HOMETOWN: New York, New York
BEST KNOWN FOR: Tap
Jason Samuels Smith is an influential tap dance performer, choreographer, and instructor. He is an award winning choreographer, and has appeared as a guest performer on many popular dance TV shows. His influence on tap has been felt world wide and Shreveport, Louisiana has dubbed April, 23rd “Jason Samuels” day.
- Born on October 4, 1980.
- Parents were professional performing artists Sue Samuels and JoJo Smith.
- Began formal dance lessons at age 7.
- Began his professional performing career at an early age through Frank Hatchett’s Professional Children’s Program at the Broadway Dance Center in New York City.
- At a young age he had appearances on Sesame Street and at the age of 15 landed a position as an understudy to the leading role in Tony Award Winning Broadway show Bring in ‘Da Noise, Bring in ‘Da Funk.
- Won both an Emmy and American Choreography Award for “Outstanding Choreography” for the opening number of the 2003 Jerry Lewis/MDA Telethon. The number was a tribute to the late Gregory Hines.
- Was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation by the City of Los Angeles for creating the First Annual Los Angeles Tap Festival in 2003.
- The City of Shreveport, Louisiana has a Proclamation declaring April 23 “Jason Samuels Day”.
- In 2004, Samuels Smith co-starred in Dean Hargrove’s award-winning short film Tap Heat.
- In 2007 received the Gregory Hines Humanitarian Award among others.
- Was a featured dancer in HBO/Universal Pictures release of Outkast’s feature film Idlewild.
- Debbie Allen has featured his dancing in several productions including the AMC television series Cool Women, Sammy (a tribute to the life of Sammy Davis Jr.), and in a leading role of Soul Possessed with Patti LaBelle, Arturo Sandoval, and Carmen DeLavallade.
- Founded tap company A.C.G.I. (Anybody Can Get It) as well as JaJa Productions band featuring original jazz-influenced hip hop music, with appearances throughout the United States.
Primary source: Jason Samuels Smith (Wikipedia).
Jason Samuels Smith guest starring on So You Think You Can Dance.