This is It for Cebu Dancing Inmates

It started as an amateur video…

News Source from

The “Thriller” routine of the Cebu dancing inmates captured audiences worldwide, including the King of Pop himself, the late Michael Jackson.

“Michael saw the Cebu dancing inmates on YouTube and enjoyed them immensely. During rehearsals, we would watch and he would get tremendous joy,” Jackson’s world-famous choreographer, Travis Payne, told ABS-CBN Correspondent and Anchor Karen Davila.

Payne, along with two of Jackson’s backup dancers, taught the inmates at the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center new routines for a special dance video that will be released to coincide with the “This Is It” DVD launch this month.

The choreographer said it was but fitting to include a special dance number from the now world-renowned Cebu inmates for the special “This Is It” DVD launch.

The Cebu dancing inmates even made it to the “Michael Jackson Opus,” the only new publication that was approved and endorsed by Jackson himself and the estate of Michael Jackson.

The Opus, which was released last month, features more than 300 rare and previously unpublished photos. Two pages of the photo book featured the Cebu dancing inmates.

Special routines

Payne and dancers Daniel Celebre and Dres Reid taught the inmates the “Drill” and “They Don’t Really Care About Us” routines.

The two routines were unique made-for-tour performances for “This Is It,” which was supposed to be Jackson’s final curtain call concert tour.

It took a full day for the prisoners to learn the routine on Monday. Their performance will be taped on Tuesday.

“This Is It,” a global box office hit, includes Jackson’s rehearsal footage until his untimely demise on June 25, 2009 due to cardiac arrest. The “This Is It” DVD will be launched worldwide on January 26.

Watch out for the worldwide launch of the DVD as well as ABS-CBN’s exclusive video footage of the full experience very soon.

And now, it’s high definition on YouTube. Awesome!


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