There is no doubt that Helio Castroneves’ appearance on last season of Dancing with the Stars increased his exposure to viewers who might not have previously been familiar with the Indy racing star. And his ultimate win of the season certainly must have been satisfying to the nature of a driver who competes for a living.
However, he’s said recently that he’s hanging up his dancing shoes and doesn’t plan to pursue anything else related to a dancing career once the Dancing with the Stars tour is over. Is it possible that all that dancing has had a negative impact on his racing?
Quite the contrary, actually. While he’s alluded to some gentle ribbing that’s come his way from his racing team, it would appear that the training he underwent to appear on the show has actually had a positive effect on his racing.
He recently said, “My legs are really strong now…Normally, as drivers, we work the upper body, neck, shoulder, arms, but dancing was mostly the feet and the legs, and wow, it was a big change. I’m feeling great. I’m not sore. It made me fit and lean and – wow!”
A fellow ABC star – and budding Indy driver – agrees. Patrick Dempsey from Grey’s Anatomy, who has been competing himself in motor-sports, also had to learn some serious dance moves for his role in the film Enchanted. He says that dancing is “a great workout. But it probably didn’t help me [in racing] quite as much as it helps [Helio].”
The two ABC stars will be competing against one another – on the racetrack, not the dance floor – at the end of the month. The Dancing with the Stars champ and the Grey’s Anatomy star will both be driving in the Rolex 24, a 24-hour endurance race held Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida.
– Leslie Seaton, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
(Image courtesy of ABC)