By DONALD WITTKOWSKI
Alexis Keefer was showered with a blizzard of confetti that fell onto the stage while she danced on the “Live with Kelly and Ryan” show in New York City.
“Alexis Keefer, from Sea Island City, New Jersey,” Ryan Seacrest said while introducing her on the show.
“Sea Isle City,” Kelly Ripa quickly interjected, correcting her co-host on the town name.
Other than the little “Sea Island City” flub by Seacrest, the day was otherwise perfect for Alexis, a 23-year-old Sea Isle resident who found herself in the national spotlight on Jan. 23 when she was called up on stage to dance on the popular ABC morning show.
Alexis gave her hometown a big shout-out on national television when Ripa spoke to her about Sea Isle.
“It’s pretty awesome,” Alexis told Ripa and Seacrest.
Ripa agreed, telling everyone that when she was growing up she and her family had spent a memorable summer vacation in Sea Isle in the 1970s. Along with some friends, the Ripa family had rented a garage apartment across from the beach.
Ripa couldn’t remember the street where the apartment was located, but she didn’t forget Sea Isle.
“Sea Isle is the greatest, isn’t it?” she asked Alexis. “It’s so fabulous.”
It was at that point that Alexis called Sea Isle “pretty awesome.”
(Click link below for video of Alexis Keefer on the show)
The 49-year-old Ripa, who was born and raised in South Jersey, smiled while describing her Sea Isle vacation.
“It was like 1976, or something like that,” she said. “It was so beautiful. I still remember it.”
Alexis had no idea she would end up on stage speaking with two TV stars when she set out for New York on Jan. 23 to watch the “Live with Kelly and Ryan” show. She was accompanied by her parents, Nicole and Matt Keefer, and her sister, Maddie. The trip to Manhattan was in celebration of Maddie’s 16th birthday.
While seated in the front of the audience, Alexis volunteered to be called up on stage during the show’s “Travel Trivia Dancer” segment. She was picked as the dancer after she auditioned with two other women.
“I raised my hand and an executive producer said, ‘Awesome, come on up,’” Alexis said in an interview Sunday.
She got to chat with Ripa and Seacrest on air and also during a commercial break in the show, telling them about her hometown.
“It was a lot of fun,” she said.
Alexis lives on 43rd Street in Sea Isle and has been a resident for 10 years. She is a summer beach tag inspector for the city, a volunteer at the Sea Isle City Historical Museum and a parishioner at St. Joseph Catholic Church. She also works in the front office at the Bishop McHugh Regional Catholic School in Cape May Court House.
Her appearance on “Live with Kelly and Ryan” earned her an official “Shout Out” from Sea Isle Mayor Leonard Desiderio last week in the city’s newsletter. Desiderio was happy that Alexis gave the city a big plug on national TV when she called Sea Isle “pretty awesome.”
“Alexis is an amazing young woman who works as a summer beach tag inspector for the City, and she always has a smile on her face. Thank you for being such a wonderful ambassador for our community, Alexis!” Desiderio said in the newsletter.
Alexis said she appreciated getting recognized by the mayor.
“That was very cool,” she said.
Desiderio wasn’t the only one who was excited about her appearance on the show. Alexis said she also heard from some of her cousins as far away as Hawaii and China.
“I have family all over the world. It was really cool that they were reaching out to me,” she said.