DANCING WITH Kathy Ireland

Kathy IrelandEvery year, I wonder how ABC is going to top their list of celebrities that are competing in DANCING WITH THE STARS, and from the get go, there is always one celeb that stands out as the person I’m rooting for.  This year, it’s a tie between Debi Mazar, who I love, and Kathy Ireland, who is awesome.  As luck would have it, I had a chance to speak with Kathy last week about what’s coming up this week on the premiere, and why she got involved in the show!

How did you get involved in the show?  Was it something you were actively interested in, or something they approached you about?
I was so humbled to be asked to be a part of the show.  They had asked me a couple of times before, and it just wasn’t possible.  There were prior commitments on my calendar.  I’m a mom, I’ve got three kids, and I’m running a business.  But you know, in today’s economy, non-profits are hurting and businesses are closing down left and right, businesses that non-profits are dependent on, and the idea of dancing terrifies me, but I’m always telling others to step out of their comfort zone.  And as I was contemplating this, my family shared with me, look, if you’ll do this, if you step out of you comfort zone, we know that you’ll give 100% of what you bring in to the non-profits that are close to your heart, and if you do this, we’ll match you.  That’s a huge motivating factor for me, and it’s really exciting!

What surprised you the most about the dancing?
What has surprised me the most? I’ve discovered muscles that I didn’t even know existed.  I’m so sore!  It’s really, really hard.  It surprised me to learn how hard the professional dancers work.  My partner is Tony Dovolani, he’s a world champion.  And not only does he have the enormous challenge of taking someone like myself who has never danced before at all, and not only that, who has always been clumsy, and before working with, couldn’t even walk in high heels.  He’s gotta do all the choreography, he gets the music, and then it’s so interesting to experience it!  It’s like he visualizes the music and he turns it into this dance, and watching how that unfolds, it’s just really exciting!

Have you gotten a chance to know or meet your “competitors?”
I think we’ll start having more contact.  ABC did have a party, so we all got to meet each other, but we all live in different towns and everybody is so busy rehearsing!  I don’t know if others have gotten together, but I’m kind of isolated.  I live in Santa Barbara, I really haven’t seen anybody!

Kathy Ireland 2What dances are you doing this week?
Tony and I are working on the Salsa and the Foxtrot.  They are two entirely different dances.  My big hope is that I don’t get the two dances mixed up!

Did you say that you had trouble even walking in heels before you started dancing?
You know, I grew up in Santa Barbara on the beach. My husband is an ER doctor, and this woman came in a few weeks ago, and she was the Dean at my high school, and he said okay, tell me, what’s the deal, how many detentions did she get, what happened, and she said, you know what, the only thing I really remember about Kathy is that she was always getting in trouble for never wearing her shoes!  I just never wore shoes.  You never saw me on the runway; there’s a reason.  It’s just never been a part of my life!

I feel like I could never get out there and do what you guys do – I’m not coordinated enough!
You know what Amrie, I never thought I could, I really didn’t.  I’m telling you – if this de-conditioned middle-aged mom can do it, anyone can do it! [laughs]

Why should people tune in this year and definitely vote for you guys?
I think it’s going to be the most exciting season ever. They’ve got the most diverse cast.  Wonderful, athletes, Olympians, a model, actresses, singers.  I don’t know how great everybody else is, I haven’t seen anybody else dance, that I don’t know, but I do know, Tony is such an amazing teacher.  He’s got such a great work ethic and I don’t think it’s possible to work harder than we’ve been working.  And everything that comes in will go to Non-Profit.  I think that hard work, and knowing that Non-Profits will be supported – those are great motivators!  Tony and I have a website – it’s called VoteKaTony.com

Check out the all new season of DANCING WITH THE STARS starting tonight on ABC!