Credit: ABC

Credit: ABC

When this season’s cast of “Dancing With the Stars” was announced, “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” fans were probably pretty excited to see a familiar face. Alfonso Ribeiro, who played Carlton Banks on the famed ’90s sitcom, was paired with professional dancer Witney Carson, and basically from the beginning these two were a force to be reckoned with. So much so that their first week had them scoring nines across the board from all judges — only the fourth couple in the history of the show to do so.

From the time his participation in the show was announced, “DWTS” had viewers anticipating the appearance of the “Carlton Dance” (you all know which one I’m talking about), and they didn’t disappoint, putting on a stellar performance in week four that had them both jamming to Tom Jones’ “It’s Not Unusual.” The judges were so excited and the routine went so well that they received a 40 out of 40 that week and “Fresh Prince” fans were able to rest easy.

So why are we loving this guy? I’m not even a fan of the show, but week after week I will wait for it to be posted online so that I can see what type of talent he’s bringing to the dance floor. And it’s not just because he can dance — even though he really, really can. I mean, Alfonso has been gettin’ it since 1984 when he appeared in one of Michael Jackson’s famous Pepsi commercial as a background dancer. Alfonso comes alive on the dance floor and seems to live to entertain the masses — just like any good performer/entertainer is trained to do. His talent is amazing, though. Like he was made to be on this show. And he really does have you looking forward to his sharp-hitting steps and charismatic stage presence. It really is a joy to watch.

And like I said, it’s not just because he can dance. There’ve been singers and actors with dancing backgrounds on the show before (Mya and Christina Milian for starters), and they’ve walked away without the mirrorball trophy in their arms. Alfonso seems to have that special extra something, that je ne sais quoi if you will, that has you rooting for him.

The fact that he works hard, for one. Even with what they labeled a serious groin injury, he powered through it and went on to receive pretty great scores that week. And his precision in routines make it obvious that his practices with Witney are no joke — and can we talk about their chemistry? Out of this world. They seem to really enjoy each other and enjoy their time on the floor. And even though he’s told he’s wonderful week after week, Alfonso seems to remain humble through it all, which is sometimes not very common in stars with his level of talent.

Another thing we love? How much he seems to love his family. His wife and their little one are there to support him every week (his son is gorgeous, by the way). And he even took the spotlight off himself last week to make the announcement that he and his wife are expecting their second child. How amazing was that. “Let me dance my butt off and then, oh, by the way, we’re having another baby!” I loved it. Great moment.

Alfonso has had other gigs after “Fresh Prince,” but I think it’s this one in particular that really has him shining again. I’ll continue to cheer him on through the weeks, as long as he continues to entertain, and I’m wishing him luck all the way to the finals! Hopefully this show will lead to more opportunities for him to get back in the spotlight, and more opportunities for us to watch him succeed.

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