Denise Richards’s Dancing Strategy – Avoid Embarrassment

Denise Richards’s Dancing Strategy – Avoid Embarrassment

02/09/2009 AT 12:00 AM EST

Denise Richards called her last foray into reality TV It's Complicated. She may want to call her next venture It's Scary.

"My biggest fear is just forgetting everything right before going on live, that's what I'm scared of," the actress tells PEOPLE of her new role as contestant on the eighth season of Dancing With the Stars. "All I hope is that I don't embarrass my girls!"

Daughters Sam, 4, and Lola, 3, will be cheering on Richards, 37, throughout the competition. "I let the girls stay up a bit later when the show is on," she says. "It's popcorn night at our house."

Although Richards says she's "flexible and coordinated," she will be put to the test with pro partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy. "I'm completely out of my element because I've never danced before. Never!" she says. "I just met (Maks) this morning and I'm really excited that he's my partner. He's an amazing, amazing dancer. I told him he's got his work cut out for him, but it'll be fun."

As for the training that begins next week, Richards says, "I heard it's pretty intense but I'm prepared to put the work in."

The new season of DWTS premieres March 9 on ABC. -- Julie Jordan

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