Kathy Ireland and Tony Dovolani
Kathy Ireland's hips don't lie — especially after five weeks of rehearsals for Dancing with the Stars.
"The hips! I mean, I've found muscles I didn't know I had before," Ireland tells TVGuide.com. "I didn't think I could move in that direction!"
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On Tuesday, the supermodel-turned-super-mogul will debut her new loose hips in her salsa routine with her partner, Tony Dovolani, who thinks the sweet, mellow Ireland will shock audiences with flashy Latin moves. "It started as her foreign dance," he says. "When I explained it to her, she was like, 'Oh God, it's so not my personality.' And right now she's owning it."
Ireland warned Dovolani right from the get-go that she's had two knee surgeries and a foot surgery. She is also tone deaf, uncoordinated, has never walked in heels ("I never did catwalks") and gets dizzy when she spins.
"He really got a nice package with me," Ireland says. "I have no dancing experience. I went once to a dance class a couple years ago with a friend and I crashed into a mirror. The teacher was really kind and was like, 'I can teach you privately.' It all happened so fast. I just thought, 'Well, maybe I'll do something else.' But Tony's been wonderful. He's been working with me so much on all of these things. It doesn't come naturally to me."
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Dovolani is also mindful of Ireland's injuries, especially after losing Nancy O'Dell as a partner last season just days before the season premiere after she tore her meniscus. At the last minute, he partnered with Melissa Rycroft — whose December wedding he's "definitely" attending — who suffered a rib injury later in the season.
"With what happened to Nancy, that's always going to be at the back of my mind," Dovolani says. "I don't want to overwork Kathy's knee where it swells up and so far, knock on wood, it has not swollen up. I have to remind her to take a break because she's such a hard worker."
Ireland did have a slight mishap last weekend when she went surfing with her son. She collided with another board and required stitches in her knee, but she and Dovolani say it won't affect her dancing.
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Proceeds from Ireland's Dancing time will go towards charity, including the Alliance for Christian Education, Athletes and Entertainers for Kids, 911 for Kids, Feed the Children and the Elizabeth Taylor HIV/AIDS Foundation. Ireland's business family will match whatever she makes on the show as well. "How wonderful is that?" Dovolani says. "That just says everything you need to know about her. What a sweetheart."
Taylor is a longtime friend of Ireland's and has tweeted her support for Ireland on the show. Taylor, who partnered with Ireland for a jewelry line and most recently launched a perfume, even gave her a dress to wear on Dancing. But will we see Taylor on Dancing to cheer her pal on?
"You just never know. She's extremely busy now. She's up the middle of the night designing and sketching. She's got it all going on," Ireland says. "I was on the phone with her last night and she's just helping me get it all together."