Monique Coleman and Alec Mazo, Dancing with the Stars
As the Dancing with the Stars tour continues, TVGuide.com caught up with Monique Coleman and Alec Mazo to hear details about what's happening on the road. Coleman, who's also known for her High School Musical role, says she can't wait to start ballroom dancing again. Ask her if those teeny costumes still fit, and she panics a little: "I sure as heck hope so!"

For Mazo, this will be his third national Dancing tour. This time out will be different in two big ways: First, he'll be partnering with actress Monique Coleman, and he's thrilled about it, he says, "because I've never had a celebrity partner on the road." Second, he'll be traveling as a newlywed. Mazo and fellow Dancing pro Edyta Sliwinska got married last fall, just before the beginning of the show's fifth season, and it's been nonstop ever since.

First, a few moments with Monique…

TVGuide.com: Why did you decide to go on tour?
Monique Coleman:
Because I didn't get to do it last year. It's the holidays and there's not much going on. And because of the passion I have for dancing ever since doing the show.

TVGuide.com: But you're not going to be dancing with Louis van Amstel, your partner on the show. You're going to be dancing with first-season champ Alec Mazo?
Coleman:
Right. Louis is doing the choreography. Alec is definitely tough, but he's amazing at what he does. I can't wait to dance with him.

TVGuide.com: Is your body still in ballroom-dance condition?
Coleman:
It's going to be a very steep hill. On the show, I was in the best shape of my life. Afterwards, I haven't been able to maintain it because that was an extensive amount of exercise in a day for a long period of time. After it was over, I went on the [High School Musical] tour and I definitely gained weight. I'm probably 10 pounds heavier than I was on the show. But I think dancing is definitely one of the best things you can do to get in shape. I'm really looking forward to getting that body back.

TVGuide.com: Do the costumes still fit?
Coleman:
I sure as heck hope so! I was wondering, actually, what I was going to be wearing. And now I realize that we should have had this conversation while I was on my elliptical trainer. I'm definitely looking forward to dancing. 

TVGuide.com: Why has the show meant so much to you?
Coleman:
I feel like this is a really tough time in the industry and I feel fortunate to have been a part of two projects that have been hugely successful. If anything, going on tour is an opportunity to express some gratitude to my fans and to get to see them in person. I wouldn't have made it as far as I did if it weren't for people all over the country voting for little me.

And now Alec…

TVGuide.com: How would you characterize the nerves tonight?
Alec Mazo:
We'll be fine. Everybody thinks it's going to be stressful, but we've danced for four months now, so we know the routines.

TVGuide.com: Even with all the changes to the group numbers after Cheryl Burke got sick?    
Mazo:
That's what makes it interesting. I love mistakes. To me, mistakes are opportunities because you can play with things, change it up. If you always do the same routine, it can get boring.

TVGuide.com: Is it tough on the body to do the tour?
Mazo:
It's very difficult on the body. I try to warm up and stretch every time because you can really get injured. I got injured on the last tour. I had a back strain. 

TVGuide.com: What do you do when that happens?
Mazo:
We have massage therapists who work on us at every location, but at the end of the day, it's up to you to stretch and put ice on it. There's really not much you can do. I just sucked it up. 

TVGuide.com: You'll be dancing with Monique Coleman….
Mazo:
And that's what I'm most looking forward to, because I've never had a celebrity partner on the road. That means that I'll be on stage more than on any other tour. I hope our personalities mesh, because if they don't, it's going to be one long tour. And you never know until you get into it.

TVGuide.com: Isn't it harder to dance with the stars?
Mazo:
Honestly, it depends. For me, this season [with partner, model Josie Maran] was extremely frustrating. Because she was nothing like me, and I could not find a button to push. Our personalities were polar opposites. With Paulina [Porizkova], she had a lot in common with me. She was tall, so physically it was a bad match. But I had a good time with her.

TVGuide.com: You're a newlywed now.
Mazo:
Yes, but we've been together for years. Edyta and I actually got engaged two years ago and we were going to get married last summer, but because of everything that was going on with the show, and the tour, we just couldn't do it.

TVGuide.com: Isn't it easier to dance with your wife than a celebrity?
Mazo:
Of course, because you can dance full out. But that's not what the show is about. It's about making your celebrity look as good as possible in a very short amount of time. And on the road, the fans are so happy to see the celebrities.

TVGuide.com: They're happy to see you, too.
Mazo:
It's changing. I think because the show has been on for five seasons, people are really getting to know the pros. That's great for us, great for ballroom dance, and another way to connect with the audience. 

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