Time to Jit
Let’s Learn About The Dance Born in Detroit
Born in the neighborhoods of Detroit, the pioneers of Jit were three brothers who formed a group and called themselves The Jitterbugs. The McGhee brothers honed their craft dancing under the neighborhood street lights and at basement parties, eventually performing on stage for huge audiences. Join professional dancer and UMS teaching artist Haleem “Stringz” Rasul as he teaches us the basic movements of Jit. So let’s play some music and get ready to move your feet!
To learn more about Jit, explore the accompanying slides and worksheets.
Grades 5-12 (ages 10-17)
Fill in the Blank (PDF)
Word Search (PDF)
You’re the Choreographer (PDF)
About the Artist
Haleem “Stringz” Rasul is a Detroit-based dance performing artist, choreographer, and artist educator, proficient in the Detroit cultural dance form known as Jit.
Haleem has taught dance workshops and presented choreography at Columbia College Chicago, Eastern Michigan University, Oakland Community College, Wayne State University, the University of Michigan, California State University, and has also given international workshops in parts of China, Sweden, Windsor and Quebec.
In 2015, the Zimbabwe Cultural Center in Detroit (ZCCD), a collaboration with the Jibilika Dance Trust, sponsored a dance residency in Harare, Zimbabwe, where Haleem conducted research and interviews and led workshops in Mutare and other various towns. In 2016 Haleem attended the Next Level Hip Hop Diplomacy program in Indonesia that promoted cultural exchange and mutual understanding as well as a dance residency in Kurdistan through Yes Academy and American Voices.
Haleem was awarded the Kresge Artist Fellowship in 2010 and was a recipient of the Knights Arts Challenge grant in 2013. Haleem released his film documentary entitled, The Jitterbugs: Pioneers of the Jit, the first documentary to detail the origins of the Jit dance form. In 2018, Haleem served as a King • Chavez • Parks Visiting Professor at The University of Michigan and was presented with The Cropperfoot Award for choreography from Wayne State University in 2019. Haleem released his film documentary entitled, The Jitterbugs: Pioneers of the Jit, the first documentary to detail the origins of the Jit dance form.
As a dance ambassador for the city of Detroit, Haleem’s mission is to continue expanding creative heights for Detroit’s own unique movements.