/\/www.youtube.com\/watch?v=bdyTdQwbOCQ\nKel Mitchell and Witney Carson perform a jazz routine - with few true jazz steps - on Dancing With the Stars\n\n\n\nSo unlike with contemporary, pros don\u2019t need to be trained in actual jazz dance in order to succeed with that style assignment. It\u2019s like giving a couple an extra freestyle prior to the finals.\n\n\n\nOther Dance Styles\n\n\n\n\nhttps:\/\/www.youtube.com\/watch?v=fFW0XOfgpzw\nJames Hinchcliffe and Sharna Burgess perform a jitterbug on Dancing With the Stars\n\n\n\nA lot of fans have wondered why DWTS includes contemporary and jazz among the main styles when there are other ballroom styles they\u2019re not often using, such as swing, mambo, or jitterbug.\n\n\n\n\nhttps:\/\/www.youtube.com\/watch?v=Ef_KxKmX1BM\n Wany\u00e1 Morris and Lindsay Arnold perform their jazz routine - which is essentially just a re-creation of *NSYNC's "Bye Bye Bye" choreography (as was assigned to them) - on Dancing With the Stars\n\n\n\nThe most likely reason for contemporary and jazz being prioritized above these extra ballroom styles is music. These two styles - jazz in particular since it\u2019s basically DWTS\u2019s code for \u201cmiscellaneous\u201d - can use different music than the more rigid ballroom styles requiring a certain beat. This allows for the producers to have many more options for songs that can be used for routines on the show, and is most likely why we see these two styles so much on themed weeks such as Disney Night and especially "Famous Dances Night" on which the couples have been encouraged to copy the original choreography from iconic dance routines.\n\n\n\nShould They Stay or Should They Go?\n\n\n\n\nhttps:\/\/www.youtube.com\/watch?v=gF40P2SG0xU\nAriana Greenblatt and Artyon Celestie perform a jazz routine on Dancing With the Stars: Juniors. (Despite the music clearly being a hip-hop song, the judges later praised choreographer Brandon Armstrong on a rare case of including plenty of true jazz steps in addition to the hip-hop ones.)\n\n\n\nContemporary and jazz could work well on DWTS if there were enough cross-trained pros and they were required to stick to the syllabus like with the ballroom dances. Unfortunately, the wider music library their current form opens the show up to is probably way more valuable to producers than any of the benefits restrictions or elimination of the styles altogether could bring.\n\n\n\nDo you enjoy seeing contemporary and jazz routines on DWTS? Sound off in the comments below!