‘The Real World: New York’: Julie Gentry Reveals That Brooke Shields Was in Her Dance Class With Eric Nies
The class, which was included in original footage on The Real World, was taught by legendary dance instructor Frank Hatchett who left an indelible mark not only on Gentry and Nies, but also Shields.
The dance class was led by a legendary dance instructor
Nies recently shared a throwback moment from the 1992 groundbreaking reality show. “Getting down at Broadway Dance Center NYC 1992 Real World with my partner in crime the one and only @julieolivergentry My soul sister for life,” Nies captioned the Instagram video. Nies is seen busting out with natural flow and rhythm, while Gentry stopped to look on in the background for a moment.
Gentry then added a fun fact in the thread. “I loved taking class from [Frank Hatchett]. Sometimes Brook Shields was in class no joke.” Hatchett helped to launch the Broadway Dance Center in 1984, according to the company’s website. Many dancers, including Shields, considered Hatchett to be their “dance dad.”
“Brooke Shields described how Papa Frank nicknamed her, ‘Tasty B,’ when she was learning to get in touch with her sexy-side in class,” according to Hatchett’s tribute. “‘I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror,’ she explained, tearing up. ‘I didn’t want to seem vain.’ But Frank helped her overcome her fear. The mirror is not just a tool to see the lines and shapes of your body. The mirror makes you see yourself: your soul and passion as a dancer.” Hatchett died in 2013.
Eric Nies and Julie Gentry pursued careers in dance
Nies was clearly having the time of his life in the video. He was laughing and looked completely at ease. Dancers in the studio got down to the song “Wiggle It” by the duo 2 in a Room. “YOU GOT THAT RIGHT!!!” Gentry exclaimed in the Instagram thread. “I’m your soul sister for life and you better not ever forget it! Its so good looking back at this! We have had a lot of fun and I wouldn’t trade it for anything!”
Nies went on to host his own dance show, The Grind on MTV. He hosted and danced on the hip hop hit series immediately following The Real World, through 1997. “When The Grind happened, my life just completely went crazy,” he told People. “It was a dance party wherever I went.”
Gentry came to New York to pursue a career in dance. But she found that being on The Real World actually hurt her from advancing in dance. “I mean, you know, I was auditioning for different dance gigs,” Gentry said during a town hall hosted by Sway & Tracy G! “And I felt like I would make it through dance cuts. That comes in as a cattle call. And I would make the cut, make the cut, make the cut. And you’re right down to that final round.”
“The producers are like, well, that’s Julie from The Real World,” she said. “She can’t be on the line, you know, like, get her out of here. But before you go, will you sign this for my daughter? You know, I’m signing an autograph for a job I didn’t get. That hurt.”