As Michael Jackson got weirder (and whiter), my friends and I were suddenly struck by the meteoric rise of Janet Jackson. She is my favorite Jackson. We were influenced by the break dancing movies of the day, starting our own dance group and imitating all the dance moves we saw.
Then the Control album (and accompanying music videos) debuted, and we found our idol, an incredible performer, with spectacular songs and fantastic dance moves: Janet Jackson.
The Control album had several amazing hits: What have you done for me lately, Nasty, Let's wait a while, and Control.
But it was her dance hits that really got us motivated. They were innovative and exciting and fantastic! When I think of you is one great dance song. Fun and with great beats we could do routines, too.
But it was definitely Pleasure Principle solidified Janet Jackson as our muse and idol. Her dance moves were amazing!
We tried to imitate and copy everything she did, right down to that chair trick. My older brother and I practiced that chair move using my Mother's dining chairs. Our baby brother just shook his head. He was right to be wary.
Mom caught us doing that chair trick, scratching up her chairs. We got spanked for doing such stupid and dangerous stunts and damaging the chairs. But it was totally worth it. Three weeks later, my dance crew entered our first ever talent show, and using those chair moves, we won first place!
We were ecstatic! And it was the beginning of our long winning streak and the start of our dance crew career that lasted from grade school, to middle school, and finally high school. When we first started, we just wanted to try out those awesome dance moves. Then we had so much fun that we imagined making a living just dancing and battling other dance crews on the streets and in industrial buildings, just like in the movies and music videos.
We had no clue what real life was like. We just dreamed of somehow making dancing our life when we grew up. In high school, our goal became being a professional dance crew, hopefully becoming background dancers for major stars. We wanted to be background dancers for Janet Jackson.
Forget Madonna. We saw her Truth or Dare movie, and her background dancers were total bitches and drama queens, stabbing each other in the back. Definitely not the kind of environment we wanted to work in.
And as Janet got better and more awesome with her dance music and moves, we got better and more amazing, too, beating out bigger and more experienced dance crews on the talent and entertainment circuit. It was a fun and amazing time, a wonderful experience to share with family and friends.
The Control album made us want to dance. It inspired these farming, backwoods, remote coast kids to form a dance crew and go on to have adventures and grow and thrive as a dancers, having fun for several years and forming bonds of trust and friendship that last a lifetime.
Janet Jackson has said that the Control album was a declaration of independence. For us, it was the inspiration to try something new, to create something amazing, and have a good time. Control liberated us and encouraged us to try new things. It was our inspiration and motivation to be adventurous and do the things that made us happy, with the people we loved and enjoyed spending time with. It was a marvelous and exciting and fun experience.
Thriller by Michael Jackson
Bad by Michael Jackson