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Jeffrey Daniel

Jeffrey Daniel (often misspelled as Jeffrey Daniels) (born 24 August 1955, Los Angeles, California) is an American dancer and singer, most notable for being a member of the soul vocal group Shalamar.

Career

Daniel was the second(Bill Bailey being the first) person to perform the physically complicated dance technique now known as the "moonwalk" on television, during a performance of Shalamar's "A Night to Remember" on, the British music show, Top of the Pops. The song was a hit in 1982, almost a year before Michael Jackson moonwalked for the first time on the Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever television broadcast. Jackson was a big fan in the 1970s of Soul Train. He soon met, learned from, and later hired dancer/choreographers from the Soul Train TV show. Dance partners Geron "Casper" Candidate and Cooley Jackson taught Michael Jackson the moonwalk. Casper states that he still has the check stub Michael Jackson used to pay Cooley and himself for teaching Michael the moonwalk. The name "moonwalk" is one which was dubbed by the media, not by Jackson or Daniel.

Daniel became a renowned and respected pioneer of the West coast Street dance movement. He and his peers took a style of dance from the streets and clubs to the mainstream music and media world. The world saw a fusion of Jazz, Popping, Locking, Robotics, Waacking, House and Hip hop merged into effortless sequences of remarkable physical complexity.

During his career he has taught, worked and ranked alongside other friends and dance pioneers such as Shabba Doo, Geron Casper Candidate, Cooley Jackson, Poppin Pete and The Electric Boogaloos.

Daniel gives great credit to a man that inspired him, the original dance 'Locker' Don Campbell, one of the earliest Soul Train dancers. He also gives thanks to Cleveland Moses Jr. his partner on Soul Train and to Tyrone Proctor who was the premier 'Waack' dancer who taught Jeffrey the style of dance known as 'Waacking'. It was on Soul Trainwhilst doing a routine dressed in black that Daniel and Geron 'Casper' Candidate and Derek 'Cooley' Jackson first performed the moonwalk on U.S. television.

Daniel and his Soul Train dance partner Jody Watley, (whom he had known since she was twelve years old from church) along with Howard Hewett, became the world famous soul funk group - Shalamar. They had a multitude of hits such as "A Night to Remember", "I Can Make You Feel Good", "There It Is", "Friends", and others.

On June 13, 1980, Daniel married R&B singer Stephanie Mills, but they shortly divorced.

In 1982, Daniel performed a body popping and locking routine which saw the debut of the moonwalk in the United Kingdom on Top of The Pops.In the 1980s, Daniel had become something of a style icon with his everchanging hair styles and unique dress sense. He was often seen on the London club scene with the likes of Bananarama, Wham and Culture Club.

After seven years, millions of albums sales, and tours around the world, Shalamar performed at London's Wembley Arena and went their separate ways in 1984. Soon after, Daniel took on the role of 'Electra' in Andrew Lloyd Webber's new West End musical Starlight Express which involved wild costumes with complex choreography on roller skates.

Also in 1984 Daniel appeared in the Paul McCartney movie Give My Regards to Broad Street displaying his signature robotic or marionette-like dancing style (with McCartney, his wife Linda McCartney and members of the band Toto made up as marionettes) to the Wings hit, "Silly Love Songs".

By 1987, Daniel was working with Michael Jackson who had always been a fan of Daniel's dance style since watching him on Soul Train in the 1970s. He was hired as co-choreographer on the "Bad" and "Smooth Criminal" videos in which he also starred with his 'dance brother's Geron " Casper" Candidate and Cooley Jackson.

He was later employed as a creative and choreography consultant on his world tours and the video Ghosts. Daniel's music and dance expertise was then employed when he became a consultant at the MJJ Productions record label to whom Brownstone, 3T and Men of Vision were signed. Michael Jackson flew Daniel back to live in the United States from Japan where Danel had taken up residence since leaving the United Kingdom.

Today, Daniel works and lives between London and Osaka, Japan. He is a fluent speaker and writer of the Japanese language with a fair grasp of Cantonese. He still continues to perform, choregraph, produce, and compose with some of the biggest names in showbusiness. He has worked with, amongst others Babyface, LL Cool J, Paul McCartney and Vanessa Williams.

References

External links

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