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The 411: Louisville native LaVelle Smith talks about his career and working with the late Michael Jackson

by Sherlene Shanklin

Posted on November 7, 2011 at 8:47 PM

Updated Monday, Nov 7 at 9:56 PM

Update 11-7-11:  I just spoke to Lavelle Smith about the Dr. Conrad Murray trial and the verdict.  He said it’s “Bittersweet”.  He just didn’t want to see anyone else go through what the Jackson family and friends had endured.  Smith is on his way to do an interview with Piers Morgan.  Right now, he’s scheduled to be on the second part of the show.  The Piers Morgan Show airs on CNN starting at 9 p.m. 

Be sure to tune into The411 with Lavelle Smith Part 2 on Saturday morning.   

Welcome to this week’s The411….Louisville always seems to surprise me when it comes to the entertainment industry.  I sit down with the man who knows some of the biggest stars in the business. 

Smith "I've worked with everybody - Michael Jackson, Beyonce, Diana Ross, Rolling Stones, Rod Stewart. I've done films, Coyote Ugly, The Cable Guy, I've done commercials. I've worked all over the world."

Meet Louisville native Lavelle Smith.  I asked when he started dancing.

Smith "You ask my Mom and she'd tell you I used to dance to the sound of a washing machine. I was about 2 years old. If that's an indication, I just love movement. I've danced my whole entire life. Went to Manual and it changed my life."

I asked Smith how did he get a job with Michael Jackson. 

Smith "I've been with Michael for over 23 years. And it was a natural progression from dancer and dancer that does a little choreography, to choreographer. I asked LaVelle was there a Midwest connection since he was from Kentucky and Jackson from Indiana. We're both two men that love our families. We're close to our moms and siblings. We love dance. We had so much in common and we're both from this part of America, there's something that connected us. We trusted each other, he trusted me completely and I trusted him and we just loved to create together. Diana Ross said it best, people know when you're being honest."

Smith "Since I've worked with legends, I'm going to do a DVD series showing you how you can dance like these various people. It's fun, it's light, it's telling stories and talk about working with people and showing the steps and hoping people get up and do it. I love Broadway, I was offered a show in London... I'm just really blessed and I want to be ready for anything that comes my way."

Lavelle Smith was a wealth of knowledge that the411 will do a second segment to talk about the death of Michael Jackson, what he does for children at the Home of the Innocents and why he decided to move back to Louisville.  I'm Sherlene Shanklin with this week's the411.