Juan Carlos the Montrose Rollerblade Dancer: Life After National Television
Montrose rollerblade dancer Juan Carlos’ stint on NBC’s America’s Got Talent may be over, but he finds a stage wherever his wheels touch the ground. Last week, Juan Carlos glided into City Hall’s council chamber sporting a skin-tight bedazzled body suit and an uncanny ability to pose like his life depended on it. But this time, instead of a panel of celebrity judges, he addressed a room full of Houston city council members, Mayor Annise Parker and friendly supporters to accept an official proclamation from the City of Houston declaring August 7, 2014 as Juan Carlos Day. The backdated honor marked his return to Houston after performing at Radio City Music Hall on a live episode of America’s Got Talent in New York City.
Though it’s been over a month since Juan Carlos vogued in front of a pair of giant, golden rollerblades on national television, he’s no less enthusiastic, and neither are his fans. After the proclamation was officially announced, Juan Carlos rolled out into the open area near City Hall’s fourth floor elevators and posed some more; onlookers snapping photos with their iPhones, media all vying for a good angle and an entourage of friends cheering him on amid the chaos. There’s just something about him — and that form-fitting black and gold bodysuit — that is undeniably entertaining.
To celebrate the big occasion, Juan Carlos and friends gathered afterwards at Sparrow Bar + Cookshop to raise a glass to his recent recognition. Before the party started, he took time to answer a few questions about his life after America’s Got Talent.
What do you think about having an entire day dedicated to you in the City of Houston?
Today is a fantastic day, because this is a great honor – to have a proclamation, in a city, especially a city in the United States, I just love it. I’m amazed.
What’s life like for you after appearing multiple times on national television?
It has changed a lot. I’ve gotten a lot of exposure. I was in shock when I arrived in New York to know how many fans I had. When I was in New York, I was amazed how many people kept telling me I was their favorite. I know I wasn’t the best act, but I know that I was the most popular. On my way back home, it’s been a great, great welcome from Houstonians. I’ve even had people tell me, “please don’t move, don’t go anywhere, because we love what you do and you make us happy.”
Do people recognize you more now?
When the plane arrived [in Houston from New York], my pilot told me, “I didn’t want to miss you! I want a picture with you. Come to the cockpit — I’m not supposed to do this, but I don’t care. Me and my wife love you and I want to take a picture with you and I thought I was going to miss you.” It was awesome.
What’s next for you and those rollerblades?
I have a two-and-a-half year contract with NBC — just in case something happens or somebody wants whatever — so I cannot tell you anything right now, because I don’t really know what could come up. So far I have great things to perform in Houston. No matter what, I will always come back to Houston, because I feel Houston is home. I’ve been here for over 20 years.
What do you think about Nick Cannon (America’s Got Talent host that befriended Juan Carlos) and Mariah Carey (the two are in the middle of a separation)?
Whenever I hear about divorce for somebody, it always is sad. Hopefully they can work it out, but if they can’t, hopefully they can move on. Nick Cannon is an awesome guy. He gave me some beautiful shoes, a shirt and some Versace pants. He kept telling me that I was the biggest controversy in the show.
What was it like to have someone criticize you in front of a national audience?
Howard Stern didn’t like me, but you know what? I don’t care. I have people that love me. When he gave me the “X,” I couldn’t hear the music, because people were screaming like crazy. It was all very positive. It showed that not only can I rollerblade, I can also be funny, I can pose.
How did you find your special location in Houston at the corner of Allen Parkway and Montrose Boulevard?
It’s about 20 blocks from my house. When I first came up there, I noticed how people reacted, so I thought, “this is my spot.”
Why did you choose Montrose as your home?
Montrose is a very diverse place. You can walk, you can ride your bike. The neighbors are fabulous. The houses are beautiful. It’s like a city of its own.
Where do you want to be in five years?
I want to be way out there, doing movies. I love to perform.
Do you have any advice for people looking to put themselves out there like you did?
People are going to like you, people are not going to like you. Don’t let anything bother you, because you are you. Focus on what you’re doing, enjoy what you’re doing and make sure you’re happy. Focus on what makes you happy. I’m sorry, but that’s not their business. Your business is to be happy.