Born To Dance Star Tia Maipi Reveals How He Started Dancing

Sources: All Things Michael | NZ Herald


Nineteen year old Tiataharoa “Tia” Maipi, star of the upcoming dance flick “Born To Dance,” recently revealed that he started dancing on a whim because of Michael Jackson.

“For me dancing all started off with Michael Jackson’s passing. When he died, all of the family were hard out into Michael, they loved him, so we decided to do a tribute to him and put on a performance. So we re-enacted his music videos, which was a lot of fun. And we got our local friends to come and watch, and we got good feedback about it, and so we decided to take it to the next level, which was actually competing.”


Maipi, who plays Tu in the movie, has been a member of the gold-medal-winning Royal Family dance crew for the past four years.

World renowned dancer and choreographer Parris Goebel (who has worked with Nicki Minaj, Jennifer Lopez, Janet Jackson and the Monsters of Hip-Hop) was holding auditions for The Royal Family in 2011, so he auditioned and he has been dancing with her ever since.

Tia has won numerous hip-hop titles including the Hip Hop International world championships in Las Vegas where he danced with his younger sister Taej and their cousin, Te Wharenui Maipi. The dancing trio told the New Zealand Waiikato Times in 2012, that “the ultimate experience would have been to dance alongside the late Michael Jackson. He’s their inspiration.”


Tiataharoa Maipi, Taej Maipi and Te Wharenui Maipi after winning the gold at the Hip Hop internationals World Championship in Las Vegas.

Goebel is the choreographer for Born to Dance, a key collaborator involved right from the beginning of production, but Maipi still had to audition for the film.

“It was just dancing at first and then callbacks came and a handful of people were chosen to try for the character, so that’s where it all started really. There was a lot of auditioning, feedback, you try to improve, work harder. At first, I was like ‘Acting? I don’t wanna act!’ But then I tried it out, and I don’t know, it just felt good.”

Born To Dance will be in New Zealand cinemas starting Thursday September 24. It’s the country’s first multi-million dollar dance film.


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Young Londoners Trained To Move Like Michael Jackson At Thriller Live Academy

Sources: Evening Standard – Robert Dex | All Things Michael


These young Londoners are in for an exciting three months after signing up for the MJ Academy which trains school-age performers to take part in the Thriller Live show.

All 17 boys shared the stage with the show’s star, David Jordan, before starting classes in singing and dancing that will prepare them for a possible role in the Michael Jackson musical in the West End.

The show at the Lyric Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, features performances of some of the star’s biggest hits from his solo career and as a child with the Jackson Five.

It is in its seventh year in the West End and is now booking to next June.

The young hopefuls are trained by the creative team behind the show including musical director John Maher. At the end of the three months, they audition for any available roles in the show, which needs six young boys at a time.

Jackson, who died aged 50 in 2009 at his Los Angeles home, would have celebrated his 57th birthday on Saturday.


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Australian Teen Remakes Thriller


Fourteen year old rising YouTube star, Ky Baldwin has created his own remake of Michael Jackson’s Thriller. Ky has covered many popular hits, including several by his idol Michael Jackson.

Baldwin was born in Australia in April 2001. Ky began his career as a dancer and it wasn’t until he reached 10-years-old that he started his first singing lessons. His teacher had him singing Michael Jackson who quickly became his biggest influence.

He released his first EP, “The Beginning”, in 2014 and the music video for his first original single, “You Make Me Wanna Dance can be watched on his You Tube channel, along with several covers and exclusive content.

In 2011, Ky was a semi finalist on Australia’s Got Talent with his tap dancing abilities and he participated on The Voice Kids in 2014.

Ky has performed in several musicals, such as “Love Never Dies”, “Under Milk Wood” and “Mary Poppins”, and has done TV commercials and films.

Ky enjoys singing, dancing, playing guitar, piano, drums and dabbling in the art of songwriting. He spends a lot of his time street performing in Sydney, planning, filming and editing his You Tube videos with the support of family and friends. He calls his guitar his best friend and likes composing music that gives him a buzz.

With his success, Ky has had his struggles as well:

“I am physically very small with a high voice so get a bit of negativity about that and sometimes it is hard to be taken very seriously but it doesn’t bother me at all. I think it’s kind of silly that people judge a person on that and I actually quite like it.

I have had girls as young as 8 tell me they hate me when of course they don’t know me. I have been told I’m gay because my voice hasn’t dropped yet. It’s water off a ducks back to me, it actually just highlights their character, but I can’t help but think that this bullying online is becoming so common place that it has to leak out into the real world. I have girls all the time contact me that they are bullied and it’s so sad. I’d love us all to stop and think – is that really the person you want to be.”

Ky offers the following advice to young people who have big dreams:

“My first advice is what my mum instills in myself and my sister often. Character first – talent second. The second is no good to the world if the first is not achieved. The second thing is work hard and be confident and enjoy the journey. The third thing which is equally as important is to get the right people to teach you and to be around you and never stop learning.”

You can find out more about Ky on his official website.

Behind the Scenes Michael Jackson’s Thriller cover

Thriller By Ky Baldwin

Sources: All Things Michael| Ky Baldwin | Touchlight Talent

Motown The Musical’s Nathaniel Cullors Talks About Being Michael

Sources: Theater Jones – By Cathy O’Neal | All Things Michael

Age: 14

Born: In Okinawa Japan, lives in San Antonio, TX

First Film: Red Cape. Directed and funded by college student, still not finished.

young MJ

How did you get the part in Motown the Musical?

My aunt told my mom about the show because she had gone to see it, so my mom looked it up and saw they were having an open audition. She sent them the video of me singing “Who’s Loving You” in my sixth-grade talent show, which is one of the songs in the show. I originally booked one week in New York with the show, then one of the boys in the show left, and they put me in, so I did the Broadway show. Then, I got called to do the tour. We’ve been on the tour for a couple of weeks, but I have been with the show for nine months.

How did you prepare to play someone as well known as Michael Jackson?

I like to call it “YouTube University.” Because we live in this day and age, all you have to do is type “Michael Jackson” into the computer, and you can see everything about him — his family, his performances, his influences. Michael Jackson didn’t so much make up moves, he imitated ones he saw on TV and in concerts, so that’s what I did. I looked up James Brown [one of Jackson’s major influences] and watched his moves and then I watched how Michael Jackson did James Brown’s moves. The crowds expect to see Michael Jackson in the show, not Nathaniel Cullors, but Michael Jackson.

What age is Michael Jackson in the show?

It’s when he auditioned for Motown when he was 11 with his brothers, the entire Jackson Five.

What songs do you sing in the show?

I sing four of the Jackson Five’s major hits: “Who’s Loving You,” “ABC,” “I Want You Back” and “I’ll Be There,” but only portions of the last three. Like a medley.


Who worked with you to prepare you?

In New York, I had a voice teacher who helped me. How I sing in the show, that’s not at all how I sing in real life. She really helped me push my voice to the next level to be louder and better. The moves are pretty open. They give you a set of moves that you have to do, but then, they tell you to add your own moves. That’s what makes Motown different. They don’t give you all the exact moves, they want you to add your own things to it. I basically do the same moves every night, but I might add an extra spin to it on some nights. I’ve figured out how I want to do it. Some nights I do more than other nights.

Is there anything in the show or about being Michael Jackson that you, Nathaniel, relate to?

When I met Berry Gordy, he said that I reminded him of Michael. Now that I’m 14, I relate to when a news reporter asked Michael Jackson what he would do about his voice changing, and he said, “It happens.” That’s really how I try to approach everything. It just happens. I just live it day by day.

Do you have a favorite Michael Jackson song?

His Motown audition song, “Who’s Loving You.” That’s when I feel closest to Michael. It was his audition song, and it was my audition song.

In addition to playing Michael Jackson, Cullors plays the young Berry Gordy and the young Stevie Wonder. He shares the roles with another young performer, Leon Outlaw Jr. They each perform four times a week. Motown the Musical runs at the Winspear through Aug. 16.


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Franzer Pazos Sings “P.Y.T” By Michael Jackson On La Voz Kids Finale

Sources: Heavy – By  | All Things Michael

Fullscreen capture 682015 71120 PM

The party started with the six finalist on stage singing “Que suenen los tambores” by Víctor Manuelle. The coaches -Natalia Jimenez, Daddy Yankee, Pedro Fernandez- wore their best outfits for the finale and with a wide smile each said that they were sure their team was the winner.

Franzer Pazos, who is 14 years old, was the first one to go on stage and sing “P.Y.T” by Michael Jackson. His carisma and interpretation got him a standing ovation. By the way, Pazos can sing in Spanish, English, and Italian.

When Jersen Ruiz, 14, surprised everyone when he sang the salsa song “El Cantante” by Hector Lavoe. Ruiz confessed that he wanted to sing pop music when he arrived at the show but changed his mind after experimenting with salsa. He basically will pursued a singing career in salsa. Unfortunately, he was the first to be eliminated on tonight’s show.

Alberto Castro, who is 15 years old, sang “Shut Up and Dance”. The youngest of all the finalist, Jonael Santiago, 11, sang “Treasure” by Bruno Mars. Castro was eliminated from the competition and it was filled with a lot of tears.

Milenia, 14, sang “Fight Song” by Rachel Platten and Shanty Zumaya, picked “Yo vivire”. Unfortunately, Milenia was eliminated from Team Pedro.

Shanty, Franzer, and Joanel became the three finalist and each took home $10,000.

Jonael, from Team Natalia, became the winner of La Voz Kids 2015. The winner of the third season received $50,000 cash prize and a recording contract from Universal Music Group for the production of a song and a music video.


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Gauransh Chauhan To Do Michael Jackson In ABCD 2

Sources: Gulf News Bollywood | All Things Michael


Gauransh Chauhan, who wowed audiences with his Michael Jackson moves on the reality show Dance India Dance, will show off his skills in the forthcoming Varun Dhawan and Shraddha Kapoor film ABCD 2.

“I’ve been fascinated with dance since the age of three. I started with school performances, then performed for the show India’s Got Talent. Then I showcased my skills on Dance India Dance season two where the judges Remo D’Souza, Terence Lewis and Geeta Kapoor got extremely impressed with my Michael Jackson style of dancing,” Chauhan said.

“On DID, Remo sir was so impressed with my moves, that he promised me that if any suitable opportunity came up, he would definitely inform me. He fulfilled his promise and gave me the opportunity to dance in his film ABCD 2as they required me for an MJ sequence. He has been the decisive factor in my success.


“Both DID and ABCD 2 have been distinct turning points in my career,” said the former reality show participant, who said he “learnt these dance moves and tricks all on my own”.

ABCD 2, directed by D’Souza, will release later this month.


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Shy Kid Ignores His Bullies By Walking On Stage And Doing THIS!

Sources: Little Budha – By Barbara  Diamond | The Bully Project | All Things Michael


14-year-old Julian was born with a special gift. Most people dream of being able to dance like he can.

But kids can be cruel, especially when they’re intimidated by or jealous of someone’s confidence in the face of bullying. The more his classmates call him names, threaten him, and try to turn him off from his passion, the more Julian dances.

Though he’s never taken a dance class or lesson, watching Julian dance is like watching Michael Jackson himself. As soon as he’s finished with his homework after school, he rolls up the rugs, puts on the music, and dances throughout the house. Luckily, his parents are incredibly supportive. They refuse to stop their son from doing the one thing that makes him truly happy.


Julian even dances in public places, on the streets, and inside skating rinks where his classmates socialize. He responds to those who ridicule by saying, “They call me stupid, I don’t care. I know who I am, I know what I am.”

Now, other students who are drawn to the music — and to Julian’s courage — have been showing up to dance with him. As this group of inspirational kids grows, they plan on dancing for other kids as advocates against bullying.

Watch Julian in action below, and please SHARE this incredible story about this young man with your friends!


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