Announced Tuesday as a cast member for the upcoming season of "Dancing with the Stars," 2012 Olympic floor exercise champion Aly Raisman (U.S.) said Friday she hopes fans will see a new side of her this spring.
"People would always complain I wasn't expressive enough in my floor routine," Raisman said. "I want to show people that I can do that and that I feel more comfortable and confident in my dancing."
Double Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman (U.S.)
Raisman took a break from the dance studio in Los Angeles on Friday morning to fly to her home state of Massachusetts, where the AT&T American Cup takes place Saturday.
Speaking to the media in Worcester, Raisman said she's already had four practice sessions with professional Mark Ballas, who paired with another Olympic gymnastics gold medalist, Shawn Johnson, to win Season 10 of ABC's hit show.
"I'm so happy that I have Mark," said Raisman, who also captained the U.S. women to first place at the Olympics in London. "He's awesome. We've had four rehearsals and he's great we have a really great connection. We bonded right away and everything kind of just worked. I feel really comfortable and we laugh a lot and it's really great. He's amazing, so creative."
Raisman said she took advantage while she and her London Olympic teammates attended a taping of the show last fall, when Johnson returned for its "All Stars" season.
"I made sure everyone knew I wanted to do it," she laughed. "I was literally telling everyone. It was just something I've always wanted to do and I think it's a lot of fun."
Raisman said she's also looking forward to the costumes.
"There's so many different exciting options," she said. "The good thing is [Mark and I] designed them ourselves so we can do whatever we want, any color. Even just watching the Oscars I was getting cool ideas from that, just different trendy stuff. It will be fun to take some cool risks."
Raisman, who trained under coaches Mihai and Silvia Brestyan for much of her career, said it's unlikely she will attempt any tumbling moves in her dance routines.
"Mark said probably not," she said. "I want people to watch my dancing. I think everyone knows I can do gymnastics. I just want people to really like my dancing."
She added, "If I'm wearing heels I definitely can't do that. I tried them on last night and the heels are pretty uncomfortable. I've been watching TV with them on to get used to it."