Is Jazzing a Coloured Thing?


If you are Coloured, you KNOW what Jazzing is. If you are not Coloured, but have attended a Coloured wedding, or frequented a predominately Coloured nightclub / supper club / bar – chances are you’ve seen the art of Jazzing. To sum it up, I guess we can call Jazzing a dance style or technique, usually (not always) to an R&B beat. It’s actually beautiful to watch if the couple know what they are doing and there are very few Coloured people who don’t Jazz. My husband being one of them – but he doesn’t dance at all, so we’ll exclude him from this discussion.

So I was wondering if Jazzing is a Coloured thing? I don’t recall having seen anyone else Jazz at a place where music is played and people dance. Does anyone know it’s origins? I love to dance, although as I get older I must admit that I dance less. But this is, of course, because the places I frequent don’t lend themselves to dancing. You don’t see any people dancing in the aisles in Spur or Papachino’s, I can assure you. If we do happen to be at a wedding or a party, the other factor is that my husband doesn’t dance at all, so I’m always at the mercy of my girlfriends who need to rest their feet, so I steal their partners for a swing or two.

I am no Jazz professional, I know the basic step, but the wonderful thing about it is that if your partner knows what he (or she – Coloured women are not afraid to lang-arm with each other!) is doing, you can really wipe that dance floor with a rag AND it’s an amazing workout on the calves! I intend to teach my son to Jazz as soon as he can string a two-step together, because I need me a partner; there’s just something about being able to dance and sing along to the words of a song you love, isn’t there?

For those of you who aren’t sure what I am talking about, R.Kelly in his Happy People video has people dancing alongside the ramp. It’s kinda/sorta like that – lots of footwork and lots of twirling and swirling!

And just for fun, this is one of my all time favourite songs to Jazz to, wait for the beat to come in around 46 seconds. What a classic and takes me back to many a family function, dancing with my Dad.

Coloured people, I’m claiming this as part of our heritage and culture!

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17 thoughts on “Is Jazzing a Coloured Thing?”

  1. I’m thinking…heritage day this year, Imma come into work jazzing…people always ask what our culture is and I don’t have a clue!!! I definitely think that jazzing is a coloured thing 🙂

  2. It is definitely a coloured thing 🙂 When I first told D about jazzing, he had no idea – then again, we didn’t know if it was because he’s white or non-South African 🙂 Now I can safely tell him!

    “In my day” we used to jazz to Basha…. do you remember her?

    1. Oh my word Marcia! My sister and I Youtubed Basia – what good memories! That was before my time but with 3 older siblings I know this music well! Blast from the Past!

  3. Definately a coloured thing.Black people don’t jazz!We drink at functions.Aint got no time for that.Hehehehehe.

    We however exempt Benedicta Mahlangu in this occassion.I have a funny suspicion that she Jazzes!LOL

  4. Jazzing is also definitely a white-girl-grew-up-in-Cape-Town-with-Coloured-Friends kinda thing! i can Jazz, my brother can Jazz, my cousin can Jazz!

  5. Jazzing should not be compared to “lang arm”………………………….. ever!
    Jazzing is way, way, way cooler and coordinated than lang arm can ever hope to be.

  6. hey guy, hope everyone had an awesome new year as 2016 kicked in, i am Greg and grew up in kzn,pmb and as a indian we jazzed at a niteclub called Sticky fingers – 1998 onwards and we called in jazzing..

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