No concert, music video or award show performance is complete without a crew of skilled dancers. It’s the iconic choreographers, who bring that vision centerstage. In honor of International Choreographer’s Day, we compiled a list of a few of our favorite Black choreographers inside.
Dance adds the right touch to any performance. Choreographers are the masterful artists, who take these shows to the next level. Not only are they creating the movements, but they are the ones who teach the dancers. It takes a particular person to make sure that everyone hits each move to the right beat.
Choreographers possess a certain level of creativity that bring another necessary layer to live performance. Many of us remember learning the choreography to our favorite girl group’s music video, imagining that we could one day be just like those dancers. Without the notable choreographers who raise the bar with each routine, we might not have been inspired to have such huge aspirations.
Most fans are familiar with the greats like Alvin Ailey, who was a pioneer in the dance community. Ailey particularly focused on uplifting African American dancers. He went on to create one of the most popular dance schools for Black dance students with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.
There are countless Black choreographers, who have followed in Ailey’s dance shoes. It’s unfortunate that most choreographers go under the radar for their well crafted routines as their artists and dancers hit the stage. So, today we celebrate these amazing dancers.
Be sure to give them a follow and support their future in dance.
1. Laurie Ann Gibson
Source:Laurie Ann Gibson
Laurieann Gibson has a reputable name in the dance industry.
She gained notoriety after appearing on MTV’s Making the Band. She became one of the most sought-out choreographers in the world working with Michael Jackson, Alicia Keys, Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, Missy Elliot, Brandy, Cassie, and more.
Gibson now lends her talent as a creative visionary working behind Gaga’s hottest hits including “Just Dance” and “Poker Face,” as well as, Megan Thee Stallion’s many hits.
Her talents started at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, landed her the role as director of choreography for Motown Records and Bad Boy Records, and continue to give her opportunities with today’s hottest artists.
2. Fatima Robinson
Fatima Robinson is HER. Deemed by the New York Times as “one of the most sought-after hip-hop and popular music choreographers in the world,” Robinson’s creativity has produced some of the most legendary performances.
Her music video credits include Michael Jackson’s “Remember the Time,” Aaliyah’s “Rock the Boat,” Mary J. Blige’s “Family Affair,” and Black Eyed Peas’ “My Humps,” which won Best Hip-Hop Video at the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards. Along with these pop sensations, Robinson has worked with the likes of Meghan Trainor, Gwen Stefani, and Fergi.
She is the creative genius behind The Black Eyed Peas’ Super Bowl halftime show, Kendrick Lamar’s 2016 Grammy set, and The Weeknd’s Oscar performance of “Earned It.”
Robinson’s critically-acclaimed career landed her an invitation to choreograph Dr. Dre’s hit-filled halftime show that hit this year’s Super Bowl stage.
Entertainment Weekly has also named Robinson on their “100 Most Creative People in Entertainment” list.
3. Sean Bankhead
Sean Bankhead is certainly one the industry’s hottest choreographers with countless viral moves, gaining him millions of views on social media and beyond.
Bankhead choreography can be found in the music videos for Lil Nas X’s “Industry Baby,” Normani’s “Motivation” and “Wild Side,” and Sam Smith’s “Dancing with a Stranger.”
The beloved choreographer started as a dancer for Beyoncé and now works with the likes of Saweetie, Missy Elliot, Britney Spears, Drake, and H.E.R. His resume also includes concert tours, television, and film credits.
Bankhead’s most prolific choreography can be seen in Cardi B’s “Up.” Dancers across the world learned Bankhead’s iconic moves and joined in the viral #UpChallenge in the midst of the pandemic.
4. JaQuel Knight
JaQuel Knight has worked with an all-star lineup and birthed their most notable dance moves.
Knight has worked with Beyoncé since he was 18 years old and is the mastermind behind the “Single Ladies,” “Formation,” “Diva,” and “Drunk in Love” music videos. He also assisted with the choreography for Bey’s historic Homecoming performance at Coachella.
The veteran choreographer has worked with the likes of Chris Brown, Britney Spears, Kelly Rowland, Tinashe, and Brandy. He is also the creative genius behind Megan Thee Stallion’s “Body” choreography, which instantly became a viral sensation.
5. Jamaica Craft
Jamaica Craft booked her first gig as a dancer for MC Hammer. Since then, she has continued to work with the stars.
Craft has choreographed for a variety of artists including Ciara, 3LW, TLC, Ne-Yo, Nicki Minaj, John Legend, and more.
She most notably made her mark in the industry with Usher’s “Yeah!” and “New Flame”, Ciara’s “Promise,” ” Goodies,” and “Body Party,” and Justin Bieber’s “Baby” and “Boyfriend.”
Craft is the creative mind behind Tinashe’s world tour “Joyride,” and Starz’s hit show P Valley.
6. Debbie Allen
One of the most iconic entertainers of our time, Debbie Allen has continued to make her mark in the dance industry and beyond.
Allen is best known for her work as Executive Producer as well as a director and actress on ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy.” She is also an internationally recognized director, choreographer, author, dancer and actor.
She continues to be one of the most respected, relevant, and versatile talents in the entertainment industry. The Debbie Allen Dance Academy is a notable dance theater for the world’s leading dancers and entertainers.
7. Camille A. Brown
Source:Camille A. Brown
Camille A. Brown is a dancer, choreographer, director and dance educator. She is the Founder & Artistic Director of Camille A. Brown & Dancers, and has congruently choreographed commissioned pieces for dance companies, Broadway shows, and universities.
8. Teyana Taylor
We know her as an American singer, actress, dancer and choreographer. In 2005, she signed a record deal with Pharrell Williams’ Star Trak Entertainment imprint. Shortly after, she choreographed the music video for “Ring the Alarm” by Beyoncé.
An iconic entertainer, who continues to set forth on her own creative path.
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