Ready to rumba

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Television - DEB­BIE SCHIPP DANC­ING WITH THE STARS, South­ern Cross, tonight, 6.30

SHE may have made her take on the macarena fa­mous – along­side then Trea­surer Peter Costello on morn­ing TV – but Kerri- Anne Ken­ner­ley in­sists when it comes to danc­ing, she makes a great golfer.

Ken­ner­ley, Chan­nel 7’ s high­est- pro­file re­cruit to this sea­son’s Danc­ing With The Stars ( DWTS), may be a show­biz veteran and a devo­tee of ball­room bling ( right down to her dia­mante- stud­ded train­ing dance shoes), but in­sists she’s never danced be­fore.

But hours of train­ing in prepa­ra­tion for her de­but tonight on DWTS must be a wel­come dis­trac­tion from con­tro­versy which sur­rounded her at the end of last year, when she and her Morn­ings With Kerri- Anne show were dumped by Chan­nel 9.

Ever the show­biz sur­vivor, Ken­ner­ley ( pic­tured) headed off on sa­fari to South Africa, say­ing noth­ing un­til she had signed on the dot­ted line with Chan­nel 7.

Pro­mos for DWTS show­case her trans­for­ma­tion into sexy siren, but Ken­ner­ley is adamant, three weeks into re­hearsals, that her lack of dance moves, and her DWTS part­ner Carmelo Pizzino, are keep­ing her grounded.

‘‘ And by grounded I mean lit­er­ally,’’ KAK laughed.

‘‘ We haven’t done any lifts yet and I’m hop­ing when it comes to that Carmelo isn’t go­ing to need a block and tackle.’’

As her DWTS live de­but looms she in­sists she’s never been more ner­vous.

‘‘ Ev­ery­one as­sumes I can dance, but I can’t. It’s not so much be­ing out of my com­fort zone, it’s be­ing way out of my tal­ent zone,’’ she says.

‘‘ A cou­ple of weeks ago I was ter­ri­fied.

‘‘ Now I’m even more so be­cause I know what to be afraid of.’’

She is plac­ing her faith firmly in Pizzino, who de­scribes his charge as the ul­ti­mate stu­dent.

‘‘ Even when I head out for a cof­fee she’s prac­tis­ing. She’s go­ing to be fab­u­lous.’’

Ken­ner­ley in­vested in an ipad days af­ter start­ing train­ing, on which she records Pizzino per­form­ing the dance steps so she can study at home.

‘‘ I have learned all the in­di­vid­ual steps but I’m strug­gling to string them to­gether,’’ she said.

‘‘ I’ve al­ways done a bit of ad- lib­bing and you can’t ad- lib with this stuff.

‘‘ Let’s face it, this is a long way from the macarena.’’

Ken­ner­ley wants to win purely for her part­ner.

‘‘ He just de­serves it,’’ she says.

‘‘ He’s taken part­ners to the fi­nals four times and hasn’t won. And a woman hasn’t won in four years, so maybe it’s his time.’’

De­spite her nerves, she’s hav­ing a blast.

‘‘ I’m hav­ing a ball, I’m learn­ing some­thing new and hope­fully all those neu­ral path­ways are kick­ing in, the ones that I haven’t used for sev­eral years,’’ she grins.

‘‘ I was do­ing the same thing for years, which is great, but this is a dif­fer­ent ex­pe­ri­ence.

‘‘ I’ve al­ways been up for some­thing new, jump­ing out of chop­pers, ab­seil­ing down build­ings, swim­ming with the dol­phins. They are all new ex­pe­ri­ences but I only ever did them once.

‘‘ This I have to do over and over and over.’’

Ken­ner­ley, a more- thanac­com­plished golfer, says the long hours are play­ing havoc with her golf game ( she plays off 16).

‘‘ But I’ll get Carmelo out there at some point,’’ she says.

‘‘ If it was Golf­ing With The Stars I’d be all over it.’’

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