JoJo Smith worked over six decades as one of the top dance instructors and was known as “the choreographer to the stars.” The dance legend passed away last week, and we look back at his life.
Smith was born July 20, 1938 in New York City to dancer parents Anna Margaret Grayson, and Joseph Benjamin Smith, and was raised in the Bronx. Along with work on eight Broadway productions, Smith taught notable students such as Debbie Allen and coached up Barbara Streisand for nightclub scene in “The Owl and The Pussycat” among others.
One of his other best known works was serving as the lead dance consultant for the disco classic film “Saturday Night Fever,” adding another feather to his cap. He also began JoJo’s Dance Factory alongside his ex-wife Sam Samuels, which is now known today as the Broadway Dance Center.
Smith is survived by five children, including his Emmy Award-winning tap dancer son, Jason Samuels Smith, who served as the lead in “Bring In Da’ Noise, Bring In Da’ Funk.” Grandchildren and a host of other relatives also survive him.
JoJo Smith was 80.