Alfonso Ribeiro

All great heroes have an origin story, so it should come as no surprise that Carlton Banks does, too. Or, maybe not so much Carlton, but his dance. The man behind the moves, Alfonso Ribeiro, has been entertaining us for years, but how did The Fresh Prince’s “Carlton Dance” even start? What’s the story behind it? Like Superman has his cape, how did Carlton get his dance?

The forever hilarious Ribeiro recently wrote up a little back story on the dance for Variety. The short answer behind the the hip shaking and the arm waving? The script read: “Carlton dances.” So, Ribeiro danced. As he explains, “It was never even intended to be funny; it was just that [Carlton] was dancing.”

Ribeiro wasn’t even sure what to do for the dance at first since he was, “[playing] a character that was as far from myself as possible.” He was brought CDs and articles about Tom Jones and Barry Manilow to learn about them, and when it came time for Ribeiro to bust out Carlton’s moves, he was thinking of Courteney Cox.

“The dance is ultimately Courteney Cox in the Bruce Springsteen video ‘Dancing in the Dark,’ that’s the basis,” he explains. “Or in Eddie Murphy’s ‘Delirious’ video, ‘The White Man Dance’ as he called it. And I said, ‘That is the corniest dance on the planet that I know of, so why don’t I do that?’”

So that’s what Ribeiro did. Take this:

Add this:

And you end up with the Carlton dance. Not so unusual, huh?

(Images via NBC and Giphy.)