If you look up synonyms for disco, the first entry likely is Bee Gees. No. 2 has to be Deney Terrio.
Terrio taught John Travolta his disco moves for the seminal 1977 film Saturday Night Fever. Choreographer Terrio became a star himself through Dance Fever, a syndicated variety and dance-competition show he hosted from 1979-85.
Tonight, Terrio will bring his dance steps, slightly modified for age, to the Sunrise MarketPlace as host of the Friday Night Fever concert with Sister Sledge (We Are Family), Tavares (More Than a Woman), The Trammpsfeaturing Earl Young (Disco Inferno) and A Taste of Honey featuring Janice-Marie Johnson (Boogie Oogie Oogie).
Terrio called last week from his home in Tampa, Fla., to discuss Friday nights show and a career thats been all in the hips.
Whats involved in your role as host of the Friday Night Fever show?
Well, I am usually the host and the guy who gets the crowd moving and gets them pumped up. I like to grab women out of the audience, and one by one, I start showing them dance steps. I look in the crowd for the ones who are smiling the most and look pumped.
Women love to dance, anyway. I tell that to guys: If you go out to a function or anywhere there is dancing, youd better start dancing.
You are in your 60s now. Do you still have all the disco moves?
I can tell you this, but until you see it ... I am in great shape. I have kind of cut down on the knee-drops and the splits. I am still great at couples dancing. I still do the point, and the arm roll and the (sidestep moves from Saturday Night Fever).
Dance Fever had a competition element and seemed like a precursor to todays shows Dancing With the Stars and So You Think You Can Dance.
You know, I love all those shows, but to be honest, my show was way before its time. ... People love to watch people dance. When I first started as a dancer, the only place we got to change was in the mens room singers used to get all the top billing. ... Dancing is such beautiful entertainment, and people know that now.
People have been talking about discos demise since about 1979. Did it ever really die?
You know, it has been like a roller coaster, up and down in the 1990s, we came on strong. And (now), if you listen to Robin Thicke, Bruno Mars, Daft Punk ... they are starting to understand that dance music is happy music with a 4/4 beat. (Disco) is beautiful dance music and nobody can take that away.
I want you to consider everything you are wearing right now. What percentage of it is polyester?
Oh, you know, I didnt even wear polyester back then, except for some of my outfits on Dance Fever. I never wore it (outside of that). I was afraid of catching fire.
Call The Bee's Carla Meyer, (916) 321-1118. Follow her on Twitter @CarlaMeyerSB