Win a "Dance of a Lifetime" with Mario Lopez

By Jamie Ruby

Mario LopezTo celebrate the season 12 premiere of Dancing with the Stars on Gameshow Network (GSN), the network is hosting a "Dance of a Lifetime" contest. GSN is inviting fans of Dancing with the Stars to send in their own homemade dance videos. The grand prize winner will be flown to Los Angeles for a private dance lesson with both a professional ballroom dance instructer as well as Dancing with the Stars' Mario Lopez. The winner will also include a full makeover complete with wardrobe provided by designer Randall Christensen.

Mario Lopez is not only known for his time on Dancing with the Stars, but also for his work on Extra, and his roles on series such as Saved by the Bell, The Bold and the Beautiful, and Nip/Tuck.

Lopez recently talked to the digital media about Dancing with the Stars and the new contest.

For more information about the contest and to enter, please visit GSN.tv/DANCESTAR 

GSN Conference Call
Dancing with the Stars/Dance of a Lifetime
Mario Lopez
March 13, 2012


Mario LopezQUESTION: You're involved with the Dance of a Lifetime contest sponsored by GSN, which is such a great opportunity for fans of Dancing with the Stars and you, of course. How did you get chosen to be the part of the "prize?"

MARIO LOPEZ: Well, first of all, thanks for having me on guys, and excited to be talking about it because been a fan of GSN for a while and had a great experience on Dancing with the Stars. I love dancing, and it's my mom's favorite show. So anytime I can keep dancing and keep doing stuff for her to keep her happy, I like to it. And get to dance and promote a positive message at the same time, so why not? Win-win.

SCIFI VISION: Do you have an idea what the people who are judging the videos are looking for?

MARIO LOPEZ: I think just a lot of energy and being passionate about dancing and, of course, the show itself and to have fun. And people that have just fun personalities. And it's going to be all a great time. I just think, in general, just a passionate, fun-loving dance fan.

QUESTION: What is one valuable lesson from Dancing with the Stars that you learned that you wanted to pass on to the winner of the [contest]?

MARIO LOPEZ: I mean, I think the most important thing is if you're having fun out there, people are going to have fun with you. Because it's not worth it if it's not fun, and I try to always have fun just once I hit the dance floor. I think that's what it's all about. Dancing is a great form of exercise, and also a great way to express yourself. It's a great way to relive stress. So it's all about having a good time.

QUESTION: What do you think is going to be the stand-out moment for this whole contest for you?

MARIO LOPEZ: Well, for me, it's getting to dance and getting to dance with this person who's obviously been looking forward to it and having fun, getting choreographed. And just to have create something and have it come together is always a good time. So I'm looking forward to meeting the person who wins.

QUESTION: So how did being on Dancing with the Stars change your life?

MARIO LOPEZ: Well, it had a very positive impact on my life. I think anytime you get the opportunity to be on a platform where you're...in front of millions of people, it can either go one of two ways. They could not like you, and you could rub them the wrong way. But fortunately, I had a nice little run on it, and I got great response. I didn't know I could be a ballroom dancer. I had it in me.

I did get an awful lot of people to see a side of your personality that maybe they haven't seen before, so it's a great vehicle for all of that. I was able to parley it into different things, and just really grateful for the chance and happy that I got to be on it.

QUESTION: You just mentioned having a nice little run on the show. Did you give any advice to Maria coming up, or how about any kind of inside bet who gets further in the show?

MARIO LOPEZ: To Maria? I just told her I think she's got a great partner in Derek. If she listens to him, she'll be fine. And again, just what I would tell the contest winner, just to have fun when you're out there. Don't worry about counting your stats or necessarily thinking too much, because I think it'll show. And if you have fun, everyone will have fun with you. Maybe a tequila shot right before you perform. That'll help loosen you up.

QUESTION: What was your favorite dance performing on Dancing with the Stars when you were on?

MARIO LOPEZ: I had a good time learning them all. I've never done any of them before. I liked the Mambo a lot, and the Pasadoble was a lot of fun too. And I liked the Tango. All the Latin dances—shocker—I think I really liked probably a little more.

SCIFI VISION: What was the most challenging dance move for you to learn?

MARIO LOPEZ: Probably all the different waltzes just because you're constantly, like, in a frame, and you have to be cognizant of stepping on your partner. And as a man, you have to lead, right? So that probably required most of the work.

QUESTION: Now that you are doing this project, and you've been on Dancing with the Stars, and I know you're a big fitness fanatic, would you consider starting a program for young children so they can learn proper fitness and exercise?

MARIO LOPEZ: I've started many programs. I'm the Boys and Girls Club's fitness ambassador of America. So I've started a lot of programs for kids, and especially down in my hometown of San Diego. I've got a Triple-Play program that I've done with Boys and Girls Club, so health and fitness is a top priority in my life, and especially with our youth. I've been an advocate of that for years now and have taken it to, like, a whole other level in everything that I'm doing.

I just got back with Arnold Schwarzenegger. I did the Arnold Classic in Columbus, Ohio, which is celebrating its 25th year, and I'm constantly doing that. Now I'm doing a new initiative with Time Warner, speaking to all their employees in health and fitness and with their kids, focusing on the family and taking it from the individual to the household. So I've done a lot and will continue to do more.

QUESTION: I hate to be the one asking a risque question, but have you ever considered making underwear with padding in it? Because I know some men have these insecurity issues nowadays, similar to what padded bras have done for women.

MARIO LOPEZ: I've never been asked that, but I imagine that's a pretty good idea.

QUESTION: Financially?

MARIO LOPEZ: I'm going to have to go back to the drawing board and maybe pitch that one. So, yeah, thanks for the suggestion.

SCIFI VISION: You've done a lot of different things. What do you enjoy more: acting, dancing, or hosting? Or if you like them all, then what is it about each one that you like the most?

MARIO LOPEZ: I do like them all, and I like just doing different things. Just like a workout—I don't like to do the same routine, so I like just to kind of keep myself on my toes and continue to learn and show different sides of who I am and my personality. So I like acting and hosting and dancing and performing a theater, or whatever the case may be, and hope to continue to do all the above.

QUESTION: What do you think someone is going to have to bring to the table to win this contest?

MARIO LOPEZ: Well again, I mentioned it earlier, I think someone is just going to have to be clever and show how passionate they are about dancing and the show itself and what a fan they are of GSN wouldn't hurt either. And just be clever in their video and be authentic with their passion for dancing, and being able to move doesn't hurt. They don't have to be an expert by any means, but just to love to dance and make sure that loves comes across. I think that's going to be key.

QUESTION: Are you excited about meeting Martina Navratilova?

MARIO LOPEZ: Martina Navratilova—yeah, I'm looking forward to meeting all of the cast. Every year I interview them all on my show, Extra, and some I've met before, and some I've never met before at all. So I'm looking forward to meeting her—haven't met her before.

QUESTION: And what are you going to ask her on your show?

MARIO LOPEZ: What am I going to ask her? You know, I'll ask her at first the typical questions: How is she enjoying it? Is it what she expected? What's been her difficult dance so far? And I'll just have to be in the moment.

QUESTION: Besides Maria, who are you rooting for on the upcoming season of Dancing with the Stars?

MARIO LOPEZ: Who's in it again?...all the people I forget. Well, I mean, I—who do I know on this show? I think I actually know a lot of them right there, and obviously, aside from Maria, I know Jaleel. I'd like to see him do well and go a long way there. And I know the pros really well, so I like to see them do well. You know, I don't really play favorites or root for anyone in particular other than just being supportive. Sherri Shepherd is really sweet too. I love it when I get to go on The View and see her. I forget that she's on the show, and she's going to be great, I think.

SCIFI VISION: How many hours, in general, did you train for each dance?

MARIO LOPEZ: I mean, I was kind of busy doing other stuff, so I didn't get to train as much as I probably wanted to, but maybe three or four hours?

SCIFI VISION: Still a lot.

MARIO LOPEZ: Because then my ADD kicked in, and then I can't concentrate anymore. But I hear people training, like, 8, 10 hours a day. I was like, wow.

QUESTION: You just talked about being busy. What else to have going on? What else can we expect from you soon?

MARIO LOPEZ: Well, other than seeing me every night on Extra, I got my seventh season of America's Best Dance Troupe coming up around the corner. I've got a nationally-syndicated radio show called On With Mario Lopez that's going to be premiering in April. I've got a couple of projects that I'm producing right now, but just waiting for them to hit the air before I start talking about them, so very, very busy with that. And, of course, playing dad to my beautiful little girl, so I've got my hands full.

QUESTION: There's a lot of other Latin stars with a lot of ego. I know that J-Lo is kind of famously a diva. Do you feel like you have to compete with them, or are you cool to just kind of stay in the background?

MARIO LOPEZ: Well, I don't feel I have to compete with anyone in particular just because they're Latin.

QUESTION: Yeah, that sounded wrong.

MARIO LOPEZ: No, understand what you're saying. I just try to be a hard worker and do my job the best I can every day. A lot of people depended on my, and I don't want to let anybody down. I always want to give it 100% and try to create more opportunities for myself and for others. I got a family to worry about now, so try to do the right thing, live the right way, and work hard.

SCIFI VISION: Other than learning the actual dance moves, what was the hardest part about being on Dancing with the Stars?

MARIO LOPEZ: Just the schedule, because I was busy at the time, and doing the schedule—just with the schedule of doing the show and doing the other things, it just gets a little draining. But I mean, I had a lot of fun. I never got hurt, or I wasn't sore at all. It's just a new environment that you're not used to. It's fun. I looked at it just a lot, a lot of fun, and I had a good time when I went out there.

QUESTION: A lot was made when Maria made that bet for the Super Bowl. If she won and surpassed your amazing run a couple of years ago, could you be wearing any kind of funny outfits?

MARIO LOPEZ: Well, there was no bet made, and I probably wouldn't make a bet like that. So I doubt it.

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