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Lady JTopic starter

TII dancer picked by MJ
March 03, 2010, 09:20:43 AM
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On Stage with Michael Jackson
Kevin Kaminski


Local entertainer Kriyss Grant, the first dancer chosen by Michael Jackson for his “This Is It” tour, discusses what it was like working with the “King of Pop.”

On the influence Jackson had on him: “I was really brought up with Michael Jackson. My grandmother bought me ‘Moonwalker,’ [the 1988 film that showed, among other things, Jackson in concert] which is something I watched every day. ... I wanted to be just like that. ... I would always try to perform. If there was a party, a family reunion, anything, I would dance and perform for everyone.”

On his audition: “I was scared. And I didn’t think I was going to get it. But I went. ... It was a three-day audition period. Thousands of dancers [4,000]. Michael came the third day. ... I had never been on tour. I was the newest dancer from Florida. Everyone else was from L.A. and had worked with and danced backup for other artists, so they had that on their resume. I had [MTV’s] ‘Making the Band’ on my résumé.

“Had Michael not been there, I don’t think I would’ve been picked. ... Michael saw me, he saw the feeling in me. I saw him jump up while I was dancing, but I didn’t know what he was reacting to. Later, they told me that he was reacting to me and how he saw himself in me.”

On meeting him for the first time: “When we stepped off the stage to go meet him, he was like the statue on his ‘History’ album. He was dressed in all black, he had the glasses on. And his hands were really big and firm; they took over my entire hand. ... He told me I was amazing. ... I was just staring at him. I think I told him he was awesome. I don’t know.”

On his personality and energy: “Michael was the type of person who would look at you and know, like that, what you were all about. ... He was say certain things like he knew you. He knew I was nervous. He’d tell me to save my energy for the crowd. Always positive, but it was also like [the comments were tailored] to us.
“There were times when I’d feel the energy of the music, feel his energy, and I’d be dancing all out. And he would stop and look at me. I thought maybe I was going too hard, doing too much. But he’d shake his head and smile, like whatever I was doing was a good thing.”

“He was very warm. I’d never felt anything like that. I was so happy. His energy was like no other.”

On rehearsals: “Michael would come in occasionally in the beginning. ... He didn’t start rehearsing with us until we moved to the Staples Center. He was killing it, going full out, doing slides and everything—it was crazy. ... As soon as that music would come on, he’d start killing it. We’d look at each other like, ‘Is he trying to outdo us?’ ... He still had it. He proved that. ... But he was nervous. He was 50, and he hadn’t danced like that in a long time. He had to familiarize his body with all those moves he used to do. I think he was scared; he couldn’t take the stage and appear fragile to us.”

The last rehearsal: “He was his old self. He was interacting with us, giving us suggestions, making changes. In the beginning, he let everyone else run things. Then, he was like, ‘This is my show. We’re going to do it how I want to do it.’ I loved it. That’s something I always wanted to see. I thought he was being taken advantage of in the beginning because he was older. ... And you could tell he had something to say, but he wouldn’t say it. But that last day, he took over.
“He knew what he wanted. The dancers were like, ‘Good, he’s speaking up.’ The dancers had Michael’s back.”

The day Jackson died: “We didn’t know what to do, what to say, where to go. It was this feeling of you finally getting to where you always wanted—of finally making it. And before you get to grasp it, it’s snatched away from you. ... It’s like a tease. I touched it, but did this really happen? I have memories, but there was no time to sit in that moment and really feel the vibe. Everything happened so fast, fast, fast in rehearsals ... And then, it’s all taken away.

“It really hasn’t hit me yet. I know I was a part of it. I know it was a big deal to be a Michael Jackson dancer on the ‘This Is It’ tour that never happened. ... I don’t think it will ever hit me.”
Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Guest
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Lady JTopic starter

Re: TII dancer picked by MJ
March 03, 2010, 09:21:23 AM
I find this article at some point very interesting.
Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Guest
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Re: TII dancer picked by MJ
March 03, 2010, 10:43:09 AM
Yes especially the part about him not saying anything about how he wanted it done until the end.....not MJ. Must have been the doubles :mrgreen:
Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Guest
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Re: TII dancer picked by MJ
March 03, 2010, 10:51:44 AM
I like the part where he says "I don't think it will ever hit me".. because he's not dead :)

I agree though, doesn't sound like Michael.. the parts where he doesn't stand up for himself. If he only did that on the LAST day then where did all the movie footage of him standing up for himself come from?
Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Guest
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What you have just witnessed could be the end of a particularly terrifying nightmare. It isn’t. It’s the beginning.

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Re: TII dancer picked by MJ
March 03, 2010, 11:48:36 AM
This was a great article.  I disagree with some of you though, Michael doesn't always speak up when he needs to and is a people pleaser that comes off as too nice.  It sounded like him to me.  Not saying you were wrong for thinking there were impersonators, just stating what I think about his personality sometimes.
Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Guest
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bec

Re: TII dancer picked by MJ
March 04, 2010, 02:06:46 AM
Quote (selected)
On meeting him for the first time: “When we stepped off the stage to go meet him,

Wait....

I thought the dancers didn't meet Michael until much later... during that awkward stagged scene in the rehearsal room where Kenny says "there's someone here who would like to finally meet you...." they all have some cheesey handshakes and hugs and they stand in a circle and throw their hands in the air... no stage in that room.

SO WHO'S THAT GUY THEY FINALLY MET THEN????
Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Guest
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TracyK

Re: TII dancer picked by MJ
March 04, 2010, 06:12:38 AM
Quote from: "GreenManMakeAChange"
This was a great article.  I disagree with some of you though, Michael doesn't always speak up when he needs to and is a people pleaser that comes off as too nice.  It sounded like him to me.  Not saying you were wrong for thinking there were impersonators, just stating what I think about his personality sometimes.

I agree with you 100%. This is what we have always been told about him. He wanted to please. Even the times when he would critique someone he ended it with it's all for love. He didn't want to come off as abrasive.
Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Guest
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Re: TII dancer picked by MJ
March 04, 2010, 08:56:27 AM
Quote from: "bec"
Quote (selected)
On meeting him for the first time: “When we stepped off the stage to go meet him,

Wait....

I thought the dancers didn't meet Michael until much later... during that awkward stagged scene in the rehearsal room where Kenny says "there's someone here who would like to finally meet you...." they all have some cheesey handshakes and hugs and they stand in a circle and throw their hands in the air... no stage in that room.

SO WHO'S THAT GUY THEY FINALLY MET THEN????
that was what hit me too
Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Guest
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word

  • Guest
Re: TII dancer picked by MJ
March 04, 2010, 09:38:13 AM
Quote from: "GreenManMakeAChange"
This was a great article.  I disagree with some of you though, Michael doesn't always speak up when he needs to and is a people pleaser that comes off as too nice.  It sounded like him to me.  Not saying you were wrong for thinking there were impersonators, just stating what I think about his personality sometimes.



I agree with you,but there were absolutely no impersonators in that movie,I am a die hard fan over 30 years,and that was Michael Jackson. Michael never liked to hurt people feelings, that's why he kept saying "do it wth love",but Michael Jackson was never anyone's push over,he knew what he wanted especially when it came to his performances.Michael Jackson knew his legend for being the greatest live performer was on the line,especially at the age of fifty ,everyone wanted to know if he still had it,and he proved in the end that he did,that's why most of us feel robbed,peace.
Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Guest
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Re: TII dancer picked by MJ
March 05, 2010, 05:26:49 PM
@nakupendapia, you hit a point with the stadiums I must admit!

On the dancers and singers I do not agree.
Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Guest
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Re: TII dancer picked by MJ
March 06, 2010, 06:58:33 PM
Michael had big, firm hands....
Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Guest
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