I was browsing my Twitter timeline in March of 2013, and I saw that Richy Jackson — past assistant to Laurieann Gibson and now head choreographer for Lady Gaga — was having a dance class featuring some of Lady Gaga’s dancers the following month. I am an absolutely terrible dancer, but I am not one to pass up an opportunity to try something new, so I signed up.
April 7th came around, and I took a train to the dance studio in Los Angeles. When I arrived, there was a line down the block and a television crew filming the eager group of dancers ready to take on the day. The film crew continued to take photographs of the ever-growing line as I joined in. A second later, I looked up in front of me and saw a gorgeous pair of long legs and fiery red highlights in a girl’s hair. We were inside the dance studio in a reasonable amount of time, considering how many people were in line. When I arrived inside, I got a better look at all the fiercely dressed dancers. They all appeared as if they were going to “dance war,” each one looking stunning!
As a terrible dancer myself, I naturally gravitated towards the back of the room. I looked over at an older woman and whispered, “I don’t know if I can do this! These are all professional dancers!” She looked at me and smiled. Then she said “you can do anything you believe you can!”
After feeling inspired by the older woman, I ran to the front of the room. I saw the gorgeous girl with the long legs and fiery red highlights in her hair, so I walked over and introduced myself. She said her name was Mariah. When she smiled, it was the most amazing smile I had ever seen.
Moments later, Richy Jackson walked into the room and introduced himself and the dancers. Of course, everyone knew who they were after seeing them on stage with Gaga and in her music videos! Richy spoke for a moment on dance technique when out of nowhere “Telephone” started playing. Richy and Gaga’s dancers broke into dance. It was such an amazing moment!
Next, Richy began teaching us a few steps, which were simple enough, and then we learned the steps to music. Finally, everyone in the room performed to the music together. At one point I looked over and saw a woman in purple dancing with everything she had in her, and it was amazing! She didn’t give any fucks! After the final group dance, I walked over to the woman in purple. She said her name was Amanda, otherwise known as “LA Lupus Lady.”
We took a break, and then we all split into groups. Each group was paired with one of Lady Gaga’s dancers, and each of the six groups perfected the choreography. Before wrapping things up, we all sat down for a Q&A session with Richy Jackson and the dancers, and they all spoke about their inspiration and dance journey. Asiel stood up and spoke about his own journey and then introduced his mother. I looked behind me and recognized her as the older woman who had inspired me earlier.
After the Q&A session we all took pictures together and followed each other on Twitter. It was such an amazing experience that changed my life forever! To this day, I’m still very close with Mariah and Amanda. We are Monster friends for life.
Editors note: This is Josiah’s first post on POPULOVE. Josiah and Amanda are so close of friends that Amanda introduced him to this website. We couldn’t be more grateful to have some wonderful people writing for pop music fans.
Click here to launch another video from the inspiring day with Richy Jackson.Note: Populove is currently undergoing site maintenance following a hiatus. Some post images and comments from previous months may not appear as we work on the issue.