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A jazz run
is a special technique in marching band
Marching band is a physical activity in which a group of instrumental musicians generally perform outdoors and incorporate some type of marching with their musical performance. Instrumentation typically includes brass, woodwinds, and percussion instruments...
and drum corps
A drum and bugle corps, also known as a drum corps, is a musical marching unit consisting of brass instruments, percussion instruments, and color guard. Typically operating as independent non-profit organizations, drum corps perform in competitions, parades, festivals, and other civic functions...
that is used to counter a dip in height usually experienced when covering long distances at speeds that are impractical for standard marching techniques. Although all marching styles are different, a jazz run sometimes involves starting each step with a straight leg and leading with the toes, then bending the leg as it comes beneath the body, while other times, is involves keeping the legs straight and simply taking a larger step size "gliding" across larger distances.
These "jazz runs" are different from traditional marching techniques such as the roll step (also known as Glide step)which usually involve keeping both legs as straight as possible and leading each step with the heel. Another common step used by marching bands (especially college marching bands) which involves bending the legs and making sure that the toe is the first part of the foot to leave and to touch the ground. With jazzruns however, bending the legs or taking larger steps, can yield greater distances while maintaining balance and without bouncing. In marching band and drum corp, the model used for step size is an 8 to 5 which means that 8 steps are taken to go five yards (the distance between yard lines). A jazz run usually is not used unless the step size becomes 4 to 5 or larger, but if the distance covered with this step size is small enough, it is possible to traverse it using traditional marching technique but it may feel or look awkward.