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Getting the Dirt on DWTS with Kym Johnson


Ever wonder what Dancing with the Stars rehearsals are really like and what the pros do when they aren’t hitting the dance floor? I do. And when DWTS pro Kym Johnson stopped by SHAPE I decided to find out! Here’s what she had to say in response to my top Dancing with the Stars questions.

SHAPE: What is the first move you teach a star?

Johnson: The first they do is the cha cha to see if they have rhythm. You try to get them having fun and feeling more relaxed.

SHAPE: What is the dynamic between the different stars and professionals in the rehearsal studio?

Johnson: We all train at one place where they have a replica of the main studio, which everyone fights for and they have all these other rooms. Everyone goes into the little kitchen area so the celebrities can talk about how everything’s coming along and who’s doing what wrong! It’s not like you’re on your own. We’re all there together. It really is like a family!

SHAPE: Those dances can be pretty intimate, have you ever fallen in love with a partner?

Johnson: I did in Australia. I ended up with the guy that I won with. We dated for a second and it was a disaster. It didn’t end well! I learned a lesson from that and I’ll never do it again. But if you’re both single it may happen!

SHAPE: What makes a good partner?

Johnson: Someone who leaves all inhibitions and checks their ego at the door. You have to be prepared to try things, which most of them do. It’s very daunting. You’re total strangers and the next thing you know its ‘put your hand here, hold me there.’

SHAPE: Before coming on the show, how would you recommend a celebrity prepare?

Johnson: If I was going to be on the Dancing with the Stars, as a celebrity, I’d definitely take dance lessons before hand, something—anything! Or I would get the fitness DVD. Kristi Yamaguchi told me she did the fitness with her daughter and learned the jive steps before coming on the show.

SHAPE: Outside of dance, what do you do to stay in shape?

Johnson: I do Pilates and choreographed the last Dancing with the Stars fitness DVD. I also love the Barre Method. I don’t like going to the gym so I just do stuff outside. I’d rather take my dog for a walk or go hiking. Plus, the female pros end up leading the guys around so I end up being toned from the dance hold.

Click here to see what Kym Johnson eats everyday to maintain her dancers frame and tune in for insider updates on Dancing with the Stars season 15 All Stars.

As an editor at SHAPE I have the chance to learn about the healthiest ways to cook, eat, and live from all sorts of experts but I’m also a single girl living in NYC with a busy schedule, active social life, and chocolate cravings. I’m here to share what works for me—and where I need a little help from you.


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