Diary of an Ex-Soul Train Dancer: Alina Bell

Alina Bell photoAlina Bell was one of the prettiest and sexiest Soul Train dancers of the 1980s and early ‘90s. Indeed, she had a look and dance style all of her own, but she was definitely more than just a pretty face. Here is her story.

SoulTrain.com: How did you become a Soul Train dancer?

Alina Bell: I was doing some modeling and my mom told me I should pursue other things as well. So a close friend of mine named Stevie, who was already dancing on Soul Train, helped me to get on the show.

SoulTrain.com: How long were you on Soul Train?

Alina Bell: 1985 to 1996. I gave birth to twins at one point but then I came back to the show.

SoulTrain.com: What do you remember about the first time you went on Soul Train?

Alina Bell: Lights, camera, action! I was a little nervous but when the music started going the nervousness went away and I just danced!

SoulTrain.com: What is your favorite memory of an artist that appeared on the show?

Alina Bell: When Guy came on the show. I got a chance to meet them and take pictures with them.

SoulTrain.com: When the legendary Stevie Wonder came on the show in 1991, you were one of the dancers who stood next to him as he performed on stage. That must be a memorable moment.

Alina receiving award at Disco Ball with Dana Dee and Carolyn JohnsonAlina Bell: It was awesome to be on stage with a legend just as when Gladys Knight, Eugene Wilde, Fresh Prince and Jazzy Jeff and James “J.T.” Taylor came to the show and I interacted with them.

SoulTrain.com: Did you ever do the Soul Train Scramble Board?

Alina Bell: Yes. I did it one time in one take. I never got my prizes. A lot of people who did the Scramble Board didn’t get anything either.

SoulTrain.com: What was the recognition like of being seen on Soul Train?

Alina Bell: People would say, “I saw you on Soul Train!” My family loved seeing me on the show. The recognition was really nice.

SoulTrain.com: What were your impressions of Don Cornelius?

Alina Bell: Don was a calm, cool and collective guy. He would say hello but he was somewhat anti-social.

SoulTrain.com: How was that chicken after the long tapings?

Alina Bell: [Laughs] Yes, I got my fried chicken and I dug into those Rubbermaid garbage cans filled with all of that cold ice to get my soda pop.

SoulTrain.com: Did you ever experience jealousy from the other dancers?

Alina Bell: Never. Everyone was real sweet.

SoulTrain.com: Some of the female dancers told me that they have had problems with stalkers. Did you ever have such a problem?

Alina Bell: No, I never had any problem with stalkers nor ever dealt with any stalkers.

SoulTrain.com: Did you ever get caught by coordinator Pam Brown chewing gum on camera?

Alina Bell: Pam caught me all the time!

SoulTrain.com: Are there any special memories that stand out from being on Soul Train?

Alina Bell: Just being a part of the Soul Train family was always a special memory.

SoulTrain.com: Did you ever attend the Soul Train Music Awards when you were a dancer on the show?

Alina Bell: Only once. All of the dancers were seated in the balcony.   

SoulTrain.com: Did you ever do any performances outside of Soul Train?

Alina Bell: I danced on stage with M.C. Hammer when he performed at what is now the Universal Amphitheater.

SoulTrain.com: You wore some eye-catching outfits on the show. Did Toney Briggs, who also designed outfits for other Soul Train dancers and celebrities, design outfits for you?

Alina Bell: No, he never designed any of my outfits. I bought all of my outfits at the mall.

SoulTrain.com: After leaving Soul Train, did you ever want to do anything in the entertainment industry?

Alina Bell: No. I was focused on school. I attended Los Angeles Community College and UCLA.

SoulTrain.com: What are you doing currently?

Alina Bell: I have spent 25 years in the dentistry field.

SoulTrain.com: Recently, you among other former Soul Train dancers including myself were honored at the second annual Disco Ball. What do you want to say about that incredible evening?

Alina Bell: That was such a special moment. We were all together. It was wonderful!

SoulTrain.com: What do you want to say in memory of Don Cornelius?

Alina Bell: I give a lot of thanks to Don Cornelius for allowing us to participate in his vision and to get recognition from people all over the world.

SoulTrain.com: What word of wisdom do you want to share?

Alina Bell: Stay positive and keep the music and dancing alive. We are one big Soul Train family!

—Stephen McMillian

Journalist, actor, filmmaker, dancer, performer, writer, poet, historian and choreographer. That’s Stephen McMillian.

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