By the time he turned 12, Alfonso Ribeiro had won the lead role in the Tony Award–winning Broadway musical, The Tap Dance Kid. By 15, he had his own dance book (and an accompanying commercial), and a role on the NBC sitcom Silver Spoons. And by 18, he’d landed a role on another NBC sitcom, the one that’s brought him the most fame to date: Carlton Banks, Will Smith’s elitist cousin on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
At this point, Ribeiro has done it all, from dancing with Michael Jackson to winning Dancing with the Stars. He continues to be a fixture in pop culture, appearing as a funny clone to Chris Paul’s character in a series of State Farm commercials. He’s also the current host of the former #1 family show, America’s Funniest Home Videos, a position he’s held since 2015. He’s a consistent source of smiles, fun-loving joy, and positivity. While some people tried to pigeonhole him as Carlton Banks, he’s worked very hard to establish himself as host, funnyman and go-to guy, Alfonso Ribeiro.
“Imagine for a second you do a role so well that they tell you you’re not allowed to do anything else ever again because they can’t believe that you’re not that guy,” the 50-year-old says to TheRinger.com. But he never let that stop him.
Ribeiro grew up in the Bronx during the 1970s and 1980s. His lineage in the entertainment business is strong since his grandfather, Albert Ribeiro, was a calypso singer known as Lord Hummingbird. His aunt was a dancer on the sketch comedy show Laugh-In, which aired during the 1960s and 1970s and was an early vehicle for Lily Tomlin and Goldie Hawn. Ribeiro’s parents noticed his talent at an early age and made a concerted effort to ensure he was a well-rounded performer.
“As a kid, my dad was my manager and he always said to me, ‘Here’s what we’re going to do: The more eggs you have in the basket, the more opportunities you have for one of them to hatch when you need them to hatch,” he says. “And so we’re just going to learn to do everything. We’re going to learn how to dance. We’re going to learn how to sing. We’re going to learn how to act. We’re going to learn how to entertain. We’re going to learn how to talk. We’re going to learn how to read. We’re going to be well-rounded in the business.”
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No matter what Ribeiro did after Fresh Prince, he continued to dance. His dancing has kept his weight down and landed him a spot on the hugely popular show, “Dancing With The Stars” which he ended up winning in 2014.
Alfonso knows all too well that dancing can be a way to stay fit for people of all ages, shapes and sizes. It has a wide range of physical and mental benefits including:
- improved condition of your heart and lungs
- increased muscular strength, endurance and motor fitness
- increased aerobic fitness
- improved muscle tone and strength
- weight management