Dancing with the Stars
participant Leeza Gibbons
proudly deems her participation on the celebrity reality dance show as a gift to her mother. She explained, “My gift to my mother is to dance … with her spirit.” She also added that her mother, who’s in the late stages of Alzheimer's disease, “loved the whole celebratory nature of dance.” Coincidentally, Gibbons turns 50 while her mother turns 72.
Leeza Gibbons, a 50-year old American talk show host, is a native of Hartsville, South Carolina. She graduated from the University of South Carolina where she studied journalism and mass communication. Previously, she co-hosted Entertainment Tonight
and also appeared on television shows like Extra
, The Simple Life
and The Geena Davis Show
. At present, she is the host of her own radio show entitled Leeza Live
Although Gibbon expressed her delight on the Dancing with the Stars
, she explains that her decision to partake on the program did not come easy. She said, “A temporary lapse of sanity, that's all I can tell you. I said, `Look, I'm the oldest woman to ever do this show; I don't have any dance background. I can't imagine in a million years it will be OK for me to wear some of these costumes. Please protect me.'”
Aside from her “gift” to her mother, Dancing with the Stars
is also Gibbon’s way to bring attention and positive exposure to the Leeza Gibbons Memory Foundation, which is a non-profit group she established with her family since her mother was diagnosed. The organization focuses on the awareness, treatment, research and improved care of Alzheimer’s nationwide. She added, "When my mother was diagnosed she said, `You're a storyteller, this is our story, tell it, make it count,'"
At present, she is paired with Tony Dovolani, a professional ballroom dancer based in New York City, on Dancing with the Stars
-Kris De Leon, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
Source: USA Today