Next step for model Porizkova: 'Dancing'
By RICHARD HUFF
Monday, February 26th, 2007
Let's get this out of the way upfront: Just because someone has strutted down the fashion runway doesn't mean he or she can handle the dance floor.
"Have you seen models on the runway?" asks Paulina Porizkova, one of the biggest models ever. "They clomp like horses, they're slouched over like they're going to die - it's an affected look."
For Porizkova, it's a way to say, don't expect her to be Ginger Rogers when she turns up as a competitor on ABC's "Dancing With the Stars."
"People assume I can dance," she said. "When they actually see me, they're going to go, 'Huh? Why is she on the show?'"
Part of the appeal of "Dancing" has been in featuring people who wouldn't normally be thought of as dancers, including, in past seasons, Jerry Springer, former WWE wrestler Stacey Kiebler and football great Jerry Rice.
In fact, former football star Emmitt Smith won the last edition of "Dancing With the Stars."
Porizkova will compete against the likes of boxer Laila Ali, Olympic speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno, actor Ian Ziering and Paul McCartney's soon-to-be ex-wife, Heather Mills.
Porizkova said she's been a fan of the show since the start and was encouraged by her brother to go on.
"My brother was just kidding," she said. "He knows I'm deeply unathletic. People look at me and see me as tall and thin and kind of elegant. I look like I should be able to dance. But I have zero dancing experience in my life, let alone athletic experience."
She's been teamed with Alec Mazo, who was former Playboy Playmate Kelly Monaco's championship partner in the first edition of "Dancing."
"I was laughing with my partner yesterday," she said. "He kept saying, 'Posture, posture, posture. Back straight, chest out.' In modeling, it's all about slouching."
They've been rehearsing since last week, and she's got the blisters on every toe to prove it. "My butt felt much firmer when I came up the stairs, too," she said.
"My poor partner, I feel bad for him," she said. "He's really good, and he's saddled with this older, unathletic chick."
Older, of course, is relative. Porizkova is 41.
Her husband, rocker Ric Ocasek, has been the "most 'supportive darling one could imagine," along with their sons.
Before signing on for the show, Porizkova had been largely out of the limelight for five years. She's been working on a novel, "A Model Summer," due out April 10.
As for "Dancing," Porizkova has no illusions of winning, though she'd surely like to be in contention.
"My first goal is not to be the first one kicked off," she said. "I would really like to dance the waltz before I get kicked off."
When the season starts March 19 at 9 p.m., she said, "I'll be puking in a wastebasket backstage."