(Achtung, erst Käsekuchen-Text lesen, dann den folgenden)
THE LIFE OF DANCIN’ KIM
From 1982 until her tragic death in 1988,
Dancin’ Kim Wood thrilled audiences with the hottest new dances of the day on her locally produced TV show, Totally Rad Dances with Dancin’ Kim! Shot in the back room of her mother’s dance studio, Totally Rad Dances aired on a handful of small local television stations, mostly in the South and Midwest, usually in the late night hours.
All of the tapes of Totally Rad Dances were believed to be lost, until November 2006, when a box containing old VHS tapes of Dancin’ Kim’s show were discovered in the basement of an abandoned house in St. Louis. Some of these films are now exclusively available on VideoJug.
After the disappearance of her husband, Dancin’ Kim’s mother Carol Wood supported herself and her three daughters by opening a small dance school in their hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina. In the 1960s, Carol Wood hosted a local dance TV show called Dancin’ Carol’s Groovy Dance Happening!
Growing up in her mother’s dance school, young Kim Wood could “dance before she could walk”, as friends said. Always eager to learn the latest dances, Kim developed her talent with a buoyant, almost manic, energy that was impossible to ignore.
Young Kim got her first taste of the spotlight in 1978, when the 13 year old won a local newspaper essay contest in which she delighted readers by announcing that, when she grew up, she wanted to be First Daughter Amy Carter, because she’s “super neat”. A community letter writing campaign to bring Amy Carter to Charlotte to meet young Kim succeeded, to a point. Amy Carter did visit Charlotte, but sadly, Kim was unable to meet with her because she was quarantined with the German measles.
The Big ’80s were a perfect match for the unstoppable energy of Dancin’ Kim, and she embraced every new trend of that era with an almost superhuman enthusiasm. From aerobics to Lambada: The Forbidden Dance, Dancin’ Kim was on the cutting edge of everything that was hot and now in the 80s. She started hosting her show in 1982, which was initially picked up by local stations in St. Louis, Raleigh-Durham, and Vineland, New Jersey. Oddly, no station in Charlotte picked up the show until 1984, when WCCB began airing it at 6 am on Saturday mornings.
In 1986, Kim volunteered to be a local organizer for the Hands Across America event. However, when she learned that path of the cross-country human chain wasn’t going anywhere near North Carolina, Kim organized her own local version, Hands Across The James K. Polk National Landmark. Dancin’ Kim’s relentlessly upbeat energy led to rumors about her rampant drug use, but her friends insist to this day that it’s not true. “Believe it or not,” one friend said, “Kim’s just high on life.” Of course, she’s higher on life than anyone who ever lived.
Dancin’ Kim seemed headed for major stardom. However, her life was tragically cut short at the age of 24 when she was killed in a freak accident at the Mecklenberg County Fair when she was struck by a metal clamshell-shaped car that disengaged from its moorings on the Tilt-A-Whirl while Kim was giving an aerobics demonstration.