Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Alicia Minshew and Rebecca Budig by Steve Fenn/ABC
What does Maksim Chmerkovskiy know about pole dancing? Nothing. But that didn't stop All My Children from hiring him as an expert. T he Dancing with the Stars stud will play himself on the Feb. 26 episode, where he'll teach the erotic art to several of Pine Valley's dishiest babes. "When I got to [ AMC] they were shocked that I've never done pole-dancing before - like, why would I? - but I figured it out and tried to keep it clean," says Chmerkovskiy.

He insists he has no interest in acting and has nixed most other non-dancing offers. "People have wanted to put me in a cowboy hat and make me the next Nashville Star," he says. "Trust me, that's not where my talent is. I'm like a peacock - beautiful but you don't want to hear it sing."

His impression of AMC? "It's really hard work but, to be honest, soaps are a bit cheesy," Chmerkovskiy says. "All the girls were telling me about their crazy storylines. One of them had been in a coma three times. Another one used to be a ghost."

One of those "girls" was Rebecca Budig (Greenlee), who had to reintroduce herself to Chmerkovskiy when he came to the AMC studio. "Maks is really sweet but he didn't remember me, even though I only met him like a gazillion times when I went to watch Cameron Mathison [ AMC's Ryan] do Dancing with the Stars," says Budig. "Apparently the 'real' Greenlee isn't that memorable!"

But who needs the bum, anyway? "I already knew how to pole-dance - I'm level three with the S Factor!" Budig says, referring to the striptease workout created by former L.A. Law star Sheila Kelley. In fact, it was Budig's ability to work a pole that landed her a two-part CSI role last fall. (She played a doomed stripper who lapdanced for Gary Dourdan's Warrick.)

Notes Budig with a laugh: "My mother was so proud that all those strip classes finally paid off and that I now have something to fall back on. She said, 'If you can't get acting jobs, dear, you can always go to work at the local ti--y bar.'" - Michael Logan