The last time I decided to bust a move in front of complete strangers was at the German Beer Hall in Milwaukee, where I executed a mean “Chicken Dance” on a tabletop. In my defense, the entire restaurant was dancing on the furniture, so set all those Hollywood clichés aside. As we all know, the technique involved in “not wanting to be a chicken or a duck” is pretty serious, so it would only make sense that my next public shakedown would be on a national television show called Dancing with the Stars.
What do ballrooms and beer halls have in common? Honestly, fun. In the two weeks I’ve spent immersed in this new dancing adventure, I have developed six pack abs, not from intensive training, but from Ballas belly laughs. Yes, I have been coupled up with the beautiful person that is Mark Ballas and couldn’t be more thrilled with the results. He is an amazing mentor who has made this process the perfect mix of learning and living. Our five-hour dance rehearsals have always been offset with trips to Disneyland, pranks on the camera crew and running from security in my hot pink promo dress because I tried to spin the Price is Right wheel without permission.
However, I’m not saying this process hasn’t come with a serious set of challenges. Walking sideways with your knees bent, hips forward, chest back, shoulders down, elbows up, fingers pretty and head twisted in Linda Blair-Exorcist-like precision is uncomfortable enough as it is without the added pressure of perfect breath, since there is no such thing as a personal bubble in the ballroom. Also, as a self-proclaimed Carrie Bradshaw fan and collector of all things stiletto, I’m seriously considering boycotting heels when this is all over. I’ve always been there for them and now, when I need them the most, they aren’t supporting me.
We’re getting down to the moment of truth, and I’ve wished on every 11:11 and 12:34 I can find. I’m going to do my best and if I totally blank onstage, I can always fall back on my signature chicken dance, which will most likely result in me being chased off stage by security. Luckily, those are both things I know I already excel at.