A Comprehensive Guide to All the Best JbDubs Videos
JbDubs gives Beyoncé a run for her money. Screenshot via YouTube
Our August cover star James Whiteside isn't just a principal dancer at American Ballet Theatre (as if that isn't accomplishment enough!). He's also a pop star named JbDubs, who makes clever, danceable music and sheds his princely onstage persona for a flamboyant, raunchy one. Needless to say, his music videos feature some incredible dancing—from hip hop to jazz to ballet—and some hilarious characters.
We rounded up the best of them—you can thank us later.
For Ballet Dancers Getting Down & Dirty
An homage to Britney Spears and to Whiteside's unapologetic "take me or leave me" attitude, "NYC Piece of Me" is classic JbDubs at hisfinest. Featuring American Ballet Theatre dancers Cassandra Trenary, Calvin Royal III and Courtney Lavine and English National Ballet dancer Jeffrey Cirio, the video shows that ballet dancers can get way outside their comfort zones, and look good doing it.
For "Single Ladies"-esque Heels Work
"I Hate My Job" is the JbDubs oldie but goodie we keep coming back to. Filmed back when Whiteside was dancing at Boston Ballet, the video features a "Single Ladies"–inspired heels trio including then-colleagues Bradley Schlagheck and Lawrence Rines. As always, the lyrics are as inventive as the video, with lines like: "So I'm a regulation hottie you a Star Wars yeti / If I am Wilhelmina then you are Ugly Betty."
For Six Times the JbDubs
"Pantywaister" stars JbDubs alongside...JbDubs. Whiteside dances with six of his alter-egos in this video (see if you recognize any of them from the ballet stage!) about reclaiming the derogatory names he's been called.
For Drag Queens and Foulmouthed Lyrics
In case you forgot that Whiteside has yet another personality as drag queen Ühu Betch, "Dirty Mouth" features the other members of his drag family The Dairy Queens, Milk and Skim Burley. We're not sure who those ladies in pig masks are, though we have some guesses based on their 180-degree extensions.
For Gorgeous Choreo in A Horror Movie Set
"The Vault" features a steamy, bloody duet for a rather scary JbDubs and an unassuming Garen Scribner. But the dancing is anything but horrifying—in fact, the intimate choreography is some of the most striking of JbDubs' videos.
For Ridiculous Outfits (And A Little Ballet!)
Dubbed "a super pretentious fashion and movement film," "The Fanny Bounce" is basically one big ridiculous fashion show, featuring designs from Reid & Harriet as well as more farcical pieces like a Bart Simpson crop top.
Devon Teuscher performing the titular role in Jane Eyre. Photo by Gene Schiavone, Courtesy ABT
Story ballets that debut during American Ballet Theatre's spring season at the Metropolitan Opera House are always the subject of much curiosity—and, sometimes, much debate. Cathy Marston's Jane Eyre was no different. The ballet follows the eponymous heroine of Charlotte Brönte's novel as she grows from a willful orphan to a self-possessed governess, charting her romance with the haughty Mr. Rochester and the social forces that threaten to tear them apart.
While the ballet was warmly received in the UK when Northern Ballet premiered it in 2016, its reception from New York City–based critics has been far less welcoming. A group of editors from Dance Magazine and two of our sister publications, Dance Spirit and Pointe, sat down to discuss our own reactions.