Saturday, February 23, 2008

Kristi Yamaguchi and Mark Ballas Already Practicing for DWTS

It was inevitable that a figure skater would eventually join the cast of the smash television sensation Dancing with the Stars. Among the celebrities for season six is Olympic gold medalist, world champion, U.S. champion and world professional champion Kristi Yamaguchi. She and professional partner Mark Ballas have already begun practicing.

The offer to vie for DWTS's glitter ball trophy first came to Yamaguchi last fall, when she and her friends were intently watching season five.

"When you're that into something and then you get asked to do it, you're in a little bit of shock," says Yamaguchi, who during hockey season lives in Raleigh, N.C., with her husband, Bret Hedican, of the NHL's Carolina Hurricanes and their daughters, Keara, 4, and Emma, 2. "There's so much scrutiny and pressure. I wasn't sure if I wanted to go back into that spotlight."

Once she realized she could do most of the pre-show training in Raleigh and work out arrangements for her daughters, she knew she had to sign on. Keara is in pre-school, so she'll probably have them stay in Raleigh until spring break. "Hopefully, I'll still be in Los Angeles then," Yamaguchi, 36, says.

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