She's Got the Beat

Eighties pop queen and gay icon Belinda Carlisle is moving to a new beat on this season of Dancing With the Stars -- and proving right out of the gate that she's a survivor.

BY Jeremy Kinser

March 16 2009 12:00 AM ET

BELINDA CARLISLE JONATHAN ROBERTS X390 (ABC) | ADVOCATE.COM

He also compared you to Julie Andrews in the same
breath.

Yeah, he said I was regal. Overall, I think he was fair. The
waltz is both mentally and physically challenging.

Do you think you'll feel more at ease with contemporary
dances like the hustle or salsa?

Definitely. I'm more of a salsa girl. I think the other dances
will be much easier for me.

How did you come to appear on the show?

I'd met with the producers months ago. Then I was packing my
bags to go to a yoga festival in India and received a phone
call saying I had minutes to decide if I wanted to be on the
show. They don't give you a chance to over-think it and change
your mind. That's their strategy.

You're following in Marie Osmond's footsteps both with her
partner on the show and as a NutriSystem spokeswoman. How
strange is that since your personas were at one time polar
opposites?

Yeah, it's funny, isn't it? She's someone I've admired. She's
become a role model of mine. I hope I don't faint, though.

You turned 50 last year and you look amazing. What have you
done to get into shape for the show?

I think it's due to practicing restorative yoga, mostly. I'm
actually in the best physical shape of my life. I have my
NutriSystem meals. I'm completely clean and sober too. I'm also
a Buddhist, so chanting has kept me from freaking out.

Obviously as a pop singer you're no stranger to dancing. You
created -- or at least popularized -- some signature '80s
dance moves. What's the experience been like to learn more
choreographed dance moves?

It's very different and strenuous. The most difficult part was
the mental aspect -- concentrating too hard and burning myself
out physically with that. I couldn't sleep. I'd wake up in the
middle of the night and be doing rehearsals in my head.

Gay fans show up in big numbers at both
your Go-Go's and solo concerts. What do you see as your
appeal for gay audiences?

We do have a huge gay following and it's very flattering. I
think it's because we didn't play by the rules and we're all
very strong women and we're survivors.

Tags: television

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