Birmingham woman, with help from police, will dance with Janet Jackson tonight

Janet Jackson performs after the Dubai World Cup at the Meydan Racecourse on March 26, 2016 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)

Janet Jackson is being honored at the 2018 Billboard Music Awards with the Icon Award and while that award is iconic in itself, an Alabama woman got an epic opportunity to perform right beside her thanks to the police.

It’s an unlikely story given the contentious relationship cops have with urban communities, but in the case of Lavala “Lala” Moss, she has the Birmingham Police Department to thank for helping her craft a winning video that caught the attention of one of the most legendary entertainers.

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The 26-year-old Moss will dance with Jackson on national TV Sunday night at 7pm on NBC after submitting a video that won her the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. She will dance backup for Jackson along with the star’s “JTribe” dance crew, reports Al.com

How it happened

So how did Moss score such a big break and what exactly do the cops have to do with it?

Jackson recently put out an all call on social media asking for submissions from regular folks to take up a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to dance alongside her. Moss was wary about sending in an online submission, given the fact that there would literally be thousands of submissions.

Since everyone else was likely filming their videos in dance studios Moss and her friend thought that it would better serve them to dance in the street – an idea they concocted one late-night as they were leaving the Redmont Hotel’s rooftop bar.

Once they found the right spot in the road and got the music playing, once again, someone called the police on the black folks playing loud music and dancing in the street. But this time, instead of getting booked for #DancingWhileBlack, the story took an unlikely turn.

“The officer came around the corner fast with his lights on,” Moss said.

The cop then asked her: “Young lady, why are you dancing in the middle of the street? You can get hurt, or someone else can get hurt.”

She told him that she was dancing for a “Dancing for Janet” contest and while he looked a little confused he then said:

“Well, if that’s the case, I’m going to give you one try. Show me what you got,” Moss said the officer told her.

The officer blocked off the street, switched on the flashing lights and let Moss do her thing and dance.

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Moss danced to Jackson’s “The Pleasure Principle” while a friend recorded the cellphone video.

You can hear the officer rooting from the sidelines: “Oh, ok Lala!”

After the video, he wished Moss well on her video and said: “Now, are we done here? Because you can’t be in the middle of the street,” he said.

But that was all the help she needed to achieve the ultimate dream.

Dream come true

Moss didn’t really care for the video because she thought it was too raw. However to her surprise it was well-received on social media and got over 65,000 views on Facebook.

There were more than 75,000 submissions, but last week. Jackson’s camp reached out to Moss and invited her out to Los Angeles for an in-person audition– the first open call Jackson’s had in 10 years.

After three intense days of dancing, Moss and Phillip Galbert of Connecticut were chosen to serve as backup dancers for Jackson at the Billboard Music Awards performance in Las Vegas tonight.

“I just fell to the floor in tears,” said Moss, who also goes by the professional name Lala D’iore.

“I never thought in a million years this would happen…She could have picked so many other people.”

And Moss is ready for her big night in the limelight.

“I’m ready, I’m confident, and I’m taking it all in,” she said. “Stay humble, and positive, and you never know what can happen in your life. Don’t be afraid to give anything a chance.”

Moss is grateful to the officer who took the time to see things her way and help her make the winning video, especially when the situation could have ended on sour note. She said the entire Birmingham police department has sent positive vibes her way to LA.

“It’s just a positive impact… he took his time, and listened to my story.”

And now Moss is getting ready to make magic happen next with Jackson on the Billboard Award stage.

See the moment Moss learned that she would be dancing with Janet:

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https://thegrio.com/2018/05/20/birmingham-woman-with-help-from-police-wins-chance-to-dance-with-janet-jackson/

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