Inside the Ravens with Aaron Wilson

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Hines Ward feels hot flashes on Dancing with the Stars

Pittsburgh Steelers veteran wide receiver Hines Ward is more known for his aggressive downfield blocking than any fancy footwork.

However, he's finding that his dancing shoes are a good fit as he's off to a solid start on Dancing with the Stars. Not that it's easy, though.

“It’s five hours a day, six days a week," Ward told 93.7 The Fan In Pittsburgh, per "It’s kind of like being in a sweat box. We’re in there constantly moving around, and you’re doing it for five hours. So it’s like for me, it’s great rehab for my me because that’s what they wanted me to do, start getting some movement in my knee.

"So you know what, I actually enjoy it. I don’t know what I’m really doing to be honest with you, but when I pick up on it….You should have seen me day one with my dancing to the night of Dancing with the Stars, it’s like night and day. I was just so amazed that I came so far, and to go out there and do it on live television. It’s crazy. It’s almost surreal because I never thought I could dance like that.”

Ward acknowledged experiencing some nerves.

“When the cameras go on, it’s so loud in there I couldn’t even hear the two people that were talking on the microphone," he said. "To be honest, I didn’t even know where to look at, so I just tried to go through the routine in my head and go please don’t embarrass myself on national television. So to be honest, people said you look nervous, I was nervous because it’s different in football — you have butterflies when you run out on the field in football. Words can’t describe the feeling you feel when you run out on the field at Heinz Field anyway. But to do something that’s out of element, out of your environment, oh man I had a hot flash right before I went out. My whole body went hot when they said ‘Hines and Kim doing the cha-cha-cha. Literally I almost passed out because I was like I can’t run now, I got to go out there and do it. It was more anxiety because I had been working on that dance for awhile.

"I wanted to hurry up and get it over with, but at the same time the nervousness of going out there and not messing up, because I got so many texts from my teammates saying ‘don’t go out there and embarrass yourself. ‘ Then to go out there and do the routine, I got hundreds of texts like ‘way to represent, way to represent, you can do it all the way.’ So it was just great to have that support from the guys. Because the locker room, they’re your worst critics. If you come on the plane and you’re dressed wrong, you’re going to hear about it. If you do anything wrong you’re going to hear about it. I was more concerned with the outfit. I knew it was a little high on my butt and stuff like that. But all the guys were cool, they were like ‘you kept it cool.’ So I was happy about it.”

Ward said he's getting positive feedback from his teammates.

Which of his teammates were texting him immediately after his performance:

"I was just glad I didn’t mess up on national television, because everyone’s going to watch that first show," he said. "You may lose some fans afterwords, but everyone’s going to be like ‘I’m going to see how Hines is going to do on that first show.’ So all eyes was on me and I knew it was so crazy, but I was just happy man just to do it, do the best that I can. And I’ve got a great dance partner.

"She just told me…because I’m a perfectionist, I want to do something so perfect. So I was more worried about the technical things rather than just going out there and having fun. And right before we went out there she said, ‘don’t worry about the technical stuff, you’re not a ballroom dancer anyway, so don’t over-analyze the dance’. So that’s what I did.”

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