While visiting Spice at her chiropractic care facility in Marietta, Georgia, I ask the good doctor to show me her degrees. She opens a storage closet, and struggles to simultaneously hold a heavy manilla envelope and discharge the numerous certificates. The whole affair leaves Spice laughing and results in a full and luscious lip-print upon one of the dignified parchments.
It might be the sexiest thing I have ever seen.
Although I adore each and every Nitro Girl for different reasons, my favorite has always been Spice -- the squad's petite, fawn-eyed, cinnamon blond dancer-choreographer. On stage, she's alluring and energetic; behind the curtain, she exudes warmth, sophistication and charm long after the fans have flooded the parking lots and the cameras have gone cold.
And let's not forget about her luminous, watermelon smile. When she unleashes that innocent and generous grin in your direction, you can't help but feel like you've just won the five-foot Droopy Dog at the town carnival.
But I assure you my love for Spice isn't merely a poster girl obsession, folks. It's a medical condition.
"When I was younger, I never considered being a chiropractor," says Spice, as she runs her fingers over my spine during an examination. "I never thought I'd be a dancer, either. I loved dance my whole life, it was always my passion. But as you go through life, going to high school and growing up, you have to make decisions about what you're going to do with your life. At that point, I wanted to go to college and become an attorney."Spice attended Pennsylvania's Westchester University, competed on a debate team and danced at clubs in the Philadelphia area. After securing her bachelor's degree, Spice moved to Atlanta with a boyfriend who planned to attend chiropractic school. While he prepared for his first year of anatomy and physiology, she took all the preliminary tests for law school -- and decided that she had no desire to become a lawyer.
"I can argue with the best of them," Spice said. "I'm very passionate and everybody was telling me that I needed to be an attorney. I could do it, but then I thought about what kind of fulfilling life would that be. That's not for me."
Midway through the story, Spice informs me that my one leg is shorter than the other, but I shouldn't worry. I'm flat on my stomach on a comfortable Frankenstein-esque table that has more features than a showroom BMW. One of wrestling's most attractive and desired women probes my spine with a gentle confidence. Not only am I not worried, I'm almost kind of hoping for something far more dreadful, so I can schedule a block of appointments.
"When I came to Atlanta, I started going to a chiropractor," continues Spice. "I grew up with Scoliosis, and I immediately started seeing the results and positive effects of it. Around the same time, my mother called me and told me that they had to put my dog BJ asleep. BJ had bone spurs and calcium deposits on his spine, causing pressure on the nerves and paralysis of the two hind legs.
"While I was on the phone with her, I got a call on the other line. It was my chiropractor. I was bawling. I told him about my dog and he said, before you put him to sleep, have the dog see a chiropractor. A chiropractor can adjust animals, too. If you have a spine, you can be adjusted."Spice went home to see her dog of 10 years and took the animal to a local chiropractor. BJ benefited from the chiropractic care, but the combination of widespread cancer and an experimental drug led to the dog's untimely death. But the experience gave Spice some insight on her future: "I could feel down her (BJ's) spine and feel all the problems, but I didn't know what to do about it. That was my motivation. When I got back to Atlanta, I went and found out what I needed to do to enroll in chiropractic school."
As fate would have it, Georgia's Life University not only had a chiropractic program, but the college was holding auditions for a group called the DC Dancers that very same week. "I was dancing for the school before I even started there," Spice said. "I had to actually take a bunch of prerequisites to even apply, so I took that time to investigate if that's what I wanted to do. Everything about it made sense. It's an all-natural form of health care. I've never been one to take pills and I will only have an occasional glass of wine. Everything in my life was holistic and natural in its approach."
Not only did her work with the DC Dancers aid her medical career, it also helped Spice fulfill her Nitro Girl destiny. Spice choreographed a piece that earned the DC Dancers a chance to perform at the 1996 Olympics. Spice met a slew of local choreographers at the Games and began working all over the Atlanta area, while still attending classes. "I knew I was getting out of college and about to start a career, so I figured I should dance as much as I can before I graduate." says Spice. "I would go to school all day and at be at rehearsals every night, every week, for a different show.
"As fate would have it, I came into this job. I knew Kimberly through fitness competitions, choreographing for her and we lost touch for a couple of years. We just happened to meet again when she was putting together this project. She told me that she thought I moved and that I was one of the first people she'd thought of for this project."
Spice managed to work for WCW while finishing her last six months of schooling. Since then, her schedule has only become more cluttered -- and her two lives less-and-less separate. "Basically, anyone who comes in here, if they didn't come in as a wrestling fan, they are leaving as one," says Spice. "They tune in to see what I do. Then they start paying attention. If you come into this office, you are guaranteed to become a wrestling fan within six weeks."
I can testify that it doesn't even take six minutes for a patient to become a fan of Dr. Spice's professionalism and bedside manner -- but, then again, I've was hooked years before my appointment. It's rare to find a woman who can melt your cable box during a bikini pay-per-view, scorch your tail in Trivial Pursuit and still find time to realign a football injury that burns like a Foreman right hook every time it's overcast.
Spice can do it all, do it well and make it seem entirely too easy.
credit: Ross Forman & Scott Cunningham with the pictures from www.wcw.com
credit: Chad Damiani for the column
for more Spice photos click here.