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SARATOGA SPRINGS — Local fans joined the Spa City’s social elite Sunday night at the National Museum of Dance and Hall of Fame to pay tribute to the hall’s newest inductee, the “King of Pop,” Michael Jackson.
Local dancers Iraida Volodina and Ricardo Sopin, (“Dancing with the Stars,”) and twin Argentinean duo Martin and Facundo Lombard, (Disney’s Step Up 3D), performed tribute routines before a trophy was presented to Marlon Jackson.
“The people are so great here,” said Jackson, who was in Saratoga Springs for the first time to accept the award on his younger brother’s behalf.
“He would’ve appreciated this,” Jackson said of his brother, saying he was the type of person who never took praise of his talent or his many accolades and accomplishments for granted.
In his acceptance remarks, Jackson told attendees about how he and Michael would visit children’s hospitals at the height of their fame to entertain ill children, and how they had given back to the fans that supported them throughout the years.
“We didn’t have his style of dance in the hall of fame,” said Michele Riggi, president of the museum’s board of directors, calling Jackson’s talent “incredible.”
Riggi welled up with tears while reading a letter addressed to her from Katherine Jackson, Marlon’s and Michael’s mother, thanking the museum for the honor and recognition of her son’s achievements
Museum founder Marylou Whitney and her husband, John Hendrickson, were in attendance, along with museum board member and Arthur Murray dance studio owner Leslie Valencia and U.S. Rep. Paul Tonko, D-Schenectady.
A panel featuring images and a quote from the “King of Pop” was also unveiled.
Jackson will join the likes of Fred Astaire, Bill “Bojangles” Robinson and Alvin Ailey in the hall.
An exhibit displaying props from his “This Is It” show, which he was rehearsing for when he died, and screens showing classic Jackson videos and the film of the same name, will run at the museum for a year following the induction.