For the 14th season of Dancing With the Stars, pro dancer Kym Johnson will be sharing the inside scoop with Life & Style readers--behind-the-scenes! In this week's edition, Kym talks about how surprised she was to find that Jaleel White was her partner, how great he's dancing and what she's been doing with her time off since dancing with David Arquette last season! Check back every week for more scoop from Kym.
I went back home to Australia in the off season, and Cheryl Burke came and spent New Year's Eve with me. It was so nice to show her around my country! I got back about six weeks ago and did a Dancing With the Stars fitness DVD and shot all of the infomercials. I got right back to work!
I didn't find out that Jaleel White was my partner until he walked in the door. I think people believe we know who we're dancing with much sooner than we do, but it's a complete surprise to us, as well. I didn't even know who the cast was until we turned up to Good Morning America! I feel really bad because I didn't watch Family Matters. It was very big Australia, but I didn't watch it. I knew, of course, of this Steve Urkel character. In fairness, he hadn't watched Dancing With the Stars, so he wasn't too familiar with me. We both went home and Googled each other after we met!
I immediately started You Tube-ing him. He's a very talented performer, which is really great to know. Although he's never danced before, he has natural performance skills; he's very athletic and really quick on his feet. Athletes are always so amazing because they're very agile. He's very determined to put the work in. He's a very intelligent guy. He picks things up quickly and is very coordinated.
In terms of strengths and weaknesses, he's very hard on himself. That can be a great quality, but it can be a detriment as well. Once we get over this first show, I think he'll be pretty proud of himself and what he's achieved. It's great because he strives for perfection, but he gets frustrated when he can't pick a step up in the first two seconds. He just has to be a little bit more patient with the learning. That will come.
It's really fun the first show. We have some great competition. I love watching Martina Navratilova. I think she's amazing. I'm a massive tennis fan, so I'm going to get in her ear and ask her tennis questions. It's going to be an amazing season. I've been watching rehearsals, and everybody is very good. The standard is high! One of my favorites is Katherine Jenkins. She's gorgeous, and she's a great dancer. I love Maria as well. I always end up getting along with all of the girls!
Last year I had that big fall with Hines Ward with my neck, so I've had to get work on that. I'm so much better now. That was pretty scary. I won't be doing any crazy lifts like that this time around. I think you're going to see an elegant and sophisticated dance tonight. I'm sure some of the cast from Family Matters will be in the audience this season. It's going to be a great season!
Tune in to see Kym and Jaleel's first dance on the live 2-hour premiere tonight at 8 p.m. ET on ABC--and be sure to catch Kym's new post every Monday!
Photo credit: ABC