Thursday, June 6, 2013

For the Girl

J-Setting is a highly stylized modern lead and follow style of hip hop dance, characterized by cheerleading style sharp movements to an eight-beat count music. 

Popular in southern U.S. African American gay clubs, like the vogue style before it, it became popular by exposure in a pop music video, this time the 2008 BeyoncĂ© Knowles single "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)." 

In 1970, former majorette Shirley Middleton became troupe leader of the Jackson State University cheerleading group, The Prancing Jaycettes. Middleton wanted something different, and so threw away their batons, and began dancing in formation. Based on a classical cheerleader eight-beat style, the signature thrusts, pumps, and high kicks were developed into a lead-and-follow "wave" through the troupe.

However, the style was strictly reserved for women only until 1997, when male troupe baton twirling member DeMorris Adams was asked to fill in for an injured female troupe member. After this, although the performing troupe was still female, the crowd supporters started to grow from the college's gay community.
J-Setting has now developed into a culture, with a distinct dress style. There are now J-Setting troupes, where groups of young gay men imitate cheerleaders with coordinated uniforms of sequined one- and two-piece leotards, with long flowing capes, sheer stockings and white marching boots. 

At gay cultural events, squads of J-Setters compete in dance-offs.


Some of the most popular J-Setting teams include: Jackson's Male Prancing J-Settes (MPJ); Memphis Elite; Atlanta’s J-Phi; Dallas Diamonds; Baton Rouge Xtreme; Nashville’s Music City All-Starz; and Grambling, La.’s X-Men.