Kathy Ireland’s Plan to Avoid Injury: Trust Tony Dovolani
“I actually have to remind her to take a break every once in a while,” the DWTS pro told PEOPLE at Macy’s and American Express's Passport 2009 Fashion Show in Santa Monica. “But this woman is very fit. We work five weeks really hard to make sure that we get ourselves conditioned. Right now, there’s no slowing her down."
Though the supermodel-turned-business woman is no stranger to injury, she feels confident having a world champion coach to keep her safe. “I’ve had two knee surgeries and a foot surgery,” she said. “So, Tony has had to choreograph our dances around certain things, and then I injured myself in the midst of it, and he had to do some choreography around that as well. So, it’s just so wonderful to work with such a genius that I feel really safe, so I haven’t been scared.”
Though she only scored 20 points out of 40 on the first week of competition, Tony has faith in Ireland’s abilities and appreciates her work ethic. “She works hard and gives it everything she’s got. She gives me 150 percent on everything, even on mistakes,” he said of Ireland, before adding that after a recent lesson, "I walked away with a smile on my face. In fact, I called her after the practice, I was like, ‘I can’t tell you how happy I am right now!’”
The season’s first eliminations still fresh in their minds, Dovolani and Ireland plan to use the judges’ criticism to their advantage.
“We feel pretty confident,” he said. “You know the one thing that I’m happy about is that the judges were very constructive as far as their criticism. We’re going to apply pretty much most of what they said.”
Said Ireland: "I’m feeling great. I love criticism. I think it’s a gift. It’s how I learn and grow, so my goal is to take what I’ve learned and just to run with it and grow with it. And I get to work with Tony, so how cool is that?" --Jed Dreben
Tell us: Will Kathy Ireland bounce back this week?Craig Sjodin/ABC