To be honest, I’ve never watched one minute of Dancing with the Stars. I don’t despise the premise of the show. I love to go out dancing myself in fact. Just never seen it. That will change this coming season when one of my favorite athletes of all time will be on the show, Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward.
Ward joined WCNN in Atlanta to talk about how much of a distraction he thinks Dancing with the Stars might be, how good of a dancer he thinks he is, the process of how he was selected as a contestant, the preparation he’s already started to put in, how he’s been practicing as much as five hours a day already, and how he’s still very skeptical that a new CBA will be reached before a lockout.
On how much of a distraction does he think being on Dancing with the Stars will be and how long will the commitment last:
“I don’t think it will be too distracting. The filming, it goes all the way through like mid-May, June 1st. So it really won’t be that much. It will be like 10 or 12 weeks or episodes. And for me, I get to start off early with my training camp.”
Just how good of a dancer is he?
“Oh, I like to cut up the rug at the club. But I’ve never ballroom danced before. That’s a whole other level itself. The good thing about is nobody’s ever ballroom danced before.”
On how he got on the show — was he contacted or did his associates approach the show:
“Yeah my marketing team came to them and they threw my name in the panel. And with a lot of hard work and negotiation and stuff like that, they thought I’d be a pretty good fit for the show. So when they came to me and asked me, I really didn’t know because when you see it on television you say oh I can do that. But I’ve started, I’m on my third day of practice and I don’t know what I’ve signed up for. You’re hitting the uncertainty or the unknown areas. But all in all, It’s going well. I’ve got a great partner, she’s very encouraging. We’re almost halfway through our whole routine so things are looking good.”
After hearing about how much practice he’s been doing (up to five hours some days), Ward was asked if he is married?
But would he agree that it might be awkward to spend that much time around a beautiful woman if he were married?
“No, it’s not like that. Kim [Johnson, his dancing partner] is cool. You know, at first, it was just a respect trying to feel each other out. It’s like a cool relationship because she’s from a different country. Last night she said I had to throw my hand back, and I was like oh kind of like you’re going to pimp slap someone. She didn’t know what that was. She was like pimp, what’s a pimp? So it’s just a good relationship. I’m going to be with her for a long time, hopefully all the way until the championship. So I would never cross the line as far as jeopardizing our relationship. I’m in it to win it. I want to win that trophy.”
Whether there’s a first dance or first few dances that he’s preparing for right now:
“I can’t reveal the first dance, but it’s definitely something that I’ve never come across before. But I’m picking it up pretty fast. You know, it’s easy because we’re looking at ourselves in the mirror so it’s like a whole day using that mirror to try to get synchronized to make sure we’re on the same page and same beat so it looks good on television.”
Whether it is as good a workout as some say it is:
“It is. It definitely is. Just going through the whole workout, it’s definitely the shoes. I get a better understanding and new found respect for all the ladies who wear high-heeled shoes. It’s amazing what they go through. So almost every night I’m soaking my feet for precautionary reasons, because I’m starting to feel the soreness on the balls. So I understand what all the females go through when they go out and purchase that new pair of shoes.”
If he thinks the CBA extensions are a sign that a new deal is close to getting done:
“No I don’t think so. To be honest with you, it seems like you keep adding on time for nothing. So I understand they’re adding seven days to get something done, but it shouldn’t have to come down to this anyway. Right after the Super Bowl, they should have locked themselves in a room and gotten a deal done all the way up until the deadline. We would have had a new deal. But to sit there and keep extending it for a day, and then talk about extending it for another seven or ten days, that right there shows me we’re so apart that it’s not even worth the time. To be honest, we don’t know. I don’t know really when football is going to happen. For me, I’m staying in shape. I’m enjoying Dancing with the Stars. I think the closer we get towards the season next year, that’s when the pressure will be added on to it. But it just messes up the guys in the draft, because if you’re drafted you can’t even talk to the coaches or the staff until the deal gets done….So it just mess everything up. If we didn’t get a deal done, coaches would have to take pay cuts, people are going to get laid off, all the free agents are stuck in limbo because they don’t really know what’s going on. So it just messes everything up. But I don’t foresee getting it done before when the season starts or comes around and something eventually will get done around then.”