Many of you may recognize Carlton Wilborn as one of Madonna's lead dancers from her Blond Ambition and The Girlie Show Tours. He has been one of the most sought after dancers in Los Angeles over the past two decades with a resume that would make any performer envious.
I grew up watching Carlton perform and recognizing that I wanted to follow in his footsteps professionally. So you have to imagine when our paths crossed in 2004 I was a little excited...okay I was ecstatic.
I would later find out that there was more to Carlton Wilborn than the electrifying performances he gave to thousands on tour with Madonna. Off stage Carlton was grappling with years of sexual abuse, low self-esteem and eventually a crisis that would test his faith and mortality. All of which he has expressed in a poignant and revealing memoir entitled "Front & Center: How I Learned To Live There".
Front & Center is self published and the winner of the USA Book News award for best memoir. His memoir can be purchased at TreeLifePublishing.com, Amazon.com, and Barnes & Noble.com. Visit Myspace.com/CarltonWilborn or CarltonWilborn.com for more information.
I recently interviewed Carlton for the March issue of CLIK and I'm posting an excerpt for you to read below.
From forthcoming March issue of CLIK:
Every dancer has a defining moment in their career when they feel they have “arrived”. This defining moment for Carlton came after an audition for Madonna’s 1990 Blond Ambition Tour. Out of 600 male dancers who answered the call only twelve remained standing at the end of the day and Carlton was one of them. By the time he arrived home to his small studio apartment there was a voicemail from Madonna herself inviting him to a club the same evening and subsequently to a dance class where afterwards she personally offered him the job.
He would continue to dance for Madonna for years, appearing in the cult favorite Madonna: Truth or Dare documentary and a second tour, The Girlie Show, eventually becoming her pillar of strength onstage and off. It was through Madonna that Carlton was introduced to the spiritual teachings of Kabbalah.
Yet with all of his success and early attempts at spiritual enlightenment Carlton still struggled to shake his past and the poor decisions he made as an adult that often kept his soul in bondage and his life’s purpose at bay.
Until he decided during his “well period”(a period when we realize we’ve either fallen into, dug ourselves into or been put into a dark well) that he’d hit rock bottom and needed to re-claim the strength of his lineage. In doing so he ushered in healing and God’s blessings front and center.
Check out the entire article when CLIK hits the stand on March 15.