Paula Abdul talks about choreographing Coming To America, “This was one of my moments of having to really prove myself, because I was still pretty new in my career as a choreographer. John Landis, the director, wanted the person that choreographed Janet Jackson. I was still a Laker Girl. I went in and he looked at me and said, ‘What are you, a teenager?’ And I said, ‘Yes, I am!’
He basically was telling me, ‘What do you know about African dancing?’ And this is my whole thing when becoming a choreographer: ‘I’ll just tell everyone yes, I know exactly what I’m doing, and then I’ll figure it out later.’ That’s basically what I did. I said, ‘I know a lot!’ And he goes, ‘Hmm, I don’t think so, because I was expecting someone like Debbie Allen to come in.’ And I said, ‘I may be young, but I know what I’m doing.’ So he left me alone.
Coming To America (1988)- Paula Abdul Choreography