Wayne James is a dancer, choreographer, filmmaker and DJ, he is well credited as being one of the main pioneers of the UK Jazz Dance scene and setting the bench
mark to what the style has become today. He started dancing in the early 80s in his hometown and place of birth Leeds, West Yorkshire. After being a regular fixture in
the local clubs and parties, Wayne started his first dance Group/ Company named The Firm. There dance style was based on funk, disco, boogie, jazz – funk, soul and
jazz. This eclectic mix of styles grew from within the group and eventually they concentrated mainly on Funk Fusion and Jazz Fusion, which become their main style of dancing.
Wayne soon moved to London where he was looking to improve his technical understanding of movement and dance, winning a scholarship to attend West Street and the prestigious Urdang Academy, Covent Garden. This time in full time dance training was spent working on building a strong foundation in which to improve and adapt his street jazz style of dance.
While at Urdang Wayne co-formed a new company called the Brothers in Jazz, which incorporated all the technique learnt in dance school, putting it into street jazz
and UK Be-Bop Style was born. Be Bop heavily emphasized precision, power, speed, control, musicality and style and soon spread across the clubs of London, the UK and beyond.
Brothers in Jazz went on to do shows in Europe, Japan and the USA ranging from theatre, television, documentaries, film, commercials and more…. Within this time
Wayne started teaching student’s in Japan and Europe the styles of Be Bop and UK Jazz passing on the UK’s first street jazz dance and now adding music and film to is
body of work, Wayne is considered a living embodiment of the style and history of the dance.
At the top of the page stands Masumi Endo, a talented a multifaceted artist known for her prowess as a dancer, choreographer, and dedicated teacher.
Originating from Japan, Masumi’s profound love for dance was kindled during her time at the International Dance College Tokyo Steps Arts. It was there that she was first captivated by the vibrant UK jazz dance culture, an encounter that would shape the course of her artistic journey. Masumi’s remarkable talent led her to triumph in the fiercely competitive Boppin Jive Grand Championship, an esteemed event showcasing the electrifying UK jazz dance style. Fueled by a relentless desire to evolve, she fearlessly embarked on a new chapter by relocating to the United Kingdom.
Masumi has had the honor of collaborating with iconic UK jazz dancers, including the esteemed Brothers In Jazz, the dynamic IDJ, the spirited JazzCotech, and the revered Steinway Artist and musician, Robert Mitchell. Her performances have graced the stages of prestigious international Jazz and Performing Arts Festivals, leaving an indelible impression on audiences . From the celebrated London Jazz Festival to the Norway Bergen Art Fest, Edinburgh Fringe, the soul-stirring Jazz Refound in Italy, the groundbreaking Jazz Rewired in the UK, and the grandeur of the Guildhall Big Band Concert, Masumi has woven her artistic tapestry across the globe.
As a performer and choreographer, Masumi’s unwavering dedication to the art form extends to her role as an educator. Her expertise and passion have earned her invitations as a guest lecturer at universities and the opportunity to conduct workshops in local communities brimming with adoration for jazz. Committed to nurturing aspiring dancers, Masumi devotes herself to teaching regular classes in the vibrant city of London.
In her classes, Masumi creates an inclusive and dynamic environment that encourages students to explore their own creative expression and cultivate their unique style. She serves as a bridge between music and dance, allowing the essence of jazz to permeate every fiber of her being. Embracing the exhilarating energy of jam sessions, she thrives on the art of improvisation and the boundless possibilities of artistic expression within the realm of jazz music. With each choreographic creation, Masumi endeavors to share the profound spirit of jazz, fostering a harmonious fusion of music and dance that transcends boundaries and inspires a new generation of passionate performers to embrace the timeless allure of this captivating genre.