Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Dance for Lance

Dancing with the Stars has me in a dancing mood. I don't even watch the show with any regularity--and yes I missed the premiere earlier in the week--but I love catching up with the news after the fact. When I'm not working out or thinking sports, my guilty pleasure hands down is reading People, the magazine and the website. Sure, keeping up with the addition of Holly from The Girls Next Door and Melissa from The Bachelor has been fun, but I'm really digging the content for the local event, Dancing with Chicago Celebrities I wrote about earlier in the week.

The big news with Dancing with Chicago Celebrities is not only that it's on Friday night, but that a member from the city's cycling and triathlon community is involved. Robbie Ventura first made a name for himself as a member of the U.S. Postal Service cycling team--and at the same time as Lance Armstrong--and now he has become the name and face behind Vision Quest Coaching, a company he founded that now has locations in Chicago, Highland Park, and Naperville in Illinois and Altamonte Springs in Florida. In between, you may have seen his byline in the pages of Windy City Sports in Chicago or as commentator for the Tour de France.

Talk about moving out of your comfort zone...Ventura has all of these cycling accomplishments and accolades, plus a finish at the 2008 Ironman Canada, but now he's tackling the dance floor? Hey, that's what Dancing with the Stars is all about, so it must hold true for the Chicago competition, too. And just in the practice rounds Ventura was making progress on the dance floor. His partner, Annette Goldman, says she studied up on cycling before meeting Ventura so that she could apply his sport to moves on the dance floor. Goldman has gotten Ventura to move and step to the salsa beats that once seemed so foreign, and she had him worrying about practicing while in California at the VQ training camp in Solvang. Ventura joked he might pull some campers aside to practice outside the studio.

As competition day looms, Ventura's back to practicing his moves with Goldman as often as he can. Even between his first class and his fourth, he's improved and fancying his footwork, so imagine how fluid he'll be by the end. Need more proof that Ventura can bring it on the dance floor come Friday? Lance Armstrong can tell ya. Posted by Kate

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