Hightower loves moves that target the large muscle groups. (Photo by Denise Crew)
Now that Bachelor Ben proposed to Courtney, it's time for a new crop of characters to fuel the water cooler talk. Tonight, you'll see FITNESS cover model Maria Menounos, The View co-host Sherri Shepherd and former "Steve Urkel" Jaleel White, among others, showing off their moves for the premiere of season 14 of Dancing With the Stars.
We caught up with one of the show's pros, Chelsie Hightower, while she was promoting a Greek Island vacation sweepstakes with Old London to have her handicap the season and fill us in about which dance move we need to be doing to be beach-ready stat!
How are things going so far with your new partner, Disney Channel star Roshon Fegan?
He has a great attitude and our training is going very well. He really wants to have fun and I think that's the most important thing.
Viewers have questioned whether this season's cast has the star power to draw ratings, as compared to past seasons. How would you respond?
I actually thought the same thing until I met the cast. There are so many great personalities and the dance skill level is high. Great characters, dancers and storylines behind the pairings are what really shape a season, and I think this cast has all of that.
When we interviewed you for FITNESS previously, you mentioned that your dream partner would be Justin Timberlake. How about if you were the celebrity and could pick your pro partner?
Justin Timberlake would be pretty fantastic! Derek [Hough] is patient and has a great work ethic, so I think I'd go with him.
What are some of your favorite snacks to stay full of energy during the intense training leading up to the premiere?
I have a really crazy schedule during the show, especially in the three weeks before the premiere when we're bringing our partners up to speed. I don't always have time to prepare meals, so I do a lot of snacking. I love fruit as well as melba toast topped with hummus.
With swimsuit season rapidly approaching, what dance-inspired exercise do you recommend to sculpt amazing legs and abs?
Lunges, which you see in the paso doble [a bull fighting-inspired dance style], are a go-to move for me. They build long, lean muscles and burn a lot of calories. And I love any twisting motion to really build your core. [Editor's note: Try these moves together in our walking lunge with rotation.]
Music plays a big role in dancing—what's currently on repeat on your iPod?
I'm really into Katie Herzig's song "Lost and Found."
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