Dancing with the Stars judge, TV personality, singer, dancer, actor, choreographer, Carrie Ann Inaba

2 10 2008

Hawaiian-born Carrie Ann Inaba’s diverse ethnic background inspired her to pursue a number of divergent paths, each with impressive success. She is a singer, dancer, actor, choreographer and founder/President of EnterMediArts, Inc., a video production company. She directs, writes, and edits films including E! Behind The Scenes Miss America Special, 7th Festival of the Pacific Arts, A Portrait of IVI and Beyond the Dancing Image, along with the short feature film, Black Water.

Currently Carrie Ann appears twice weekly as one of the three judges on “Dancing With The Stars.” She has gained the reputation as the honest, fearless “tell it like it is” judge on this hit show.

She says,

I would get a lot of fan mail from Asian families saying thank you so much for giving my daughter a different thing to aspire to, rather than a teacher or a doctor. I’ve been very aware of that from the time I was very young.

She calls her constant sense of responsibility her “backpack.” Carrie Ann discovered dance at the age of 3 when her mom enrolled her in a creative movement class.

I work in a medium that has a lot of power. Every time I open my mouth, I know that it affects somebody else, somewhere. In American culture we are somewhat disconnected with our bodies. We have a tendency to be “in our heads” most of the time. Dancing is about letting go of the mind, letting go of the ego and finding the power of the body. Since I’ve been a dancer my whole life and I believe so strongly in body knowledge, to see these stars find more confidence and expression through their bodies as they went through the process of learning these dances, is a joy.

After winning a talent show as a teenager, her first bold career move was to move at the age of 18 from her native Hawaii to Japan to be groomed as a pop star. She had to learn the language and culture, sing the Japanese lyrics phonetically, and bear all the pressure of recording and performing for a demanding public. During that time she released three hit singles: Party Girl, Be Your Girl, and Yume no Senaka. She also hosted a weekly radio and television series.

Returning to the States, 20 year old Carrie Ann moved to California in 1988 and studied choreography and graduated cum laude with a degree in World Arts & Culture. While in college she landed a role as a Fly Girl on the hit variety show “In Living Color,” the same show that spawned the career of Jim Carey, Jamie Fox, Damon Wayans, and fellow Fly Girl Jennifer Lopez.

She also joined many famous dancing troupes, appearing as a backup dancer for Madonna’s The Girlie Show tour, and Ricky Martin’s Living la Vida Loca tour. Carrie Ann also appeared as a dancer in movies such as Austin Powers in Goldmember and Showgirls.

Carrie Ann has choreographed several television series, including American Idol, American Juniors, All American Girl, He’s a Lady, In Search of the Partridge Family, Married by America, The Sexiest Bachelor in America Pageant, The Swan, and Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire?. She also choreographed the Miss America Pageant for five years.

She’s not done yet
Carrie Ann’s “to-do list” includes creating a Vegas show, performing on Broadway, acting in a martial arts film, and producing educational videos to benefit children based on arts and culture.





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