For actor Joey Lawrence, heading out for his third Dancing with the Stars national tour means getting to see the country in a whole new light. "I had never really traveled by road," says Lawrence. "I always flew. So it was really neat to see America like that."
His pro partner, Edyta Sliwinska, must like the road as well. Sliwinska, a native of Poland, is the only Dancing pro to have competed all five seasons — and now she's off on her third national tour as well. For her, the Dancing never stops.
First, let's check in with Joey Lawrence....
TVGuide.com: Why did you sign up to tour again?
Because they treat us great. They give us a beautiful ride [to] travel across the country. The bus is just incredible. It's just a big party out there. It's fun.
TVGuide.com: You've covered a lot of miles. Were there any close calls on the road?
No. But we got stuck in about six feet of snow in the bus one night. We were somewhere in Colorado. We passed out from exhaustion and when we woke up, we were literally in the middle of the mountains with snow on every side. It was a winter wonderland. Every window you looked out, it was amazing. But they had to come dig us out because we were on the side of the road for about eight hours.
TVGuide.com: Weren't you cold?
The satellites and the power still worked, so we were fine.
TVGuide.com: What's the difference between dancing on the show and dancing on tour?
On the show, even though it's a smaller room, you feel the magnitude of what you're doing. You see the people in the audience. The nerves were outrageous. When you're on the road, you know the show. You're not having to learn a new routine every five seconds. And it's a lot larger in terms of the number of people. When there are 7,000 or 10,000 people, it's just loud. And there are lots of lights, so you don't see anyone and it becomes one big blur. Edyta and I just go out there and we do our thing. And at the end, you hear the applause and it's awesome. Ten thousand people make a lot of noise.
TVGuide.com: How's your body holding up since you did the show (Season 3)?
I'm an athlete, so I always keep myself in as good a shape as possible. It's just part of my life. I don't lose weight and put it back on. If you're going to work your ass off to get in great shape, why would you want to do that over and over again?
TVGuide.com: Do you get any physical therapy on the road?
They provide massage therapy at every stop. I know it sounds sort of ostentatious, but you really are an athlete when you're doing this every night. You kind of need it.
TVGuide.com: Who travels with you on the road?
My family. My wife, Chandie, and my daughter, Charli. My mom will come with us this time, as well. For Charli, this will be her third time out, too. The first time, she was only 8 months old. Now she's 17 months and it's going to be a lot easier, because she's walking and talking. I'm lucky to have such a great family. It's great to have 8 to 10 weeks to spend together. It's a lot of work to get ready for the shows, don't get me wrong — and a lot of work every night — but it's great.
And now, Edyta Sliwinska's turn....
TVGuide.com: What's the difference between training for the show and rehearsing for the tour?
Rehearsing for the tour is more mentally tiring, because you have to be here many, many hours. When you're competing on the show, you train physically very hard for three hours, for example, but then you are done. Here, we have to spend the whole day in rehearsals, eight hours, and maybe it's not so intense, but it's eight hours of being on your feet.
TVGuide.com: Do you do anything special for your sore feet?
I call these my grandma shoes because they have very low heels and are very comfy. They've kind of molded to my foot.
TVGuide.com: When you're on the road with Joey, do you two fall right back into step, or do you have to teach him all over again?
Oh, no, I do have to teach Joey. We have all new routines. He's in great shape. He's a freak about his body. So I'm not worried about that. But I am worried that he's going to forget stuff.
TVGuide.com: The celebrities find that their bodies change very quickly when they stop dancing. Does that happen to you, too?
What's changing is that I'm going up and down in weight very quickly. If I have a couple of days off, I can gain quickly. But when I'm dancing, I can lose five or ten pounds in a week.
TVGuide.com: Do you like touring better than competing on the show?
Oh, yes. I can perform, but there is none of that sick tension and [none of] the pressure of trying to be the greatest or winning the championship.
TVGuide.com: When do you find out if you'll be dancing Season 6, which starts on March 17?
We only find out two weeks before the training starts. We're released from our contract if we're not picked up for the show. But I love the show. It's kind of comfortable to have [dancers] who know what they're doing, and then once in a while, to bring in a new [pro] dancer.
TVGuide.com: You've done all five seasons of the show and all three tours — you've had almost no time off. What do you do when you have a vacation?
I go to Poland. But the last time I went, it was like a tease, because the minute I started to feel that I was really relaxing, it was time to go.
TVGuide.com: Do you ever think it's too much? You got sick during the last tour and had to miss three performances.
Sliwinska: That was really tough because there's really no one who can replace you. You just have to dance through the pain. But it's an incredible experience to perform live and see the appreciation of the audience. I can rest later. I wouldn't change it for anything.
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