Paula Pairs Up

updated 09/26/2005 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/26/2005 AT 01:00 AM EDT

He's 6'2", chiseled and at home on the dance floor—no wonder that from the second he met Paula Abdul three months ago, Dante Spencer's audition looked promising. "We were salsa dancing in L.A. at a club called Mood on Hollywood Boulevard," says the 30-year-old model. "I saw her and went right up to her. Before I said one word, she turned around and said, 'Who are you?' And it's been great ever since."

Spencer, who attended the Sept. 6 British edition of the GQ Men of the Year Awards in London with Abdul, 43, now confirms straight up that he and the American Idol judge are an item. "It progressed slowly," he tells PEOPLE. "We've been dating for a month and a half." The two also made the scene at the opening of a BCBG Max Azria store in Beverly Hills last month. Spencer has modeled for the likes of International Male and Portuguese Men's Health but lately has turned to acting, recently wrapping an independent film and currently looking for his next gig.

A rep for Abdul had no comment on the relationship, but Paula, a two-time divorcée, is due for a good love match. The only man she has been publicly linked with recently is Idol contestant Corey Clark, 25, who claimed that the two had a torrid three-month affair and that she coached him for the show. Abdul denied the allegations and a FOX investigation was closed in August due to "insufficient evidence." "I'm ready for a relationship," Abdul told PEOPLE in May. "I'm in such a good place.... I'm looking for someone who wants to get to know me."

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