Aretha Franklin

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When most people think of Aretha Franklin, they think of one of the greatest voices of all time and for good reason.

When Aretha sings, her voice hits an emotional and even spiritual level. It’s for this reason that some people can’t just sit down and listen.

Dancers and movers alike have to get up and express themselves.

One early example of Aretha’s dance influence came from her 1971 song “Rock Steady.” Aretha performed the song on Soul Train and it definitely got the party started once the Soul Train line was formed. With Aretha’s voice in the background, dancers could practice their two-step, their locking and any other move they wanted to show to the world. Check out some of the heat below!


Aretha wasn’t afraid to keep up with the times. Even though she’ll forever be immortalized for songs like “Respect” and “Chain of Fools,” Aretha knew how to keep the party going with whatever was hot at the time.

Just take her house-infused “A Deeper Love,” which was apart of the Sister Act 2 soundtrack. The 90s generation in the video certainly didn’t have a problem jamming to Aretha:


Aretha’s dance culture influence continues to this day. Her song “Jump to It” recently had dancers on Instagram showing off their various styles, including Lil Buck


Trent Jeray




And Marcus Mayhem:


But don’t think all of Aretha’s danceable songs are for the upbeat.

Other dancers opt for the slower gems that bring out the pure spirituality of Aretha’s voice. Just watch the performance below to Aretha’s “Mary, Don’t You Weep” at the African World Festival in Detroit:

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Last Thursday we received news that the Queen of Soul had passed away. @lisa_mccall1 had been with Ms. Franklin for years (over 25 years, actually) as and dancer and then would become her Choreographer. This is the beautiful tribute performed at the African World Festival in Detroit. It was choreographed by Mama Lisa in only a matter of hours. She also took to the stage to dance alongside some of the best talent in the city, who were known as Aretha’s dancers. We thank you, Mama Lisa for this beautiful tribute to the Queen, as it will ring in our hearts forever 💖 • • • • • #queenofsoul #arethafranklin #arethafranklintribute #riparethafranklin #motown #detroit #detroittalent #queenrere #dancechoreography #dancechoreographer #arethafranklindancers #respect #longlivethequeen #lmproductions #lisamccall #marydontyouweep #africanworldfestival #charleshwrightmuseum #visitdetroit #detroitdance

A post shared by Iyawo Dance Detroit (@iyawodancedetroit) on


Even younger generations find the power in Aretha’s slower, yet potent songs. Just ask Oakland’s Lil HawaiiTurffeinz Kidd StrobeXavier C, and @lavishlifedonb.


No matter how you receive Aretha’s music, her dance influence and legacy can’t be ignored. When it comes to soul, power, or just having a good time, Aretha brings out the best, even in her passing.

If you want more proof, you can watch some dance legends give a fire performance to “Rock Steady” at the KOD Street Dance World Cup below!


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