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Melanie LaPatin on TLC's "What Not to Wear"

danceScape interview with former United States Professional Latin Champions, Melanie LaPatin, who was selected to be on The Learning Channel's "What Not to Wear"

Melanie LaPatin and Tony Meredith on What Not to Wear, TLCWhen you found out that you were chosen to be on television's "What Not To Wear", how did you react? What was the overall experience like for you?
I was completely surprised and had absolutely no idea that this opportunity was coming. I had a fantastic time and met wonderful people. It lifted my spirits at a perfect moment in my life and provided me with a new sense of inspiration. It was a great experience!

How would you describe the behind-the-scene atmosphere on "What Not to Wear"? Do you have any funny stories that you would like to share with your fans?
It was a riot – constantly funny! On the night of the taping we went to the wrap party and I ended up leaving my new $5,000 wardrobe in the trunk of the limousine! It wasn’t until the next morning when I realized that all of my clothes were missing. I immediately called the production office to tell them what had happened. They were so helpful. They located the clothes and returned them to me. Later on that day while I was out to lunch with a friend I received a phone call from a reporter at "The Post" who had heard about the incident and wanted to get the scoop on how it all happened. Sure enough later that week, the story of my mishap landed on Page 6!

Has this experienced changed your individual fashion style at all?
Yes! It has definitely altered my sense of style and opened me up to many more possibilities.

What is one of your most memorable and rewarding dance experiences to date?
After coming in second place for so many years, and sometimes missing the Championship by one mark, and wanting the title so badly. It was in 1995 at our National Championship where Lee Wakefield announced: "And the 1995 United States Professional Latin Champions from New York....Tony Meredith and Melanie LaPatin!" 

What was the transition like when making the decision to retire from the competitive dance scene?
It was a very sad day when we decided to retire officially in 1998. Tony and I just kept practicing because that is what we were accustomed to. I knew I would need something really big to replace it. That’s when we decided to open up a studio of our own. We have other things in the works, which we’re keeping under wraps for the time being.

Could you please tell me more about any of your upcoming dance events?
We hold a party on the last Thursday of every month, which always includes special performances and is open to the general public.

For more information, visit Melanie LaPatin at


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