Hawaii dancer shares his experience of dancing for Janet Jackson - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hawaii dancer shares his experience of dancing for Janet Jackson

Janet Jackson (down stage) and her dancers Janet Jackson (down stage) and her dancers
Lake Smits Lake Smits
Lake Smits (left) with Janet Jackson Lake Smits (left) with Janet Jackson

Honolulu (HawaiiNewsNow) – 18-year-old Lake Smits is in the islands soaking up as much Hawaiian sun as he can get before dance rehearsals in LA. He stopped by Hawaii News Now on Friday to share his journey dancing with one of the world's biggest pop stars, Janet Jackson.

Smits started dancing as a kid, trying to impersonate Janet's brother Michael by trying to impersonate his famous moon walk. He started performing by doing musicals through a school music program. Smits sister started to audition for musical parts when she was in high school and he was encouraged to audition as well.

Smits wanted to join one of Hawaii's prestigious dance companies, 24/7 Danceforce, but the cost to take classes at the company was just too expensive. During one of Smits musical performances, 24/7 Danceforce director, Marcelo Pacleb noticed potential and approached him with a dance scholarship when he was 12.

Fresh out of high school, Smits auditioned for Hawaii's dance show, "Destination Groove Dance Hawaii" and he took it as a booster to audition for a bigger show. He planned on auditioning for "So You Think You Can Dance" in California but also heard that Christina Aguilera was auditioning dancers as well. Smits flew to the mainland early to make Aguilera's audition and was spotted by Janet Jackson's choreographer Gil Dildilao, who is also from Hawaii. He still remembers the call that launched his dance career.

"One day after college, I'm driving home and I got the call and he literally just told me. [he said] I got two jobs for you. I knew who it was and I was like oh don't even tell me Janet Jackson and then he says, so Janet and right when I heard those two words, I was like ahhh. I knew already and I was so stoked," said Smits.

The Hawaii dancer admits that he was star struck when he met the Janet Jackson and it became all too real to be dancing for the sister of man that inspired him to dance. Smits says that although Janet Jackson is an international star, to him and the other dancers she is one the sweetest people.

"She really took us in. She is very motherly. She took us out to eat, she talks to us, she doesn't keep her distance."

One of his fondest memories throughout his dancing career surrounds the Jackson legacy. As a 24/7 dancer he remembers gliding across the stage in front of thousands at the Pro Bowl's half time show. His fondest memory as professional dancer was dancing with Janet by himself and ending the dance routine by kissing her cheek.

The Kaneohe boy says that he has learned so much being away from the islands and is grateful to have met hard working people with great work ethics.

"Before I did this, I wasn't sure if dancing was something that I could do, to make it. So once I got this it kind of reminded me what I love to do and how I have so much passion for it."

Being a young kid from Hawaii, he hopes that his peers continue to strive for their dreams.

"Do whatever you have to do to be inspired. Don't give up. Even if you have to throw yourself in a situation that is uncomfortable like leaving home...just the experience is worth it because you are only learn more about yourself as a person."

 

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