Tag Archives: Chelsie Hightower

Chelsie Hightower Talks Racing, and Racing Around With Helio

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.”

‘DWTS’ Chelsie Hightower: Using Setbacks as Fuel

“Dancing With the Stars” pro Chelsie Hightower and her celebrity partner, Disney Channel cutie Roshon Fegan, just managed to squeak through the past two weeks’ of eliminations — but the beautiful 22-year-old blonde dancer insists that’s only fueling their passion to succeed.

“I think just being in that position does it to you in and of itself,” she says.  “You feel the emotions when you’re not getting the scores from the judges you were hoping for — but that can propel you.  It lights that fire even more.  You want to come back and show them that you’re supposed to be there.”

Chelsie adds, “That’s really my philosophy of life.  If you have a setback or disappointment, come back even stronger, so they won’t have the option of a negative response.  I’ve always lived my life and my dancing that way.  Use failures or bad things to propel you, then you turn them into something positive.”

Along the way, Chelsie has had star partners ranging from Michael Bolton to “The Bachelor’s” Jake Pavelka and Olympic snowboarding star Louie Vito.  However, she tells us, “in terms of dance aptitude, Roshon is the best partner I’ve had.  He focuses in on everything and retains it. And he keeps growing all the time.  It’s fantastic.  He’s great, he really is.  He’s so much fun — always positive, no ego, great work ethic.  Fortunately, this show is about hard work.  He really does come in with a great attitude every day.”

Will it be enough?  We’ll know by May 22.

NEXT STEPS?:  Speaking of “Dancing With the Stars,” Melissa Gilbert, who has been expressing huge gratitude toward her large and loyal fan base for bringing her this far in the competition, would like to find another series home once she hangs up her dancing shoes.  She envisions an ensemble series.  “I’d be content to have younger people carry the show and then I come in and sprinkle my fairy dust and leave,” is how she put it.  She could see working two or three days a week on a show, which would still give her time to be with her children and continue her burgeoning writing pursuits.

Jordin Sparks in Transition, Just Now ‘Discovering Who I Am’

Jordin Sparks segues from the New Kids On the Block/Backstreet Boys tour to a special engagement in Washington, D.C. this coming week, performing on PBS’s live “A Capitol Fourth” Independence Day celebration concert. (Check local listings.) Talk about a sudden change.

“It’s going to be so different — from the wardrobe to the audience to the stage. The thing that’s going to be the same is that I’m going to try to perform the best that I can,” says Jordin, who recently shed 30 pounds and is looking gorgeous. She’s singing “Beauty and the Beast” — accompanying a dance by Mark Ballas and Chelsie Hightower in honor of the 20th anniversary of the Disney animated classic. She is also set to sing the national anthem — one of the two most nerve-wracking performances she can imagine, she says, the other being a return to “American Idol.”

“I’ll be on the on the steps of the Capitol building, in our nation’s Capitol, singing the National Anthem on the day of our nation’s independence,” she points out. It doesn’t get much more American than that. The concert, hosted by Jimmy Smits, also features Steve Martin, Josh Groban, Matthew Morrison, Little Richard and Broadway’s Kelli O’Hara.

At 21, the youngest-ever “American Idol” winner (she won at age 17) feels her newly-svelte shape is part of a metamorphosis she’s undergoing that has to do with, well, growing up. “I’m just now discovering who I am and what I can do. It’s a transition. I’m coming into my own. I sort of have a different approach onstage now. The dancing, the choreography is definitely different from what I did last year,” she tells us. “It’s been really fun, discovering who I am and what I can do.”

Jordin Sparks I Am Woman

Her saucy “I Am Woman,” with its driving beat, is completely different for her, Jordin points out. It’s also completely different from the Helen Reddy feminist anthem of the same name decades ago. (Sample lyric: “It ain’t easy walkin’ in stilettos, but somebody gotta do it.”) Combined with the right video — one has yet to be made — it could capture the zeitgeist for the young 2010s woman in a big way. Jordin loves seeing girls get up and dance to it at concerts, as they have been.

She’ll soon take off on a string of one-off dates, then a Euro trip.  As for what’s next after that? “I did Broadway for a couple of months last fall — In the Heights. I loved it. I’d love to do Broadway again if the right part and story came along.” She’s also been working on her acting skills, and says, “I’d love to do a TV show or a movie.”

Chelsie Hightower: Romeo Looking Good for ‘DWTS’

Romeo and Chelsie Hightower, ABC photo by Bob D'Amico

With 10 days to go before the premiere of  “Dancing With the Stars,” ballroom champ Chelsie Hightower says she’s excited about the progress her new partner, Romeo, is making.  “He’s definitely in it to go a long way, taking it very seriously and working his butt off.  He’s picking it up so quickly, and it’s obvious his athletic background is so helpful with that,” she says of the rapper once known as kid star Lil’ Romeo.  In terms of his body,  ‘There’s not a lot we have to do — he’s in great shape already.”  Plus, “He’s really easy to be around.  We laugh and play all day.”  They also hug goodbye,  as chronicled by paparazzi and numerous websites.

Asked which celebrity among the competition she has her eye on, Hightower noted that Disney Channel dream girl Chelsea Kane (formerly Staub) “is actually looking good.  I’ve seen a few sets she’s done and she’ll definitely be a competitor. She’s cute and sweet and lots of fun.”

Chelsie took a critical hammering for some of her choreography with Michael Bolton last season — particularly having the pop star make his entrance form a dog house for a “Hound Dog” number.  But she’s clear that she has no intention of letting naysayers cause her to pull back, creatively.  “You know what, if you don’t take risks, you’re not interesting.  The greater the risk, the greater the reward.  And at the end of the day it’s a TV show,” shrugs the beautiful blond, whose partners have also included rodeo star Ty Murray and extreme snowboarding champ Louie Vito.  “Sometimes it works,  sometimes it doesn’t.  You just have to move on and keep looking forward to the next week.”