What would you do if someone asked you to be on the popular ABC show “Dancing With the Stars”? If you are a retired Pro Bowl and Super Bowl champion like DeMarcus Ware, you think you would easily get to yes, but DeMarcus says it took some coaxing.
“My daughter really convinced me, because that’s my heart. My kids are my heart, and my daughter, she wants to dance but she’s on the edge. So, I said maybe if I can show her I can do it; maybe she’ll get into dance and then I can go watch her," DeMarcus said.
DeMarcus has two children — a girl named Marley and a boy who he calls Bubba.
When I asked DeMarcus if he was a dancer before Dancing With the Stars, he replied: “No, never. I’ve never done one dance move ever. I’m like a robot though, if you teach me how to do it I’m going to do it at least 80 percent well, and I will smile my way 20 percent after that.”
And smile he does. He’s scored well with the judges into week three, and even late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel of ABC has predicted DeMarcus will win the mirror ball trophy. So far, so good.
Along the way, DeMarcus has a lot of moving to do. He has a crazy schedule. He works as a pass rushing coach for the Broncos from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, then practices dance from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. His kids live in Dallas, so he frequently travels so he can put on his dad hat and take Marley and Bubba to and from school. His dance partner, Lindsay Arnold, travels wherever DeMarcus is. When the dancing duo finds a studio that’s available, they go to work.
When DeMarcus is on the go, Facetime is his friend when he wants to talk to his kids, especially while on the practice floor. He wants to show his kids it’s OK to be in uncomfortable situations.
“Just because it’s comfortable doesn’t mean it’s the best thing for you. That’s what I’m showing my kids right now. Dad didn’t know how to do any dance, and he’ll get out there and try as hard as he can and get uncomfortable, and hopefully you guys will do it too,” he said.
Which style of dance is he good at? DeMarcus shakes his head no, saying they are all hard. He describes dancing as using both sides of your brain —and it’s hard on the feet. DeMarcus wears a size 12 or 13 shoes.
“If the leather is hard, you better get some bigger shoes because you’re going to get blisters. I found that out last night after six hours of practice, so I had to have some extra shoes,” DeMarcus said.
And he adds a little extra something to the bottom of the shoes.
“With me being a little heavier you have to put rubber at the bottom. It’s usually some type of felt, but I slide too much because I’m too heavy, so I put rubber at the bottom of my shoes, so I can get some good grip,” he said.
And it’s more than shoes DeMarcus is getting used to. The rhinestones and sequins and bright colors are starting to grow on him.
“I found out, when you are thinking about dance, it’s about your first impression, what you look like and what you are selling to your audience and making sure that they buy it,” he said.
And he’s not opposed to showing off his muscles either, smiling and laughing as he talks about the first night of dancing. He was dressed in a sparkly sequined jacket and shirtless.
“That was their doing, and I said whatever I need to do. I told you I’m like a robot. I’m just a blank canvas, and they are drawing the portrait right now,” DeMarcus said.
He’s also counting on his friend Von Miller for advice. Von made it through week seven of "Dancing With the Stars" 2016 and told DeMarcus that memorizing the steps is important and, “making sure you really feel the vibe of the music. And be comfortable with yourself, smile at the camera,” DeMarcus said.
Von equated dancing to football.
“It’s not about the audience and who is watching he said, it’s about that moment like football you get on the football field, and you forget about the crowd. And it’s a job you need to do,” Demarcus said.
As for any other special secrets or techniques from his friend Von?
“Von, he gave me a couple of techniques, but I’ll save those for later. He gave me a couple of things, yeah. Every day I come here (Dove Valley) and we’ll actually work on some things in the locker room. Yeah, me and Vonn and everybody laughs at us,” he said.
I had to ask DeMarcus, does that mean you and Von are waltzing together, in the locker room?
“No, no, no, not too close, but close enough where we can do a couple of dance moves, and then I say to the guys, 'you come try.' And they say, 'dude, this is hard.' And I say, 'what do you think? I’m not kidding! This is real,'” he replied.
Who is better at dancing, DeMarcus or Von?
“I don’t know. I don’t know. We’ll see. He got sixth out of the 13th, which is really, really good. We had a little bit going and I told him I was going to beat him. We have to be competitive, so we’ll see how things pan out,” he said.
Either way, DeMarcus says he is in it to win it and sees "Dancing With the Stars" as a great opportunity he never expected. He’s also loving coaching for the Broncos and says he doesn’t miss playing.
“No, no my body is so beat up, and I look at some of the guys in practice, and I think how did I go so long? It’s amazing to see what those guys do, and I did that, but now my mind came to my senses. And now I can teach them. Teach them to be great men off the field and great players on the field,” he said.
I just had one final question for the sake of all the serious "Dancing With the Stars" fans: Will we see DeMarcus dancing without a shirt again? He responds with that classic DeMarcus grin: “Maybe, probably will. They make sure you're wearing the least amount of clothing. I’m comfortable with it,” he said.
That’s because he’s ready and willing to find any advantage to ensure a win.
“Any advantage I can, any advantage,” he said.
We’ll be cheering for you DeMarcus. Here’s how you can vote for Demarcus Ware & Lindsay Arnold: 1-800-868-3404. https://dwtsvote.abc.go.com/