Josette Wiggan

Josette Wiggan-Freund

Josette is a sought after educator, choreographer, performer, and director and has dedicated her life to the perpetuation of African American Vernacular Jazz Dance.

An internationally acclaimed and much sought-after educator/ choreographer/ performer, Josette Wiggan has dedicated her life to the perpetuation of African American Vernacular Jazz Dance. She began her dance adventure with Paul and Arlene Kennedy in Los Angeles at the age of 12. Her love for performing was fostered by the Kennedys and then refined as an adult while dancing with Jazz Tap Ensemble until 2007. A graduate of UCLA, Josette’s career highlights include the 2001 Spotlight Award winner in non-classical dance category, the first National Broadway Tour of 42nd Street, 2004 Bessie Award Nominee for Outstanding Performance in the Baker/Tarpaga Project, movies Idlewild and Princess and the Frog, and studying with Germaine Acogny at L’ecole les Sables in Toubab Dialaw, Senegal. Alongside her brother, Joseph Wiggan, she was part of two original casts of Cirque du Soleil’s Banana Shpeel and Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour from 2009-2013. The duo also performed in Tireless, a curated show by Michelle Dorrance that had its debut at Jacob’s Pillow in 2017. Josette was also a part of Dorrance’s all-woman quartet that created the works Until the Real Comes Along and and All Good Things Must Come and End. In 2019, Wiggan was also a co-creator with Michelle Dorrance and Hannah Heller for a Christmas work entitled, …The Nutcracker Suite…, and in 2020 created and directed a work for film featuring vernacular jazz and tap dance entitled, Harlem Stomp. In 2021, Josette created her first evening-length work, Praise: The Inevitable Fruit of Gratitude, in collaboration with Grammy nominated, jazz trumpeter Keyon Harrold and the cast of Dorrance Dance. It had its debut at Jacob’s Pillow and the Queens Theatre in the Park. In 2023, Josette’s began her own tap company, Josette Wiggan Presents… and developed a new work entitled, On Solid Ground: A Celebration of Black Joy and Freedom In Our America and her first solo work, Threshing Floor: A Place of Mediation and Melody at American Dance Platform 2024. In addition, Josette is currently on faculty at USC’s Glorya Kaufman School of Dance, teaching Vernacular Jazz and Tap Dance and is excited to be participating in Colburn Tap Fest 2024.