Lacey Schwimmer last twirled on the "Dancing with the Stars" ballroom floor in Season 9 as a partner to "Iron Chef America" chairman Mark Dacascos. She then took a season off--but she didn't take a break. Lacey was hard at work with a slew of projects: interviewing celebs as a special correspondent for "Daily 10" on E!, developing new dancewear designs, and recording with the band Cash Cash as a featured singer on their forthcoming single "Red Cup (I fly solo)." Now, she's back--and blonde!--on "DWTS," paired with actor Kyle Massey from the Disney Channel's "That's So Raven." The new season premieres this Monday. DS caught up with Lacey to chat about her return to the show.
Dance Spirit: What was it like getting back into "DWTS" rehearsals?
Lacey Schwimmer: The swing of things here is easy-going, and everyone is so cool to work with. My partner is super fun. He's a ball of energy, and there's never a dull moment between us.
DS: You're paired with the youngest star this season (Kyle is 19). What surprised you about him?
LS: I wasn't expecting him to be so willing to work for it. It's cool to see him put forth a lot of effort and really listen to what I have to say and trust me, which is what it's all about.
DS: What are your strengths as a couple?
LS: It's important to have fun because you're under such a time crunch. We'll rehearse and then throw a basketball against the wall for a little bit. It's nice to have a partner who wants to do well and also wants to take time to calm down and get his mind right.
DS: Do you get nervous about the live performances?
LS: I think every dancer goes through stage fright. But once the music starts you get in a zone and forget about everything around you.
DS: Who do you think will be your toughest competitors?
LS: At this point, you never know. After the first show you kind of see who's going head to head. We've seen the other couples in rehearsals and everyone is taking it seriously. It's cool to see all the stars blossom into ballroom dancers.
Photo of Lacey Schwimmer by ABC/Bob D'Amico.