What is Dance? 2 - Documentary series

When the Beat Drops

1000 HUF
Trafó Passes are accepted

The movie is in English with no subtitles. The discussion after the movie will be in Hungarian.


Bucking, also known as “j-setting”, was originally invented in the 1970s by the Jackson State J-Settes, the dance team for the marching band at Jackson State University, a historically black university in Mississippi. A woman named Shirley Middleton was the one who put down her baton and started bucking on the field.

This dance style is characterized by a lead and follow format where one dancer initiates a series of high-energy dance moves, and the other dancers join in the movement. J-Setting features specific dance steps based on Prancing J-Settes marching techniques including the "J-Sette Walk," the "Salt and Pepper," the "Strut," and the "Tip Toe".

During the late 1970s, African American gay men who were fans of The Prancing J-Settes regularly attended the dance team's practice sessions, and performances at college football games and other events. Young gay men brought the J-Settes dance style back to their home towns, and to gay nightclubs around the nation.

MORITZ Daniel (Daniel Milan) - Vogue dancer, teacher, choreographer

In When the Beat Drops—a feature documentary debut by famed choreographer Jamal Sims, whose credits include RuPaul’s Drag RaceSo You Think You Can Dance, and Cirque du Soleil’s Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour—the origins and evolution of bucking are explored, as are the life stories and struggles of various Atlanta performers. When the Beat Drops offers an electrifying first cinematic glimpse into the phenomenon of “bucking,” featuring ecstatic dance sequences throughout the film.

Many of the performers risk corporate jobs to follow their passion for dance, build up the community, and remain true to themselves. And the candid conversations with team captains about issues and stigma within the community make the film truly shine. Presenting an intimate look at the performers’ dedication to their chosen families and their craft, When the Beat Drops culminates in an edge-of-your-seat, intense competition celebrating triumph, athleticism, and artistry.

Curator: Gábor PINTÉR


Directed by Jamal Sims

Cast: Anthony Davis

Produced by Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato, Jordan Brendan Finnegan, Felipe Linz, Taj Paxton, Pamela Post, Jonathan Tummons, Tucker Wells

Music by David Benjamin Steinberg

Cinematography by John Orphan, Keith Worthington

Editing by Felipe Linz


Frameline San Francisco International LGBTQ Film Festival, 2018, Best Documentary 

Miami Film Festival, 2018, Best Documentary

Out on Film, Atlanta, 2018, Best Documentary

L.A. Outfest, 2018, Outstanding Documentary Feature 

Supported by NKA
Partner: World of Wonder
Organised by Parallel Art Foundation

When the Beat Drops NKA - Nemzeti Kulturális Alap
When the Beat Drops Parallel Művészeti Alapítvány
When the Beat Drops World of Wonder

Our ticket office is closed until 22 August.:
  • Main hall performance days: 5 pm - 10 pm
  • studio and club performance days: 5 pm - 8:30 pm
  • other days: 5pm - 8 pm
Trafó Gallery opening hours:
  • Until September 2024 Trafó Gallery is closed for a summer break.
  • -
  • -

  • The Trafó Kortárs Művészetek Háza Nonprofit Kft. works in the maintance of Budapest Főváros Önkormányzata.

Media partners

Cooperative partners