Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward and Kym Johnson leapt into the lead on “Dancing with the Stars” on Monday night, becoming the first official frontrunners of the competition, and the football player credits his Australian dance partner for their success.
“Kym always pushes,” Hines told Billy Bush and Kit Hoover on Tuesday’s Access Hollywood Live. “She says, ‘Play the role! Play the character!’
“The rumba has to be sexy and romantic, so I try to almost tongue her down, almost,” he added with a laugh, referring of the pair’s sexy ballroom chemistry.
Kit asked if there was chemistry for the pair off the dance floor too, or if that was something the show tries to discourage.
“There’s no rules like that, but you do spend a lot of time with each other and we have fun,” Kym laughed.
“I try to be romantic every day I see her, but it’s not working,” Hines chimed in. “She’s not buying it “
Kym clearly wears the pants in the pair’s “DWTS” relationship. The football star revealed the Aussie cutie revealed even picks out Hines’ dance floor outfits.
“Kym, she picked out everything – the whole [get up],” Hines said of last night’s suit – a military uniform. “We really just wanted to portray the romantic side of the whole ‘An Officer and A Gentleman’ and I think it worked out pretty good.”
In fact, things worked out very well for the pair, as they earned the top spot on the leaderboard after scoring 9s across the board from the judges, for a total of 27 out of 30.
Cheering them on all the way were Hines’ Steelers teammates. They weren’t, however, sold on Hines’ off-season career move right away.
“They were so negative at first – ‘Man, you’re gonna be the first one eliminated off the show.’ But then week in and week out I’m going in there and performing and they’re giving me the support,” he said. “They’re like, ‘Don’t come back without the mirrorball!’ So it’s great and they fly out and show their support. It’s amazing. If you can convince football players that you can do this show and do it well, then I know I’ve arrived.”
Hines has arrived in other ways too — he’s standing strong and proud, helping to boost the self esteem of bi-racial youngsters with his Hines Ward Helping Hands Foundation.
“I was born in Korea and it was really looked down upon, shunned upon marrying outside of your race, so my mother moved to America to look for that American dream, to be able to provide for me and give me a better life,” Hines said, referring to his mother who is Korean and his father, who is black.
“So many kids nowadays, growing up as bi-racial kids, have a huge identity problem, trying to fit in, not understanding why they [were] brought into this world and being different, so I started my own foundation, the Hines Ward Helping Hand Foundation, to help biracial kids all over the world, to really just give kids self confidence in themselves,” he added.
Click HERE to learn more about Hines’ foundation.