Whoa! Joey Lawrence is getting ready to waltz his way into America’s hearts when ABC’s Dancing with the Stars kicks off its third season on Tuesday (8 p.m. ET). Besides mastering the tango and the hustle, the 30-year-old actor has been busy in his personal life: He and wife Chandie recently became parents to 4-month-old daughter Charli. PEOPLE caught up with the former Blossom star about his aching feet and his controversial chrome dome.
You have a very different look these days.
I shaved my head for a movie. Then (Dancing with the Stars) came up and I didn’t have time to grow it back. They said, “If you didn’t grow your hair back that would be great.” I’ve been able to throw away all of the hair products. I haven’t had a brush or a hairdryer in six or seven months. People either love it or they hate it. But I sort of like it, so who cares?
I understand you recently became a father.
I did. We have a little baby girl. She’s 4 months old and her name is Charli and she’s absolutely incredible. It’s the most amazing thing that happened to me – ever.
You’ve started a family, you’re working on movies. What made you want to take on something as intensive as Dancing with the Stars?
It is intensive. But I’m up to the challenge of it. I always wanted to learn how to dance. I could kind of move a little bit in clubs and stuff but I was never trained. Last year my wife and I were watching it and we just got hooked on it. We thought it was a really fun, positive show. The opportunity came up for me to do it and I just said, “I want to do that. That sounds fun.”
Who were you rooting for last season?
Honestly, I think the best man won. Stacy (Keibler) was arguably the best dancer technically. But I think that Drew (Lachey) just kind of had this thing that worked. He had a charisma and a sense of passion for it and a great attitude about it.
You’re dancing with Edyta Sliwinska, who’s amazing.
We’ve been training for about 5-6 weeks, a lot of the time it’s been 4-5 hours a day. It’s been unbelievably tough but, honestly, that’s not a lot of time with what I’ve had to learn. We get along really well, but she’s been kicking my rear-end. But you need to do that in order to have a chance to compete.
What’s been the most difficult thing for you to master?
The posture, actually. Latin dancing is a little more familiar to me because it’s slightly similar to dancing with somebody in a club where you can have that eye contact. But (doing more traditional dances) you have to be in contact with that person at all times – touching – but you barely ever look at them. It’s about the posturing and keeping your nose up in the air and it’s a very kind of haughty, arrogant dance and I hate it, to be honest with you.
You’re a fitness fanatic. How has dancing affected your workout routine?
I decided to lay off leg workouts completely just because I know that you can’t be squatting and lunging with all this crazy weight with what we need to do for dancing.
Are you running out of Icy Hot?
Believe me, I’m taking baths and trying to get some Epsom salts in there. It’s amazing – I come home every day with something sore that I never knew I had.