Lyrical dance involves combined techniques of traditional ballet and jazz, incorporating graceful and fluid movements focused on expressing emotion. Choreography involves more modern movements and is usually more fast-paced than ballet, but not as fast as jazz.
Lyrical has been considered a “pseudo genre”, as it uses specific training and stylized techniques from other genres with a modernized spin.
Contemporary is a modern dance style that also borrows elements of many different styles of dance, including classical, modern, and jazz. Contemporary dance pieces also use the controlled legwork of ballet with the improvisation and dramatic movements of modern dance.
Contemporary dance was made popular by Merce Cunningham, who created a dance company in 1953 to house various modern styles.
Please note that ballet is a prerequisite for both lyrical and contemporary students.