What started off as an innovative way to break free from traditional baton twirling has turned into a dance phenomenon, inspiring the likes of Ciara and Beyoncé. J-setting is a unique form of dance, originating in the 1970s when the ladies of the Jackson State University band traded their batons for a creative dance style that would not limit them physically. Today, J-setting has become a sensation, making its way into pop culture and finding legions of fans.


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Mrs. Kathryn Pinkston-Worthy, center, 1979

Image result for 1986 prancing j-settes images

Dance is a powerful, personal form of self-expression. A new film tells a story about dancers overcoming prejudice and fear to express themselves with a style of dance called “bucking.”

That movie, called “When the Beat Drops,” opens this year’s Out on Film Festival.

Bucking was derived from moves developed by the Jackson State University Prancing J-Settes dance team, and adapted by gay men around the Southeast. The documentary focuses on the bucking scene in Atlanta from the 1980s to present.

Dancer Anthony Davis is the primary subject of the film and recalls seeing the J-Settes for the first time as a member of his school’s marching band.

“To see the grace, the dynamics, the agility of these young ladies doing things that I knew that guys were not supposed to do was just extraordinary,” Davis tells City Lights host Lois Reitzes, “and I loved it from the first day that I seen it.”



Prancing J- Settes Auditions will be held April 5-7, 2019. Application deadline will be March 20th, 2019. For more information please visit www.sonicboomofthesouth.com

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The J-Settes were the first squad to wear body suits and wind-suits at halftime, pep rallies, parades and cold weather. Other squads copied and followed suit.

J-Settes 1989, routine begins @8:55                    

J-Settes - 1995
J-Settes - 2016

DancingBear said:

The Prancing J-Settes gave us, Bucking, Stunting, Multiple costume changes, halftime, after halftime and each game, a new costume for Homecoming and rival games, call and response dancing in the stands... (8 counts), entering the field from the visitor's side of the field by hiding behind band members before a performance. One of the first HBCU Dance Teams to perform wearing character shoes. A different routine each home game. The Captain holding up fingers telling the team what to do when marching. Walking hand and hand (chain). Every HBCU dance team has copied what the Prancing J-Settes were doing in the 70's, 80's and 90's! The Prancing J-Settes message to other HBCU Dance Teams is, "Been there done that."

"Do Whatcha Wanna"


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