The revered dancer/choreographer isn’t surprised so many contestants are injured while rehearsing for dance sequences on shows like Dancing With The Stars and Strictly Come Dancing – because the untrained struggle with foxtrots and tangos.
He tells WENN, “I worry that they hurt themselves because they’re dancing beyond their training and when they get older it’s gonna show up. It’s kind of like cruelty to animals. They don’t know they’re hurting themselves.
“My father was a horse trainer and the care my father took with the horses, that’s the care they should be trained with, but they’re not and they keep getting hurt. So when I look at the contestants I think about the horses. They’re dancing beyond their capabilities and that bothers me.
“I sound like some fogey about it but I know what it takes to have a long, healthy physical life. I danced all my life and you have to really get some training before you try it. You can start simple like ballroom dancing but Dancing With The Stars is extreme; it’s almost like a fight.”
The U.S. show, which launched its latest season on Monday night (21Sep09), has a history of injuries to celebrity contestants – Jewel and TV presenter Nancy O’Dell were forced to pull out of the last season of the show before it even started and Steve-O and Gilles Marini battled injuries on the show.