Did Bob Fosse choreograph “Single Ladies?”

Beyonce is blowing up social media with her stunning photograph posing with newborn twins, Rumi and Sir. Most will agree that Beyonce is a queen herself—especially when it comes to dancing. But did you know that one of her top music videos, “Single Ladies,” draws inspiration from another dance “king?” We all memorized the awesome music video choreography when it aired on MTV nearly ten years ago. Yet, many of these iconic steps were not so innovative—In fact, they date back to the hullabaloo-inspired jazz funk of the 1960s. Take a look at Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” (2008) and “Mexican Breakfast” (1969)—a trio choreographed for Gwen Verdon by her husband (one Bob Fosse) for The Ed Sullivan Show almost forty years prior.

Inspiration is everywhere. And, copyright issues aside, today’s “greats” pay homage to those legends that came before them. Knowing a bit about where a dance style or step came from can help inform your understanding and performance of the movement. Beyonce’s revival of 60’s jazz funk makes me wonder…Does any style of dance really ever go “out of style?”

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