When you grow up on a prairie, there’s plenty of time to learn how to dance and sing. At least, that was the case for Little House on the Prairie actress, Melissa Gilbert.
Melissa Gilbert, who played Laura Ingalls on Little House on the Prairie, wasn’t just an actress. She could also dazzle fans with her singing and dancing talents. And that’s exactly what she did when she appeared on the television show, American Bandstand in 1978. American Bandstand was a musical variety show that aired from 1952 to 1989. The show was hosted mostly by celebrity Dick Clark. At the time Little House on the Prairie had aired for four seasons. And Gilbert was only 14 years old.
For her performance, Melissa Gilbert performed with two backup dancers. The group covered the song “If My Friends Could See Me Now.” The song was originally released by disco singer Linda Clifford earlier in 1978. Melissa’s version never made it onto vinyl, nor did it get any kind of radio airplay. However, dedicated Little House on the Prairie fans loved the performance.
Melissa Gilbert Returned to Dancing in 2012 for Dancing With The Stars
Little House on the Prairie star Melissa Gilbert put her dancing shoes back on again in 2012 for the 14th season of Dancing With the Stars. She paired up with ballroom dancing champion, Maksim Chmerkovskiy. Although they didn’t win, and Gilbert sustained an injury early on in the season, the two made it to the final four couples in the competition.
During an interview in 2012, Gilbert talked about feeling shocked that she made it so far in the competition.
“I am kind of shocked, actually,” said GIlbert. “I tried not to have too many expectations going into where we would be, so each week has been a surprise, but then having people vote us through when we’ve gotten lower scores has been really validating and amazing, surprising.”
During another interview, Gilbert added what it was like working with her partner, Chmerkovskiy.
“We talked about how some people are opposites, they’re like oil and water,” said Gilbert. “We were just fire and fire all the time.”
Unfortunately, the Little House on the Prairie star was eliminated on her birthday. However, Gilbert said that it was a happy birthday despite the elimination.
“I’m amazed that I even made it this far,” said Gilbert. “And the things that I was able to do and the things that were able to overcome to have been here on this day, does make it a really incredible birthday.”