Paula Abdul On Working With The Jacksons

Sources: All Things Michael | Healthy Living Magazine – By Yana Mandeville


Discovered by the Jackson in the early 80’s, Paula soon rose to success by becoming choreographer to Janet Jackson and The Jacksons Victory Tour. From being a star on her own as a vocalist and dancer, to being a judge on top television shows such as American Idol, X Factor and currently So You Think You Can Dance, Paula has become one of the few stars to ever have a triumphant career spanning three decades, making her an inspiration to young talents of several generations. Being foremost a dancer with a petite figure, Paula has a lifelong protocol for a fit, healthy and active body and passionately shares her expertise in this interview.

HL: Is it true that the Jacksons discovered you?

Paula Abdul: Yes, I was a Laker girl and their choreographer. I turned them into a dance dream and the Laker girls were getting a lot of notoriety. The brothers were season ticket holders and they needed a choreographer. They approached the front office and asked, “Who does choreography for the Laker girls?”

HL: Were you close to Michael Jackson?

Paula Abdul: I was fortunate enough to have a working experience with him, and there was none quite like him I’ve ever met. And what’s beautiful about Michael is that he’s influenced every single dancer that comes on the show. I mean, some of their earliest conscious memories, they’ll say “watching Michael Jackson.” So it’s beautiful to see how much he meant to the world of dance.

HL: You must miss him then. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting him too, right before he passed and he definitely had an influence on me, even thought I’m not a choreographer or a dancer.

Paula Abdul: I got to work with him and experience the intensity of a true professional. He wanted everything to be perfect, and he was a big proponent of practice until it’s perfect. And I grew up that way as well. There’s a certain freedom in performing, and I always tell this to the dancers all the time that yo must know the material inside out perfectly, like that it’s a part of your everyday vocabulary so that you can throw away worrying about steps and just live in the performance. When do the practices and the rehearsing enough that you know what you’re doing inside out, only then do you have the freedom to create greatness, because now it’s so inside of you that you can make every performance different, even though your performance is the same piece of material

Excerpt taken from the May issue of Healthy Living Magazine on sale now.

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