BIG BODY: Experimental J-Sette Performance Workshop

BIG BODY: Experimental J-Sette Performance Workshop

J-Sette, also known as Bucking, is a performance style popular in the southern United States, practiced widely among majorettes and drill teams at historically Black colleges and universities, and also among teams of primarily queer men who compete in gay clubs and pride festivals. The workshop focuses on bombastic performance energy, complex relationships to rhythm and music, movement precision, group dynamics, and discovering joy in flesh and community. We will explore how the performance of J-Sette creates expectations around attention and accountability to a community, and how it positions leadership.  All bodies are encouraged to participate, regardless of previous training or ability.

This class is often taught in partnership with Jermone Donte Beacham, bio below.

 

captured from video by Stefanie Suchy

 

 

Jermone Donte Beacham

Dancing has been in my blood since I can remember. “Dance, when you’re broken open. Dance, if you’ve torn the bandage off. Dance in the middle of the fighting. Dance in your blood. Dance when you’re perfectly free”, by Jalaluddin Rumi is a quote that has always guided me. This is what I do. It started off with hip hop dancing for my high school — I began to recognize my skill and talent. After 4 years of that, I was introduced to the world of J-Setting by women. J-Sette historically refers to Jackson State University’s female drill team that began in the 1970s. They “created” the dance style, and thus far have made it a distinctive form of dance. I was interested in this type of dance, but not entirely until I saw a group of males performing it. At that point, I claimed the style for myself and perfected it on my body. I began solo and eventually joined and initiated different groups. Currently, I have my own J-Sette line, Mystic Force (initiated in Jackson, MS, currently in Dallas, TX), and plan to increase our already considerable renown in this style of dance in our community, and eventually internationally. Previously, I served as co-captain of Dallas’ Texas Teasers. I have participated and competed in several events and competitions, including 2 SetteItOff video challenges, Atlanta Pride 2010, Tennessee Classics 2009, and Memphis Pride 2008. In 2015, I was named New Legendary by the Meet Me on the Dance Floor J-Sette council, and have gained many titles since then, such as, Best Dancer and Most Entertaining. Since 2011, I have been involved as an artistic collaborator with contemporary choreographer, Jumatatu Poe, through Philadelphia’s idiosynCrazy productions. Our studies have been relentless, yet very rewarding.