Friday, June 26, 2009

Remembering Michael...


I was five years old when I heard Michael Jackson’s incomparable vocals spin out of the record player! SKYWRITER!! Dancing in my mother’s bedroom in Mt. Vernon, New York. Staring at the album cover; kissing Michael’s picture. I fell in love!! He was going to be my boyfriend...and then we were gonna get married and have children! LOL

The Jackson Five cartoon - I never missed an episode! Years went by and my love for him grew like no other, so of course you can say he was my very first crush. Countless pin-up pictures of him from Right On magazine, Ebony, Jet and Black Beat were “wallpapered” all over my walls; kissing his picture and saying goodnight every night. My jackets adorned with an array of buttons…stickers all over my notebooks….poems written. You name it…I had or did it! My family teased me constantly. Company would come by and I was always the topic of conversation. All my mother had to say was…go look at her room and they would stand in the doorway in awe! I was 9 years old when “Off The Wall” was released and this was the time when dance started to make it’s way into my life. Home alone, sneaking to play my mom’s records…choreographing dance pieces to his song. I think I can still remember what I did for “Off The Wall.” LOL

In 1980, I entered the world of dance and I would never be the same. When I finally made it to high school in 1983, I even dressed like him…glove and all…challenged constantly and always coming out the winner! No one, male or female, could take me on! I had Michael AND Janet down to the T! After years of countless dance performances and graduating high school, I took an afro-brazilian dance class at the suggestion of my junior high school dance teacher at the age of 19. They had these dance workshops were the attendees could choreograph their own piece, which I was recommended to participate in. I instantly took on the challenge, but couldn’t decide whether to do a piece off of Teena Marie’s “Work It” or Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal.” After hours and hours of practicing off both songs, I chose Michael and would make this my first solo performance and my first choreographed piece I had ever done. The fedora, black suit, loafer type shoes and tie! **Now, let me note…The Smooth Criminal video had not been aired yet and all I had to work with was the teasers they showed on t.v.**

After my performance, I got a standing ovation and my junior high school dance teacher was in attendance and in tears. It was one of the best days in my life as a dancer! Thereafter, the video finally aired and the scary thing about it was…what I choreographed was similar to the moves seen in the video!! WHOA!! I could have died on the spot!! (I do have pictures and will find a way to scan them and show them to you) I knew from there that I had to meet Michael. We had to work together, but I never got that chance.

So…where was I when that shocking moment came? I was lying on the couch, complaining about being in pain until the phone rang. I answered and I heard a familiar voice. After the idle..'how you been?', she finally said, ‘I was wondering if you knew.' I said, 'knew what?' She said, 'Michael Jackson is dead.’ I said, ‘don’t play games with me.’ She said, ‘would I joke about something like this.’ I said ‘yes!’ She said, ‘Dee (my first name is Danyelle just in case some of you didn’t know…Caprice is my middle name). She continued,I’m serious…he’s dead!’ I fumbled looking for the remote, shooting pains and saw the dreaded reality. She continued talking and I heard nothing! I didn’t want to believe it. No! It can’t be true, but the reality of it stared at me like a fly on the wall! And what suddenly came into my mind was…why Michael? Why did you have to do that to yourself?? We know that he was not healthy and taking himself down a road of destruction with every move he made so his death was inevitable, but that was quickly replaced with tears of sadness. I tried to hold back the tears but they found their way to my cheeks and I just put my head in my hands and cried like a baby. The funny thing…this past weekend I was having a meeting with my sista-friend and business partner and suddenly…after some years…I had the urge to play Michael Jackson. Playing countless videos of songs we knew and some she hadn’t heard…songs that I hadn’t listened to in a long time! We were in Michael Jackson overload and then…this happens. Was it a sign?? I believe it was...

Leaving a legacy of memories that will forever be ingrained in our minds, Michael Jackson, the King of Pop, a Musical Mozart…took the world by storm with his unmistakable talent and makes one realize the time we have on this earth is very precious and how we need to take every step in making sure that the life we lead is not taken in vein. As I sit and watch the news reports, videos and listen to his music (mind you, I only have ONE CD of Michael…the rest are on vinyl!), my heart aches…remembering!! Praying that his children will know what an impact he had on the world. Praying that there will always be love in their hearts for their father no matter what the media will try and make them believe.

So I leave you with this…remember to greet each day with love and tell those closes to you how much they mean to you everyday! Some would call me emotional…wearing my emotions on my sleeve, but all that knows me knows that, at the drop of a dime, I will tell them how much they mean to my life on a daily basis!!

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