Nicki Minaj’s back up dancer finally opened up about her encounter with the snake during the VMA rehearsals.
Genise Ruidiaz couldn’t pass up the opportunity when she was given the chance to be a backup dancer for Nicki Minaj’s VMA performance of “Anaconda”.
There was however one catch. Ruidiaz was asked to perform on stage with a snake.
“This was definitely my first time [performing with an animal],” the dancer told MTV, “but I thought – when are you ever going to have this experience? When are you ever going to have a snake wrapped around you, while doing some of your contortion moves?” she said.
The 25-year-old told MTV during an Interview that although she was scared of the large creature, she overcame her fear by talking to the animal and treating ‘Rocky’ as a human.
Sadly for the performer, things took a turn for the worst.
“On Friday, the day that it happened, I was practicing the tricks with another contortionist and coming up with an alternate poses, and the snake was fine,” she said.
“We did it about four times before the incident happened and he was gripping me the way he was supposed to, but I felt like he was getting tired and didn’t want to hold on much,” the young woman stated.
“The trainers told me the only reason a snake would attack, is if they felt like they were at harm, so I tried to readjust to make sure that he felt safe on me. But right when I did one trick, I guess he must’ve felt I wasn’t holding onto him, so he went ahead and took a nice little bite out of my left arm.”
Ruidiaz, who required a tetanus shot and an x-ray, stated that she is thankful for Nicki’s overall concern.
“They sat me down on one of the props and one of the first people I saw was Nicki Minaj in front of me, making sure that I was OK.”
“And that was the one thing that I really appreciated, because some people can’t handle blood or an incident like that – especially when it’s their big performance – so the fact that she was one of the first people that I saw, I was really thankful.”
Luckily for Genise, “Archie” attacked the trainer, causing MTV producers to disregard the idea of a snake on stage due to safety concerns. When asked whether or not Ruidiaz will work with a snake ever again, the dancer had this to say.
“I would definitely say that I overcame a huge fear and maybe [I wouldn’t] work with a snake in the near future, but I see myself working with a snake again. I don’t see why not.”