The Spring issue is here, and with that comes the Spring Equinox, warmer temperatures and the next season of ABC's Dancing With the Stars! This star studded show includes our cover girl dancer/choreographer Lindsay Arnold who is paired with 2 time World Series winner, MLB Cubs' catcher - David Ross! Of course, we talked with her in the days leading up to season 24 to talk about what we can expect, her background as a dancer and how she keeps it all balanced!
ATHLEISURE MAG: We have seen you on DWTS and are excited to see you on the upcoming season this month! Tell us about your journey in dance and how it led to being on DWTS?
LINDSAY ARNOLD: My mom put me in dance class when I was 5 years old and I immediately fell in love! I started competing when I was about 8 years old and that's when my parents and my coaches realized that this was something I should really pursue.
Ever since I can remember, dance has been a part of my life and it has been such a family building activity! I am the oldest of 4 girls and we all dance. My parents who are not dancers opened a dance studio for us to train at, so that we could have a very family inclusive environment. Right after I graduated high school I auditioned for So You Think You Can Dance and made it to the top 20. Competing on that show and making it to the top 8 really boosted my confidence as a dancer and made me realize that I could truly do anything I set my mind to! Not long after I finished SYTYCD I got a call from DWTS asking to be a professional on their show which was an easy yes for me!! I had watched DWTS since season 1 and had always dreamed to be on the show so I was extremely grateful and felt so blessed to have been given the opportunity.
AM: Last year, we interviewed fellow DWTS dancer, Kym Johnson, about how she stays in great shape. What are your workouts like outside of dancing and what dances do you do to stay in shape? How is this different when you're working on DWTS?
LA: My favorite workout to do outside of dance is pilates. I have been doing pilates since high school and have found that it helps so much with not just strengthening muscles, but lengthening them as well, which is important as a dancer! The best dances to stay in shape are the faster paced upbeat ones. Jive is always a dance that gets me sweating and my heart rate pumping!
AM: Who have been some of your favorite partners that you have danced with on the show?
LA: I honestly do not have a favorite partner because each one of them has been a completely different and amazing experience. Alek Skarlatos had zero dance experience and also had zero experience in the celebrity world. He was someone who was basically thrown into the spotlight and had a lot of things happening around him that he was not used to! It was a great learning experience for me to not only teach him how to dance, but help him cope with and learn how to handle the different social and business situations that would come his way. Wanyá Morris was one of my faves because he was so much fun and was an extremely great dancer! When I danced with him there were times when I felt like I was dancing with another professional dancer, which is exciting as a pro because it means you have done a great job at teaching. Calvin Johnson was my favorite because it was so rewarding as a teacher to watch him progress every single time and see the hard work pay off. Not only did he improve and become a great dancer, but he truly is one of the nicest, most humble, and all around incredible people I have ever met.
AM: What is currently on your playlist when you're hitting the studio to dance?
LA: I love country music and find myself rocking out to Maren Morris lately. She has such a sass to her and I love listening to her lyrics, they have such a good story to them.
AM: What style of dance would you say is your favorite?
LA: This answer changes daily.. honestly depends on my mood! If I am feeling happy and energetic, then jive or cha cha. If I am feeling a little feisty or upset paso doble or tango. That's the best thing about dance, it is that you truly can express your feelings through movement and it's such a great release!
AM: Tell us about this season's DWTS' partner - David Ross - what's he like to work with and how is he different from other partners that you had on the show?
LA: David and I have only been working together for a couple weeks now, but it's crazy how quickly we established such an amazing friendship. He is such a down to earth and genuine guy and we get along so well! He works so hard and truly wants to do well in this competition, which is all I could ask for as a teacher. It's funny and I tell him this all the time, but he reminds me of my dad in so many ways they have very similar personalities and I love that about him makes me feel like I'm with family.
AM: If you could choose your next DWTS partner, who would you like to be paired with?
LA: I have always wanted Channing Tatum to be on the show. Step Up was one of my favorite dance movies growing up and he has some serious moves in that movie! Not to mention that he is extremely attractive, that always helps ;)
AM: What's an average week like when you're on DWTS as there is so much going on with choreography, dancing, planning costumes and more!
LA: The weeks can get pretty crazy as there is so much going on and so many things that need to get done! I'm gonna give you a little schedule of what a week looks like starting with Tuesday because that's the first day of rehearsal for the week.
Tuesday: I will get my music and dance style for the week and start to choreograph the routine on my own. David and I will rehearse 4-6 hours and I will teach him most of the choreography (typically 75 percent of routine).
Wednesday: I will continue to finish choreographing dance on my time and also talk to our wardrobe department and production designer to discuss costuming and also staging (props, lighting, stage orientation, etc). David and I will rehearse 4-6 hours and I will try to finish teaching him the rest of the choreography.
Thursday, Friday, Saturday: David will do rehearsal 4-6 hours on each of these days working on finishing up any choreography, and then perfecting the dance and working on details.
Sunday: David and I will go to the set at CBS studios and have our camera blocking. This is the time where they will work out all of the camera angles that will be used to shoot our performance and also give David and I time on stage to practice. Each couple usually gets 25 minutes on stage for camera blocking and then we will have a wardrobe fitting. We will rehearse 3-4 hours after camera blocking then go to bed to get ready for show day!
Monday: SHOW DAY. Call time is 7 am and i go straight to hair and makeup for about 3 hours then I have a short 15 minute practice on stage with David then we have a full dress rehearsal 1:30-3:30 and live show 5-7.
AM: What are your power foods when you need a lot of energy?
LA: I try to always have healthy snacks with me during rehearsal because I definitely need to be eating throughout or else I lose energy. I love bananas, almonds, avocados, and if I have time to prepare before I leave for work, grilled chicken is always something that will give me some energy.
AM: What's next for you or where should we keep our eyes out for you?
LA: I am enjoying my time on DWTS right now but I am extremely excited to see what the future holds for me. I have danced my entire life and absolutely love it, but am definitely interested in venturing out to other areas of the entertainment industry. Modeling, acting, singing are all areas I am interested in and hopefully you will see me involved in those things very soon.
AM: What are you excited about for this season of DWTS?
LA: I am so excited to see the improvement in my partner David. He definitely came in to this competition with no dance experience It's only been a couple of weeks and I have already seen him improve so much. My favorite part about this job is watching someone step out of their comfort zone and succeed in something they never thought they could do! I don't care if they are the best dancer in the world I just want to see them gaining confidence in themselves and trying something new.
AM: When you're in the midst of the madness of DWTS, how do you take some downtime to check in with yourself and after the season has ended, what do you do for me time?
LA: The biggest support in my life that helps me stay grounded and stay true to who I am is my husband Sam. He is the best remedy for a stressful day and always knows how to help me relax. Family time is truly the best thing in my life and is something that I am so grateful for. After the season has ended I love to go back to my hometown, Provo Utah, and get up into the mountains somewhere where it's quiet and peaceful and spend time with my husband. We love camping, hiking, fishing, anything outdoors.