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A reporter puts on her dancing shoes to perform on 'Dancing With The Stars'

November 21, 2009 |  7:00 am


Have you ever wondered what it's really like to be a "Dancing With The Stars" contestant? You know, beyond the beautifully packaged clips of rehearsals the talented producers of the ABC hit show us every week? What does it really take?

Well, Los Angeles Times entertainment reporter Dawn Chmielewski couldn't turn her back on an ABC executive's dare and recently agreed to put herself through the rigors of learning a salsa routine with professional partner Jonathan Roberts.

Chmielewski did everything the contestants do each week -- rehearsals, spray tan, hair extensions, and a live performance filmed in front of the studio audience assembled for a recent taping of the actual show. She was even judged by Bruno, Len and Carrie Ann, and teased by host Tom Bergeron.

You won't see Dawn's salsa on TV, but that's what the Internet is for. Watch her perform in our video and read her personal account here.

What score would you give her? 

-- Maria Elena Fernandez


Dawn's rehearsal video

In pictures: Dawn prepares for her performance