The Dancing judge, 41, says she's single, happy and wiser than ever

By Monica Rizzo
Updated March 06, 2009 11:00 AM
John M. Heller/Getty

Carrie Ann Inaba says just because she’s in her 40s doesn’t mean life is over.

“I don’t look at myself as done, I look at myself as halfway through,” the 41-year-old Dancing with the Stars judge tells PEOPLE. “I appreciate my vitality and what life has given me.

Inaba, whose relationship with dancer Artem Chigvintsev ended last November, says, “Right now, I’m single and happy. I think it’s easy for people in their 40s to feel like they’ve fallen behind something. What that something is I really don’t know. [Life] might be better because at 40 you know a lot more about a lot of things.”

Inaba tapped into her inner youth when she filmed a guest-starring role for Hannah Montana. On the episode, which airs on the Disney Channel March 8, Inaba plays a choreographer who comes in to help Miley Cyrus‘s character prepare for an upcoming tour.

Inaba, a former In Living Color Fly Girl, even got to showcase her own moves. “Miley and I do a little dancing together,” she says. “It made me feel like a kid again.”

As for working with one of the hottest teens stars in Hollywood, Inaba says, “Miley was so kind and loving. She helped me out, too. In this one scene I was facing upstage and she was like, ‘Carrie, you might want to face this way.’ ”

Inaba will be back in the judge’s seat when Dancing with the Stars returns on March 9.