Auntie Fashion

I’m the fashion world’s most-enduring muse.

The Darcel Interview

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Anyone who lived through the first half of the 80s probably spent a lot of time watching “Solid Gold.”  Back in the olden days, we didn’t sit down at the computer when we wanted to see our favorite musical artists performing: We watched them on TV.  The best place to see them — and hear them — was on “Solid Gold,” the show that was made even more memorable because of the “Solid Gold Dancers.”  They were a fabulously fit ensemble who counted down the week’s top hits with jazzy routines and a seemingly unlimited supply of spandex, headbands and hairspray.

The most famous of these dancers was Darcel.  Bearing the title “Principal Dancer,” Darcel grooved her way into our homes every Saturday afternoon for four seasons between 1980 and 1984.  After leaving the show temporarily, she rejoined the cast in 1985 before leaving again in 1986 to raise a family.

I was delighted to hear from Darcel when she left a comment on my blog after I suggested that we should collaborate on a “Solid Gold“-style top-ten countdown of the top-ten collections.  While I’m not quite sure how we’re going to make that happen, I was able to coax Darcel into an interview with yours truly where we discussed — among other things — the panties as pants look and today’s TV dance shows.

Auntie Fashion: Thanks to celebrities like Lady Gaga, Beyonce and Shakira, fashion is having a “pantsless” moment.  Unitards, tights and bodysuits are de rigueur.  People attribute this fad to a lot of different sources, but I can’t think of anyone who wore pants less often than you.  Would you say that fashion is having a “Darcel” moment?  Are you surprised that you’re a trendsetter twenty-five years after the fact?

Darcel: Yes.  Fashion is definitely having a “Darcel” moment.  The 80s are back, I’m back and I’m having a panty moment right now.  And I’m still glad I can get into some panties.  No, I am not surprised that I am a trendsetter.  Anything that is good and unique never leaves and just gets better — better than before.  What goes around comes around.

Auntie Fashion: The memory of you swinging around your braids while counting down the top ten is forever etched in my memory.  However, looking back at video footage of you on YouTube made me realize that you had dozens of hairstyles.  How much time did you actually spend in hair and makeup every week?  Was it difficult?

Darcel: Not difficult.  It was a lot of hours.  Braids and nails every week.  All the dancers would come to my house and everyone was on the payroll.  Sometimes I would fall asleep while I was getting my braids done.  Glenn, my husband at the time [Glenn Leonard of The Temptations], would bring us food.  One time we were trying to get my hair to look like Crystal Gayle’s hair.  The braids were down to my ankles.  I tucked the long braids in my belt and used that hair like a whip.  However, all the dancers who were next to me had to duck and move out of the way of those whipping braids.

Auntie Fashion: Dancing is the focus of a few of today’s tremendously popular competitive reality shows.  What do you think of “Dancing with the Stars” and “So You Think You Can Dance“?  If you were a kid back in Pittsburgh today, would you be lining up to audition for SYTYCD?

Darcel: I like “Dancing with the Stars.”  It’s good.  It shows as long as you have a desire, you can dance.  I love the way they transform the dancers.  It brings them great joy!  On “So you Think You Can Dance”, I appreciate the art, but there is too much gymnastics.  I have to get my “Hey, Hey” on.  I don’t have time for leaping and acrobatics.  No, I would not be auditioning for SYTYCD.

Auntie Fashion: Was there a sense of competition behind-the-scenes at “Solid Gold” like on today’s TV shows?  Did you have to win a challenge or be voted “fan favorite” to become the lead dancer?

Darcel: In becoming the lead dancer, I just had to be myself.  Brad’s exact words were “How come they’re not doing what Darcel’s doing?  Let’s call her principal dancer and let her do what she does.”  Everyone is unique.  We have to work the gift.  You can never capitalize on someone else’s style.

Yes, there was competition between the dancers.  A love-hate thing.  I was always bringing the other dancers forward for the Countdown and because of that there were a lot of changes in the dancer’s union.  Dancers got paid more.  I have much respect for dancers and their hard work and they needed to be paid.  And even still, they were envious of me.

Auntie Fashion: Like everyone else, I’ll always remember the countdowns on the show.  Are you nostalgic?  Do you ever find yourself counting down anything in dance anymore, like the “Top Ten Items on Darcel’s Grocery List?”

Darcel: Everything I do is done with counts. I do everything with a list. Counting down in my sleep and when my eyes are open.  My life is a countdown.

I am nostalgic.  The 80s were my prime time days, my best days.  But . . . the best is yet to come.  SEXY’S BACK and SHE’S STILL . . .  SOLID GOLD.


Click here to visit Darcel’s website and fill out the contact form to receive the latest info on her new book release, and click here to become a fan of Darcel on Facebook.

Written by Post Author

November 23, 2009 at 1:52 am

Posted in Friends of Zob

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  1. Awesome! Wish I could be more witty, but sometimes it’s good to keep it simple. and 80’s!


    November 23, 2009 at 4:40 am

  2. […] Darcel Wynne, who was the principal dancer for five of the show’s eight seasons, recently gave an interview to blogger Auntie Fashion where she revealed that she is the inspiration for the coming barrage of pantsless fashions. Auntie […]

  3. i loved darcel on solid gold, i was so envious of her figure her beauty and the way she can move.


    May 23, 2012 at 2:13 am

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