Life has been, well, racing along for “Dancing With the Stars” pro Chelsie Hightower and her celebrity partner, three time Indy 500 Champion Helio Castroneves. The duo not only prepped for this week’s debut shows with four and five-hour rehearsals over the past several weeks — they did their dancing betwixt and between Helio’s races.
“We were in Florida for a week, got back and then went to Fontana (CA) for the very last race of the season,” she reports. That gave Hightower the chance to see Helio’s Indy Car world — and shoot some lively B-roll with the camera team that followed them around, in addition to practicing.
“Everybody’s going to be pushing the boundaries. I think everybdoy wants to come out and see something they haven’t seen before,” notes the 23-year-old Latin ballroom champ, speaking of the just-launched All Star season in which past winners and near-missers are going head-to-head for the coveted “DWTS” Mirror Ball Trophy.
As far as how she and Helio plan to push those boundaries? “I want to give them something they haven’t seen from Helio. But I can’t give away my secrets,” she says with a smile. She also says that the winner “has to have the overall package, to put on a performance for the whole nation that gets the votes…Helio was on my short list of celebrities I wanted to work with, definitely. He has such a charismatic personality. I was super excited to have him. He obviously wants to show he has the chops, and he also wants to have a great time while we’re doing it.”
With six “DWTS” seasons already behind her, the beautiful blond dancer is thinking beyond “DWTS.” For me at this point, I kind of have to see what is the smartest thing for me to do that will set me up the best for the future.” Yes, she’s thinking of acting prospects, and has had some interest in that regard. “The most obvious thing is to build up my brand, so that’s what I’ve been doing with endorsements and promotion.”