The Story Behind Alfonso Ribeiro’s Famous “Carlton Dance” on ‘The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air’

by Jeremy Spirogis
Alfonso Ribeiro as Carlton Banks

There are a number of traditional moments from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. From Will Smith and Jazzy Jeff’s well-known handshake to Will’s emotional breakthrough with Uncle Phil over Will’s absentee father, the present supplied laughs and touching relatable moments throughout its six-season run. But the character who proved to offer essentially the most comedian aid was when Alfonso Ribeiro broke out into his well-known Carlton Banks dance. As it seems, Riberiro’s creation of the Carlton dance was very a lot intentional and was impressed by seeing Courtney Cox dance.

Alfonso Ribeiro as Carlton Banks
Alfonso Ribeiro as Carlton Banks on ‘The Fresh Prince’ | Chris Cuffaio/NBCU Photo Bank

Alfonso Ribeiro and his well-known “Carlton dance” on ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’

Ribeiro starred as Will’s privileged cousin, Carlton Banks. Though the 2 come from completely different worlds – with Carlton rising up in Bel-Air and Will being raised in Philadelphia – they kind an in depth bond after Will is distributed to reside with the Banks household. 

Will Smith and Alfonso Ribeiro in 'The Fresh Prince'Will Smith and Alfonso Ribeiro in 'The Fresh Prince'
Will Smith and Alfonso Ribeiro in ‘The Fresh Prince’ | Chris Haston/NBCU Photo Bank

Both Will and Carlton are the identical age and attend the identical Bel-Air non-public college. As Will’s reputation will increase as a consequence of his classmates’ fascination with him, Carlton struggles to slot in. Carlton is seen as dorky and infrequently finds himself because the butt of everybody’s jokes, together with from Will at occasions. Will can also be favored among the many Banks siblings over Carlton.

Still, Carlton and Will steadiness each other out and discover themselves current to help each other throughout occasions when wanted most. Some moments that stand out with followers of the present embody Carlton lastly shedding his virginity and getting cool factors from Will and Carlton’s want to guard Will after Will is shot. By the top of the sequence, Carlton and Will are greater than cousins – they contemplate themselves to be finest pals.

[embedded content material]

Source: YouTube

But Carlton is most recognized for his eccentric style. He’s an enormous fan of singer Tom Jones and actor Macaulay Caulkin. Throughout the sequence, Carlton will typically burst out into his well-known “Carlton dance,” which he performs to Jones’ “It’s Not Unusual.” The dance sometimes annoys Will however Will joins in on the enjoyable within the finale episode. 

[embedded content material]

Source: YouTube

Related: Can You Copyright a Dance Move Like ‘the Carlton?’

Alfonso Ribeiro’s co-star Karyn Parson says the “Carlton dance” was Ribeiro’s impersonation of a white woman dancing

During an interview with Vlad TV, Karyn Parsons, who performed Riberio’s on-screen sister Hilary Banks, spoke at size about how a lot every actor had affect over their character growth. Parsons defined that out of your entire solid, Riberio’s character was most like him in actual life.

Alfonso Ribeiro, Will Smith, and Karyn Parsons in 'The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'Alfonso Ribeiro, Will Smith, and Karyn Parsons in 'The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'
Alfonso Ribeiro, Will Smith, and Karyn Parsons in ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ | Ron Tom/NBCU Photo Bank

“They write to the person. Alfonso as Carlton was a huge example of that because in the very beginning of ‘Fresh Prince’ if you watched him, it’s really unclear what Carlton’s thing is,” she stated. “He started to define that character very clearly himself and then the writers had to follow.”

One of the methods wherein the writers adopted Ribeiro’s lead was when it got here to his musical pursuits and sense of comedy model. Riberio already had nice dancing potential and had beforehand starred in a Pepsi industrial alongside Michael Jackson.

[embedded content material]

Source: YouTube

Parsons defined that what would develop into often called the “Carlton dance” was the everyday “silly and goofy” habits of Ribeiro behind the scenes. Interestingly, Ribeiro created the dance after watching one other actress and mocking her strikes.

“[He got it from] Courtney Cox in the Bruce Springsteen video where he pulls her out of the audience and she comes up and dances with him on stage,” Parsons stated. When Vlad asks Parsons if Ribeiro was initiating a “15-year-old” white woman’s dance strikes, Parsons laughs and agrees.

Leave a Comment