"I asked him what happens in the NFL when you're late," she says, "and he told me. So I said, 'Well, that's exactly what I'm going to do.'" Carson, who was nominated for an Emmy for her choreography that helped Alfonso Ribeiro win in 2014, wanted to show that she meant business, and it worked.
"He hasn't been late anymore. Which is good for him, but not for me," she jokes. (She said she'll give the $1,500 she collected to a skin cancer charity — a cause that is deeply personal to her, having had a bout with melanoma before she joined the show.)
Indeed, Carson doesn't have time to waste. The 22-year-old, who just married her high school sweetheart Carson McCallister on New Year's Day (they did a routine to RUN DMC's "It's Tricky," which you can see here) is all about schedule and routine--pun intended.
"I like to add my celebrity's personalities throughout the routine to make sure people have a taste of who they are," she says. "But in the end I call the shots, for sure." She's disciplined off the dance floor too, careful to fill up on healthy stuff such as grilled chicken, sushi, hardboiled eggs, fruits and veggies during and after long dancing days, which leave her famished. "Your metabolism is working hard. You have to eat to keep your body fueled--it takes a lot. I'm a food junkie, but I'd rather starve than eat something disgusting."
This season's pairing with Miller marks her first go-round with a footballer. Of course, NFL players have been bankable performers in the past, the agility and grace under pressure required just some of the advantages that helped Hines Ward, Emmitt Smith and Donald Driver shimmy their way to wins. And Miller isn't just any footballer either, but one known for his celebratory dances on the field, including the post-sack hip thrusting that's got him fined. How did Witney take to the news she'd be paired with a rock star athlete?
"I was excited to hear I had an athlete," she says. "I know in the past athletes do well, and Von proved that point. He's very agile and really coordinated. He picks up choreography quick, and he's also big! So, when in doubt I just have him lift me and toss me in the air." The man loves to dance too, she says. "As soon we have a break, he'll put on his music and dance," which makes this pair a doubly strong force to watch out for this season.
How do you think they'll fare?
Dancing with the Stars returns Monday, March 21 at 8/7c on ABC.