Sue Samuels

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Sue Samuels
Sue Samuels

(1949-05-15)May 15, 1949
OccupationDancer, choreographer, teacher, artistic director
Years active1973 – present
Partner(s)JoJo Smith (separated)
ChildrenJason Samuels Smith[1] and Elka Samuels Smith[2]

Sue Samuels (born May 15, 1949) is an American dancer, choreographer, master jazz teacher and performer. She is the founder and artistic director of Jazz Roots Dance Company.[3]

Early career[edit]

At the age of 13 Samuels started her dance training in 1962. This began at the Broward Civic Ballet in Florida. She became this company's first soloist. performing here for six years.[4] She studied in New York with Madame Swoboda of the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo.[5] Samuels developed a multi discipline practice by simultaneously studying jazz dance with JoJo Smith, Frank Hatchett and Michael Shawn, tap with Judy Bassing and Kathy Burke, and voice with William Daniel Grey and Susan Edwards.[6]


Samuels is the founder and artistic director of Jazz Roots Dance Company, which was formed in 2009 to preserve and promote the classic jazz dance style. She considers choreography the foundation of her practice and almost all of the Jazz Roots Dance Company repertory is arranged by her.[7] While preserving her own works she also maintains performance of significant pieces by choreographers including Luigi, Matt Maddox, Phil Black, Bob Fosse, Jack Cole, Ron Lewis among others.[8] The company’s First Season and Gala at the Peridance Capezio Center was produced by Samuels and Jazz Roots Dance embarked on a tour to Los Angeles.[9][10]

Samuels co-founded JoJo’s Dance Factory in New York City, which she co-owned with JoJo Smith for ten years. This establishment evolved into Broadway Dance Center.[11] She established the children's jazz program at Fort Lauderdale Ballet in Florida where she was also director of the Jazz Department, simultaneously running her own dance teaching program in Boca Raton. for five years.[12]

She has choreographed works for dance companies in Japan, Finland, and Brazil.[13][14]

In 2016 a multimedia stage show called Jazz on the West Side which used new interpretations of songs from West Side Story featured choreography by Sue Samuels.[15][16][17]


Having taught dance since the 80s, Samuels is well established in the New York performing arts community where she is viewed as having "legendary status".[18] Dance Teacher magazine wrote, "Samuels has been a jazz staple on the New York dance scene—teaching, performing and choreographing for 40 years."[19] She is often drafted to mentor and coach international dance professionals. Past students include Melba Moore, Brooke Shields, and Irene Cara.[14][20]

Sue is also proclaimed as one of the most legendary dance teachers of NYC by Backstage magazine. Praised for the strong, ballet infused technique she instills within her students globally.[21]

In order to give students experience of live performance, she also organises student groups twice annually with fellow dancer and choreographer Kat Wildish.[22][23]

She has been on the faculty at Broadway Dance Center since 1986[24] and also teaches at Peridance Capezio Center,[25] both in New York City. She has also taught at The Ailey Extension for many years.[26]

Samuels was commissioned to teach at New York University in the Cap 21 program with theater majors, as well as Olympic instructors in Tokyo, Japan.[20] She has taught at The Broward Civic Ballet, Frank Hatchett’s Professional Children’s Program, Dance Masters Association, and The Dance Company of Haiti.[27]

Selected works and performances[edit]

Choreographed works[edit]

  • Got Tu Go Disco, Minskoff Theater on Broadway (lead dancer and assistant choreographer)[28][29]
  • 5th Dimension Show, Uris Theater, Broadway (lead dancer, assistant choreographer, costume designer)[30][31]

Television credits[edit]

  • The Arthritis Telethon with Melba Moore – dancer, choreographer (1973-1974)[32]
  • Zoom – CBS – TV Montreal, Dancer (1973-1974)[20]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Jazz Dance Pro Sue Samuels on Raising a Male Dancer - My Son Can Dance". My Son Can Dance. 30 April 2011. Retrieved 5 March 2018.
  2. ^ "About Us". Retrieved 29 March 2018.
  3. ^ "Jazz Roots Dance Company". Retrieved 5 March 2018.
  4. ^ "Jazz Roots Dance - Bios". Retrieved 5 March 2018.
  5. ^ "Looking for information on Maria Swoboda!!!!!". Ballet Alert!. Retrieved 7 March 2018.
  6. ^ "Meet the Director". Retrieved 11 March 2018.
  7. ^ "Sue Samuels, Master Jazz Teacher Talks About Being on Broadway and All Things Jazz". 3 February 2011. Retrieved 11 March 2018.
  8. ^ "The Jazz Breakdown". Dance Spirit. 1 April 2014. Retrieved 5 March 2018.
  9. ^ "Jazz Roots Dance - About". Retrieved 5 March 2018.
  10. ^ "Jazz Roots Dance - Review". Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  11. ^ "Meet Sue Samuels and Jazz Roots Dance Company". Hatch Presenting Series. 5 May 2016. Retrieved 5 March 2018.
  12. ^ "Astrid Audet Academy of Ballet & More Ballet Classes for Adults". Astrid Audet Academy of Ballet & More. Retrieved 5 March 2018.
  13. ^ "A vez do Jazz Dance". (in Portuguese). Retrieved 11 March 2018.
  14. ^ a b "9 Legendary NYC Dance Teachers". Retrieved 5 March 2018.
  15. ^ "Sue Samuels Preparing for JAZZ ON THE WESTSIDE". Dance Mogul Magazine. 30 September 2014. Retrieved 5 March 2018.
  16. ^ "Fast Forward - Dixon Place". Dixon Place. Retrieved 11 March 2018.
  17. ^ "Jazz on the West Side". Retrieved 11 March 2018.
  18. ^ "Dance Teacher magazine quotes". Dance Teacher. Retrieved 3 January 2020.
  19. ^ "Dance Teacher magazine profile". Dance Teacher. Retrieved 2 January 2020.
  20. ^ a b c Sebastian, John. "Jazz Roots Spring Season Dance Performances". Retrieved 11 March 2018.
  21. ^
  22. ^ Desk, BWW News. "Kat Wildish Presents NY Showcase at Ailey Citigroup Theater, 11/28-29". Retrieved 5 March 2018.
  23. ^ "Kat Wildish Presents Performing in New York Showcase". Time Out New York. Retrieved 5 March 2018.
  24. ^ "Basic BROADWAY JAZZ with Sue Samuels". Broadway Dance Center. 16 February 2018. Retrieved 5 March 2018.
  25. ^ "Peridance Capezio Center". Retrieved 5 March 2018.
  26. ^ "the Ailey extension class schedule" (PDF). The Ailey School. Retrieved 5 March 2018.
  27. ^ "Teacher Sue Samuels". Retrieved 11 March 2018.
  28. ^ "Person List". Playbill. Retrieved 7 March 2018.
  29. ^ "Preservation Call: Jazz Dance". Retrieved 5 March 2018.
  30. ^ "The Fifth Dimension with Jo Jo's Dance Factory - 1974 Broadway Tickets, Reviews, News, Info, Photos, Videos". Retrieved 7 March 2018.
  31. ^ "The Fifth Dimension with Jo Jo's Dance Factory Broadway @ Uris Theatre Playbill". Playbill. Retrieved 7 March 2018.
  32. ^ "The JoJo Smith Dancers 1973". 1 April 2014. Retrieved 11 March 2018.
  33. ^ "1971 Arrow Dress Shirts Office Football Commercial". 27 March 2016. Retrieved 5 March 2018.
  34. ^ "Dr. Pepper Commercial - I'M A PEPPER - David Naughton". 2 March 2008. Retrieved 11 March 2018.