Martina Navratilova Talks Dancing With The Stars With AARP

March 5, 2012

Legendary tennis player and AARP Fitness Ambassador Martina Navratilova will be strutting her stuff on the dance floor just two weeks from tonight. She and her partner, Tony Dovolani, have been logging in some hefty hours of rehearsal time, but just recently she took the time to chat with AARP regarding her “Dancing With The Stars” debut set for March 19th.

Martina Navratilova DWTS

Martina is not the only athlete competing for the coveted mirror ball trophy. Green Bay Packers’ wide receiver Donald Driver will lace up his dancing shoes and take to the floor as well.

As it turns out, the producers of DWTS have had their eye on Martina for a while now and she talked about why she decided to join the cast now.

“They’ve been asking for years, and either I didn’t have the time to commit or I couldn’t picture myself in those high heels. I have an arthritic big toe — from playing too much soccer as a kid. So it hurts in high heels. But [ABC] told me I didn’t have to wear such high heels, so my toe apprehension was alleviated.”

We’ve all seen those gorgeous heels that the ladies don while competing, whether it be the pros or the contestants themselves. Can’t wait to see Martina’s shoes!

The 55-year-old recalled one of her favorite dance memories:

“My best memory is from Billie Jean King’s 50th birthday party – a big bash in New York. It was at Denim & Diamonds, and I just danced the night away, mostly by myself. I had a couple of tequila shots and felt totally uninhibited. I was just glad it wasn’t me turning 50!”

Um, yeah. That’s me. I don’t get out on the dance floor until I’ve had some a lot of liquid courage. Something about getting out there and shaking your booty and making a fool of yourself just doesn’t appeal to me. Heh. After several glasses of wine though, watch out!

You can’t have a favorite memory of dancing without talking about your worst!

“My worst memory is of my first dance lesson as a 14-year old in Prague. My mother put me in this silver and pink lame dress. My hair was all curled, and it was the first time I wore a garter belt. I felt so out of place! Every boy I danced with was going to be a mechanic. When they asked me I said, ‘I’m going to be a tennis player.’ And they said, ‘Oh? You can make a living doing that?’”

Ha ha ha, I have this mental picture of Martina wearing that silver and pink lame dress. I hope that she has a photo of herself in that outfit and they reveal it on an episode of DWTS.

Her thoughts on preparing for the competition:

“I haven’t done anything this intense since I quit playing [competitive tennis] in 1994. But I think my body’s going to like it — it will be like coming home. It’s not as physical as playing tennis four hours a day, but it is pretty physical. I just have to be careful to not try to do too much, too soon.”

There’s no doubt that competing on DWTS is intense. We’ve seen throughout the past 13 seasons how the many hours of rehearsals that these contestants put in have transformed some of their bodies immensely. It will be fun to watch Martina compete again, even though it’s not on the tennis court. This is a whole new ball game. Best of luck to you!

Photos: Durocher

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