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Jamar Roberts: Got to Dance

Jamar Roberts:  Got to Dance



Introduction to Jamar Roberts.  3:55 min.  Photos:  Andrew Eccles.  Raymond Elman.  Dance Video Sequence:  MOONLIGHT by Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.  A new film from director Anna Rose Holmer, known for her 2016 drama The Fits, captures a unique collaboration between New York’s Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Academy Award-nominated composer Nicholas Britell. Choreographed by the theater’s artistic director Robert Battle, dancers Jamar Roberts, Christopher Taylor and Jeremy T. Villas play out a blue-lit movement to a euphoric score by Britell, the mind behind the soundtrack of the Golden Globe award-winning drama of the same name.


Jamar Roberts was born and raised in the Miami area, and started dancing at the age of ten.  He graduated from the New World School of the Arts, and trained at the Dance Empire of Miami, where he continues to teach, and as a fellowship student at The Ailey School.  Mr. Roberts was a member of Ailey II and Complexions Contemporary Ballet.  Dance Magazine featured Roberts as a “25 to Watch” in 2007 and on the cover of the magazine in 2013.  He performed at The White House in 2010, and as a guest star on So You Think You Can DanceDancing with the Stars, and The Ellen Degeneres Show. In 2015 he made his Ailey II choreographic debut with his work Gemeos, set to the music of Afrobeat star Fela Kuti. Most recently, Mr. Roberts won Outstanding Performer at the prestigious New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Awards and was a guest star with London’s Royal Ballet. He first joined the the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 2002.

The videos below are organized by topic and run between 60 seconds and 9 minutes. Click on any video. You must be connected to the Internet to view the videos.




What was your path from Middle School to being one of the featured dancers at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater?



What caused you to leave Alvin Ailey, and what did you do after you left?



How did you injure your back?



What was it like to recover from your back injury?



Do you know what you want to do when you retire from active dancing?


CURIOUS MIND:  1:36 min.

You seem like an educated, articulate, well-rounded person. Given that top-tier dancers don’t normally go to college, where did your education come from?