Times guest blogger Hines Ward discusses Week 3 on 'Dancing With the Stars'
The Times is pleased to have Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward guest-blogging for us while he competes on "Dancing With the Stars." Every Wednesday, Ward, a Super Bowl MVP and two-time Super Bowl champion, will answer a few questions from Fabulous Forum editor Houston Mitchell and give some insight into the competition. Here are Ward’s thoughts about Week 3, which he offered via email.
Q: You seemed out of breath after the samba. How physically taxing was that dance?
The Samba was very physically taxing but all the dances have been that way for me so far. I've never done this before so I am totally out of my comfort zone. This makes it harder for me because I want my performances to be perfect. So I want to get my posture right and point my toes right and make sure my movement is not too choppy. And doing all this and trying to remember to have fun with it can be a little hard to balance at times. It's very hard to remember all these things but I just try to be the best I can be. And I'm really having a blast doing it.
Q: You were the first one told they were safe this week. How big a relief is it to find out right away, and did it help you enjoy your encore dance more?
Oh man, it was definitely a big sigh of relief for me to find out we were safe first. It's nice to know all that hard work paid off and America liked us. But it's still hard to watch the friends you have made on the show face elimination because you feel for them and want to root them on. So even though I am relieved for me I am still concerned for my fellow celebs that fall into the hot seat on elimination night. And it still didn't take away the pressure of doing the encore dance again. It's still nerve racking because you want to do it again well and hope you don't mess up.
Q: You were sporting the black and gold for your dance. How much input into your outfits do you have?
Yes, this week was a personal dance week for us so I had more input into the outfit for this week. Kym Johnson was really good about wearing the black and gold. She is awesome. She knows that the black and gold is a big part of who I am and how important this dance was for me to do well for my mom. It was all about honoring her for her sacrifice for me. I hope I made her proud.
Q: Did you feel any pressure at all having to dance in front of your mother...especially since you dedicated the dance to her?
The only pressure I had dancing in front of my mom was the pressure I put on myself to do it as perfect as possible. My mom means everything to me and has made me who I am today. She is gonna love me no matter how well or how badly I danced. I just wanted to honor her and make her proud, that's all. And I think she liked it.
Q: Which Steelers teammate would do the best on "Dancing with the Stars"? And which would do the worst?
I definitely think our running back, Rashard Mendenhall, would do the best in this kind of dance competition. He has a little dance experience and is pretty good, so I've heard. As far as who is the worst, that's hard to say. Had I not been in this competition and seen for myself, I probably would have said I would be the worst. But given hard work and dedication to practice, I think any one of my teammates would do well. So I really can't say who would do the worst at this time.
Besides being a Super Bowl MVP, Hines Ward is the founder of the Hines Ward Helping Hands Foundation, which focuses on improving literacy among children and provides programs and services to better equip them for achieving and handling success in life.
Photo: Hines Ward and his partner Kym Johnson perform on the celebrity dance competition series "Dancing with the Stars," Monday in Los Angeles. Credit: Adam Taylor / Associated Press