JaQuel Knight Fights To Copyright His Iconic Dance Moves And Wants To Help Other Dancers Do The Same
“Mike WiLL Made-It is making millions, millions [as producer of ] ‘Formation,’ ” reasoned Knight. “And I’m still here on a weekly [rate]?”
The artist is used to the idea that after you create something for them, it’s theirs — that they should be able to perform it around the world for millions of people forever,”
He needed a tool that would empower him to not only get better compensation and credit but also formally recognize him as a capital-C Creator.
Who Is JaQuel Knight?
JaQuel Knight, who has worked with Beyonce since he was 18-years old, is the man behind some of her most memorable dance moves and shows. If you have ever danced to Bey’s “Put a Ring On It,” “Formation,” or sat memorized by “BeyChella,” then you are familiar with his work.
FIGHT FOR COPYRIGHT
JaQuel Knight is on a mission to make sure that not only his work as a choreographer but his peers' work is respected and compensated the same way other creatives are.
Knight told Billboard that while Mike Will Made-It makes millions from producing Beyonce's "Formation," he is still working on a weekly rate. That is the reason he started thinking about ways to protect himself and his craft.
"The artist is used to the idea that after you create something for them, it's theirs — that they should be able to perform it around the world for millions of people forever," says Knight."
Since music videos have moved away from TV to Youtube, Instagram, and TikTok, the dance moves created around songs are so much more important. The right dance challenge can get you the #1 song on the music charts. If an artist does not want to hope and pray that a fan makes up a viral dance, then they use choreographers to create a dance that hopefully everyone wants to do. There should be fair compensation and credit for the person behind that dance move since sometimes it's the moves that make songs popular. When you think about it, TikTokers get more credit for the dances they create than top choreographers, who are often in the background.
"We're left to the life of Instagram posts and Twitter to prove we did the work, which is sad,"
Per Billboard Knight, "Needed a tool that would empower him to not only get better compensation and credit but also formally recognize him as a capital-C Creator." That is when JaQuel started looking into copyright protection. Dance is protectable under copyright law, though many choreographers were unaware of this before JaQuel began working on registering his work.
SINGE LADIES IS THE FIRST OF MANY
On July 9th, JaQuel, with his manager's help and an attorney, successfully registered the "Single Ladies" choreography. According to the article, this makes him the first commercial choreographer in pop music to succeed in doing so for his work. After the success of registering "Single Ladies," JaQuel is now looking
into copyrighting six of his other movements, which include his choreography for Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion's "WAP."
JaQuel is not only working on registering his choreography but helping other dancers do the same. He is forming a publishing company for choreographers. Knight says, "I don't want to hit steps every day for the rest of my life. So how can I share this knowledge with everyone else and start to build something even my kids can live off of?"
I love to see people pay it forward and give back to the craft that has allowed them to live a blessed lifestyle.
To read the full article, where you can find out more about the process, CLICK PHOTO BELOW.
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