Excited about LA and dancing, when I first moved to LA I auditioned for everyone.  At that time, Janet Jackson and Paula Abdul were the hottest artist out and everyone wanted to dance and work with them.


I personally knew Paula’s choreographers and danced with them on several projects.  They wanted me on tour with Paula and I quickly became friends with Wendy (Paula’s only sister). I worked with Paula and Wendy, helped her with her first fitness video and instantly, we were like family.


Wendy started working for me at my studio and we were involved in Paula’s life and career.  Paula is such a regular girl.  She has worked very hard and has been blessed with her singing and dancing career. She remains true to herself and continues to be Paula.  She is an amazing person who has always been there for me.


Paula Abdul grew up in San Fernando Valley, California. She began taking dance lessons when she was eight. She attended Van Nuys High School, where she was senior class president and head cheerleader.


After graduating in 1980, she started college at Cal State Northridge, majoring in TV and radio. After joining the L.A. Lakers cheerleaders, she became head cheerleader/choreographer after only a few months.  Eventually, she dropped out of college to dance and choreograph full-time.


paula abdul dance to survive cover story
By MaDonna Grimes

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Paula Abdul



She was recruited by The Jacksons to choreograph their 1984 "Torture" video, the first in a long list of videos and movies she would choreograph. She branched out into singing with her first CD, "Forever Your Girl", which had lackluster sales until the single "Straight Up" exploded onto the charts in December 1988 and she has been a popular singer/dancer ever since, enhanced by her stint as a judge on the hit series "American Idol" (2002).

BBBF: How often do you workout?

Paula Abdul: I workout 3 - 4 times a week



BBBF: What do you do?

Paula Abdul: I like to mix things up.  I love dancing (of course!), Pilates, hiking, walking on the treadmill.  I also LOVE dance/fitness fusion.  I really enjoy workouts that combine dancing with traditional exercises.



BBBF: Are you always consistent?

Paula Abdul: Yes AND no!!  My goal is always to be consistent.  The truth is that I have a challenging schedule; unfortunately, sometimes I can't get to my workout.  Even if the most I can do is stretch for 5 minutes, or dance for a few minutes to a good song, I try to do some kind of exercise even when I'm up against a tight schedule.  I encourage everyone to give themselves a break!  There will be days when it may not be possible to work out the way we'd like.


Continue reading the interview below...



BBBF: Do you still have that deep deep love for dance?

Paula Abdul: Yes, yes, YES!  Absolutely and always!  Dance is my deepest love, my first passion, and my inspiration.  I don't care if you're a professional dancer, someone who just likes to go dancing, or if you just took a few classes at one point in your life and then stopped.  Dance stays with you.  Once it's in you, it will always be there.  It's one of those rare passions that brings us an indescribable joy every time we do it.


BBBF: Being famous, it is difficult to get out and take classes, how do you do it? Stay up to date??

Paula Abdul: It can be tough.  I like to train privately with friends and teachers with whom I've worked over the years, and I pop into random dance fitness classes from time to time.  I also see a lot of dance performances.  It's inspiring AND educational!  It keeps me up-to-date, and I love looking for new talent.


BBBF: What would you recommend to a beginner adult dancer, on how to start a dance program?

Paula Abdul: Ballet is the foundation, and a great way for beginners to learn the basics, and the language of dance.  You don't have to be in pointed shoes to learn the fundamentals.  Taking a very basic ballet class, and a basic class in your favorite style is a great combination.  Whatever style you choose to learn first, always remember what you love about dance.  Ask yourself, "What's my favorite style of dance?  Hip Hop? Jazz? Modern? Salsa?"  Take classes that help you learn that style.  Dancing is FUN!  It's SO important to remember that dancing is joy, inspiration and love in motion.  There's nothing like starting something as wonderful as dance, then becoming disenchanted.  Start simple, remember what you love about dance, and pursue that love!

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