Dance War: Carrie Ann Inaba on Being a Role Model
Dance War: Carrie Ann Inaba on Being a Role Model
She started out as a Fly Girl on In Living Color, and Carrie Ann Inaba now has started a new career as a reality star of Dance Wars and Dancing with the Stars. Throughout her different roles in the entertainment industry, she's had the opportunity to open doors and broaden perceptions about Asian-Americans, and she recently shared her perspective on this aspect of her career.

For one thing, it sounds like being a role model wasn't exactly her first expectation back when she did land that role on In Living Color, but she quickly learned based on the feedback from fans.

“I wasn't aware when I first started, but when I was a Fly Girl I got a lot of mail from people talking about how I gave their children a different role model, not just to be a doctor or engineer or pharmacist. At an early age, I was aware that people were watching at there was some sort of responsibility.”

However, the Dance War star took her responsibility in a different direction than some might expect. Rather than saddle herself with a bland career trajectory that avoided controversy, she decided to take on different opportunities that might push boundaries or challenge stereotypes about Asian-American women.

“When I was offered a role on Madonna's tour to come down the pole topless in a G-string with a shaved head, I was like, ‘Okay, I wanna do it' because I thought it was such a unique way to showcase myself because it was unexpected. Then to go on and do the Austin Powers thing [playing Fook Yu] which was bizarre, funny and a lighthearted look at [Asian] culture.”

Since then, with her position on Dance War and Dancing with the Stars, she has chance to present another facet of herself.

“Now to be the only American judge on a panel of three on Dancing With The Stars, they chose me to be that judge and I'm Asian. It's huge, and I'm honored by ABC and the BBC for taking that chance on me, because they could have easily chosen any race or person.”

- Leslie Seaton, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
(Image courtesy of ABC)