What Goes Into The Carlton Dance?

by Kadeen Griffiths

It's not unusual to see Carlton Banks bust a move on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air — especially since reruns keep the insanely popular sitcom alive. While Will Smith was no stranger to dancing himself, it was Alfonso Ribeiro's Carlton Dance that became an iconic symbol of all things right with the '90s, and that ensured that countless teenagers know the words to "It's Not Unusual" by Tom Jones. I don't know about you, but I'm definitely guilty of breaking out a few of Carlton's dance moves at parties. Sometimes, you just want to look like a huge, flailing dork on purpose. And it's also a good way to figure out who your real friends are. Anyone who doesn't get the reference should be ousted from your social network immediately.

However, the Carlton Dance looks a lot simpler than it actually is to execute. I mean, you've got to move your hips, move your feet, move your body, and remember all the lyrics to Tom Jones at the same time. Plus, it takes a certain kind of reckless abandon to wave those arms so wildly that you nearly smack yourself in the face doing it. Laugh all you want, but the Carlton Dance is an art form that very few can master.

If you think that you can bust a move quite like Carlton, then you are either lying to yourself or a perfect candidate for America's Got Talent. However, for those of us normals, the Carlton Dance is more about appreciating than about copying. And, as I said, there's a lot that goes into the construction of that dance. Check out the handy chart we've made below to explain the key elements of the Carlton Dance — elements you probably didn't notice.

Image: NBC; Caroline Wurtzel/Bustle