Let me start with a truly shocking admission. Ready? Okay. I was not cast as one of the dancers in “Richard Simmon’s Sweatin (no g) to the Oldies #4: Disco Sweat. If you saw me you would think “That woman was born, born, born to be in Disco Sweat.” And you would be absolutely correct. Although since I’m a lady “Disco Glow” might be a more appropriate title. But I guess that’s neither here nor there, for even though I did an amazing audition, I was not cast. Mourn with me for a moment.
Obviously it was a miscarriage of justice that Mr. “Skimpy Dolphin Shorts” himself didn’t choose me. Come on, no-one and I mean, no-one, can do “sassy arms” like me! Hello- have you seen my “step and throw”- it’s unparalleled. I was even alive during the disco period, so disco dancing/fake exercise disco dancing is practically my birthright.
At the audition I just knew I would kill it. I even felt sorry for the other people competing for one of the coveted spots in the exercise video. More than smugness, I was certain I was the right person for the job. Does Piers Morgan question that he isn’t the perfect host for Piers Morgan Tonight?” No, no he doesn’t, nor should I have doubted for a moment that I would soon be making people feel mighty real while getting their heart rate up.
The air was hot in the studio that day-stiflingly hot. Well it was filled with big-boned people, competitive big people- the very worst kind. I can say that as I am chunky, as well as funky! As the auditioners warmed up, they sucked the air of any moisture with their flop sweat of desperation to get in good with Richard. Richard is like a guru to the big body mass.
Looking around at the other people trying out, I noticed most were regulars like me at Slimmons- Richard’s studio. Oh look over there, it’s the woman who always wears a belly shirt or maybe she just makes every shirt seem like a belly shirt. Hey it’s that mouth breathing clumsy guy, I wonder how many times he’s tripped over his own banana-loafed feet already? How sorry I felt for him, her and all of them. I was the real deal-a-meal and they were just Disco Sweat Wannabes. They’d probably be cut before the second round. They were losers and not in a good way.
I was dressed in bicycle shorts and an extra large Hanes pink tee shirt and I knew I was dressed exactly right. I couldn’t look more like someone who was doing really easy moves to out-dated disco songs and having such a great time doing it that it didn’t seem repetitive at all kind of person.
Since I was practically a professional dancer ( two boyfriends of mine had gone out with dancers after I broke up with them and that counts) I decided that although I’d follow the choreography , I’d also add in my own personal flair whenever I could. Instead of just doing “Egyptian Arms” I did “Egyptian Arms with a backwards Windmill.” Dance 10 and looks 10- clearly.
It was a little unfair as I had rigorously studied dance; I had taken a total of two tap classes. I had wanted to study tap for years but by the time my mother finally signed me up, I was already an old lady of 9. Standing among the 4 and 5 year olds, I felt humiliated and shunned. I shuffled off to Buffalo and out of the Tiny Tots Dance studio forever. But I had learned what I needed in those two classes and one had only to see the determination in my eyes to recognize me as weighty competition.
In high school I had taken jazz dance with the legendary Sue-Ann Lavosh; legendary because she had been discovered having an affair with our school’s snaggle-toothed basketball coach. They were outed when vacationing in Waikiki at the same time as the Swing Choir. Oops bad timing. But Sue-Ann taught me more than just discretion- she taught me the jazz square and the grape vine. Since Richard’s choreography is usually just a variation on those two steps anyway, it was really all the training I needed. I was an aerobic shoe-in.
Unlike “So You Think You Can Dance?” this try-out routine was fairly easy. As I suspected, I aced it and at least in my own mind I did. I hoped that the next round would be more of a challenge. It was like taking candy from a baby but not stuffing the candy into your own mouth.
One thing that must be said about Richard Simmons, he’s sincere in his desire to help people. I have seen him during his classes, cheering on people who can only exercise while sitting in a chair. He’ll call dieters to encourage them to stay on their meal plans, and he will do everything in his power to be an inspiration.
Richard has been in the news lately with his feud with David Letterman. He called David “stand-offish” and “cold,” and was shocked that David never wanted to be his friend. Richard, you have no idea what cold is, cold is cutting me at the second round of auditions before I even had a chance to really strut my stuff. I was dance floored. Was it a mistake; was it true that I wouldn’t be a part of Disco Sweat? When one of the staff showed me to the door, I couldn’t deny it, I hadn’t made the cut. My plus-size ego had been dealt a deadly blow.
My friend Gary who admittedly is a great dancer, did make it into the video. He was practically professional roller-skater when he was a teenager, so it made sense that he got cast. Unfortunately Gary is a much better dancer than Mr. Simmons himself and was relegated to the back row during the video shoot. Talk about standoffish and threatened.
Humbled and humiliated by my not making it into Disco Sweat 4, I never returned to Slimmons. Ha ha I bet you’re sorry now, Richard. If you had just cast me, I’d probably be much healthier today and in better shape! Which oldie is not sweatin now?
I recently found out that “The Biggest Loser” is casting its 14th season. While it isn’t an exercise video, I’m sure there will be lots of exercising to be done. I should try out- I’m perfect for that show. I wonder if I still have that extra large pink tee-shirt and those biker shorts because I definitely still have the moves.