Although the media circus surrounding Michael Jackson's death (the same that hounded him in life) will no doubt continue for weeks if not months after tomorrow's public memorial service at the Staples Center, I just wanted to take a moment to acknowledge what Michael gave to me. He was probably the first young person of color I saw on TV dancing and singing like no one else could, at a time when I loved to dance (and sing a little) too. Michael gave his all in every performance, singing and dancing 'full out' and with such precision, grace, innovation and unique style that there is no way anyone could truly imitate him, although many have tried and will continue to try. MJ influenced my own dance style, partially because he was just the SHIT when I was a kid and a teenager, and we all wanted to move like him, and partially because I tend to move percussively, like MJ does. I've realized in the past week since he's passed that many of my own moves on the dancefloor come from him. (And yes, I can do a decent Moonwalk). Michael also had a huge role in popularizing popping and locking, the 'Robot' and breakdancing through his own dancing as well as the dancers he featured in his videos.
And this is all in addition to the great joy I've experienced over the years dancing to his songs, the music, his voice. It's almost unbelievable how much Michael has given the world, and me personally, as a performer. I've been obsessing a bit about him (my Facebook friends are no doubt rolling their eyes now) the last week or so, but I'm moving towards a place of resolution and peace now, and am now able to say 'Goodbye' to him, and to be at peace with the little girl in me that once dreamed of being a superstar like Michael one day.
So from one dancer to another, from someone who is forever grateful for the love of dance and music that I've been blessed with, Thank you, Michael. Thank you for everything.