Former Soul Train Dancer William Byrd Talks About The Day He Met The KOP

Sources: Soul Train – By Steven McMillian | Edited By – All Things Michael

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SoulTrain.com: Did you ever dance in music videos?

William McByrd: I was paid to select dancers for Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal” video, which Jeffrey co-choreographed. The name of the video was originally “Chicago Nights.” While working with the video, not only did I get a chance to learn about dancing but also about the business. While Jeffrey and Casper would be working on choreography, I got to see a lot of stuff that happened before the video was shot, such as when Casper and Jeffrey went to New York to work with Michael practicing choreography for the “Bad” video. So although I was not a dancer in these videos per se, I got to see a lot of things that went on behind the scenes so when the opportunity came to actually be in a video, I’ve experienced tons of things that were helpful for me as far as being an artist in terms of how a video was shot and how the dance segments were choreographed.

SoulTrain.com: Did you ever meet the King of Pop?

William McByrd: I met Michael on the last day of filming “Smooth Criminal.” Jeffrey would always tell me you can be a fan of somebody but you have to allow people to have their space. He told me that when people would rush over to get Michael’s autograph and take photos with him, not to do that but just stay in a zone. I felt so bad because I wanted to go over and meet him. So I got up to go outside off the soundstage trying to gather myself. When I was getting ready to come back inside somebody said, “Hey!,” and I looked up and it was Michael! He asked me my name and if I was enjoying myself and I told him my name and that I was having a great time and I told him I appreciated being able to watch the filming of the video. So instead of me going up to meet him, he actually came to meet me….

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3 thoughts on “Former Soul Train Dancer William Byrd Talks About The Day He Met The KOP

  1. There are so many stories like this about people who stayed back and Michael eventually came to them. It’s obvious Michael respected people who let him have his space so that he could meet them on his own terms. Life in a constant mob scene was surely very trying.

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