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Stamford Dance Studio Owner Thrilled To Reconnect With Janet Jackson

Stamford business owner Jimmy Locust meets backstage with his friend colleague pop singer Janet Jackson at her concert in Atlanta last weekend. Photo Credit: Contributed
Stamford business owner Jimmy Locust and pop singer Janet Jackson in the "Miss You Much" music video. Photo Credit: Contributed

STAMFORD, Conn. — Stamford business owner Jimmy Locust, the director of Locust Performing Arts Center who has a local dance teacher for the past 14 years, met up with an old friend and colleague this weekend — pop star Janet Jackson.

He saw Jackson at the final performance of her "State of the World Tour" in Atlanta. Jackson surprised Locust with VIP access to front and center seats and an invitation backstage.

Locust was a featured dancer in the film for Jackson's 1989 breakthrough album, "Rhythm Nation," which included the hit single "Miss You Much." 

The video for "Miss You Much" opens with playful banter between Locust and Jackson and follows with a trio of dancers, including Locust, performing with Jackson. This start of the video was part of the multi-media performance at this past weekend's concert.

Locust was introduced by Janet to her brother Michael Jackson, who selected Locust to dance with him in the 1990s. But Locust's encounters with Janet Jackson became fewer as their careers took different paths.

Locust was hoping to one day see Jackson again, but said he never imagined such a warm and generous welcome. 

"Janet is such an amazing person. She is so humble and kind and still has the most beautiful spirit," said Locust. "That she took time to see me was a blessing that I will never forget."

In addition to "Rhythm Nation," Locust also has featured appearances in Paula Abdul’s "Forever Your Girl" video and movies such as "Coming to America." 

He is the director of several performing dance companies at Locust Performing Arts Center in Stamford, including Harmony Nation, an anti-bullying troupe of young dancers who travel to schools to perform. 

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