*He may not be the most likely candidate to cut a rug, but Tavis Smiley is willing to show the world that he is more than what you see on TV.
That was on display Monday night during his debut performance on the new season of “Dancing with the Stars.” If you missed it, just scroll down to check out him and partner Sharna Burgess doing the Foxtrot. We’ll leave it to you to decide how he did.
In any event, the talk-show host and political commentator recently sat down with HuffPost Live on Thursday to chat about his debut on “DWTS” debut. Smiley admitted that his stint on the hit show allows him to mark off one item on his list of things to do before turning the big 5-0.
“I’m about to turn 50 and just really decided I was going to do one last foolish, stupid, crazy, insane thing before I turned 50, and so this is clearly it.”
While he is willing to show off his dancing skills, Smiley mentioned that his religious upbringing prevented him from gaining some experience dancing back in the day.
“I was raised in such a strict tradition that I couldn’t listen to secular music,” the “Death of a King” author revealed. “I couldn’t go to dances. I had to sneak to watch ‘Soul Train.’ In high school, I was junior and senior class president, but I couldn’t go to prom.”
Despite his limited experience, Smiley feels optimistic about his chances on “DWTS” and what he can bring to the show.
“Now I’m 50 and I can get my groove on because I’m black, so you know I got some rhythm. It’s in my DNA,” he said. “But I never really learned how to dance… I just love dance period, but I never thought I’d be doing it!”
Smiley’s appearance on “DWTS” ends a journey of sorts towards becoming a part of the show’s long list of celebrity competitors. Fear of the show distracting from his other work made him reticent to learn to dance on national television.
Smiley declined “two or three” prior offers by the “DWTS” producers, but now that he’s agreed, he prides himself on having realistic expectations.
“I asked one of my team members to put together a DVD for me of the worst — not the best — the worst dancers to ever appear on the show, and then I can judge my chances of how long I might survive,” he said. “Can I just say, I love all these people, they’re friends of mine — but I can do better than Master P.”
As for Smiley’s goal on “DWTS,” it’s real simple: “I don’t want my black card to be taken away from me!”
Check out the vid below and see if he’s in danger of losing his black card: