Fashion

Megan Thee Stallion’s Choreographer JaQuel Knight on That Epic AMAs Performance

Hits: 4

Megan Thee Stallions Choreographer JaQuel Knight on That Epic AMAs Performance

Photo: Emilio Coochie

Having a diverse skill set allows Knight to pull off arresting moments like Megan’s American Music Awards set, which utilized video, dramatic transparent costumes, and a smoke-filled stage to set a mood. When he began working with the artist at the tail end of 2019, he was keen on taking her live performances to the next level. “It’s just teaching her stage etiquette, “ he explains. “The tools required for superstardom, to become a household name, and soar freely on and off the stage.” The dance was an essential element, one that required daily practices that began in the wee hours. “There has to be a commitment to the art form; it all starts with them,” Knight says of the line between a good and great performer. “Meghan is putting in the hours, she’s working hard, and this is all happening incredibly fast for her. Because she’s such a natural, it can look easy, but this is a first for her, and she’s learned so much about how to execute [a performance] on a high level.” 

She may have gone from college student to hip hop superstar seemingly overnight, but when it came time to master the physically demanding choreography for “Body,” Megan was up to the challenge. A mix of NOLA bounce and stomp and shake styles, the routine ranks among Knight’s best—a version of it is featured in Megan’s music video for the song as well—and was a 180 from some of the star’s previous performances. “[Before] we saw one side of Megan with the twerking, and that’s kind of where people were starting to write her off,” says Knight. “My goal was to allow people to realize that she’s so much more than that.” Pushing into new territory wasn’t always easy. “There were some things that she was terrified of,” he says of the rig that descended from the ceiling in the show’s opening, and tackling new styles of dance. “To see her commit to the process and to doing whatever it takes to deliver that knockout, stellar performance was beautiful. She’s not playing—we put on a show like nothing we’d ever done before.” 

With the #Bodyodychallenge already spreading on TikTok and Instagram, Knight’s work appears to be done, but there’s plenty more he’s eager to tackle soon—TV, film, music, it’s all on the table as long as it connects with his audience. “My biggest thing is creating formats that speak to people who love the arts,” he says. “The sky is the limit; in the last 12 years, I’ve been able to do so much, but I’m just getting started—this is the only the introduction, my opening number.” 

Below, Knight shows Vogue a few behind-the-scenes moments from the rehearsals for last night’s performance.

Megan Thee Stallions Choreographer JaQuel Knight on That Epic AMAs Performance

Knight backstage during rehearsals.

Megan Thee Stallions Choreographer JaQuel Knight on That Epic AMAs Performance

“This takes place at the beginning of the first hook. Here we see the dancers strutting forward, off of the platforms.”

Megan Thee Stallions Choreographer JaQuel Knight on That Epic AMAs Performance

“This is at the beginning of the second hook and the move is inspired from New Orleans movement, The NOLA Bounce.”

Megan Thee Stallions Choreographer JaQuel Knight on That Epic AMAs Performance

“The group groovin’ and rockin’ during the second pocket of the second verse.”

Megan Thee Stallions Choreographer JaQuel Knight on That Epic AMAs Performance

“This is called the Stomp & Shake and it’s from HBCU (Historically Black College and University) culture.”

Continue Reading

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

eight + 13 =