The women of Dancing With The Stars share behind the scenes secrets

It’s one big gossip fest!
Loading the player...

They’re competing fiercely for your votes on Dancing with the Stars, but behind the scenes, the reality show’s female celebrities are one big, loved-up girl gang.

Even the perpetually stone-faced Gilda Kirkpatrick can’t help but crack a smile and show her inner goofball as the dancing queens pose up at our Woman’s Day shoot. And in between shots, they’re all sharing social media tips with an eager-to-learn Suzy Cato and gossiping about the odd backstage antics of fellow contestant David Seymour.

The idea of one of these women being booted off the Three show is difficult for Samantha Hayes, who tells us, “Right now, everyone is getting to know each other and a lovely family atmosphere is building. Everyone is looking out for one another, trading stories about sore feet and tricky dance moves.”

Unfortunately, after the photo shoot happened, Gilda and Naz became the first contestants voted off the show.

Marama Fox, 47, Maori Party Co-leader

What did your family think of you signing up?

My seven-year-old said, “Really? Do you have to?” My 16-year-old was like, “Nooooo, Mum!”

What’s your biggest fear?

Flashing my wobbly bits on the nation’s TVs.

Any previous dance experience?

Only 47 years of listening to old-school R&B, which makes your hips swing.

What do you think about your costumes?

Some of them are missing bits – lots of bits!

The best advice you’ve received?

If you can’t dance, smile and distract them!

Who’s your biggest cheerleader?

The little voice in my head telling me to get my butt off the floor when I’m dying at practice.

Suzy Cato, 49, Children’s Entertainer

Who’s your biggest competition?

Myself! I’m challenging myself physically, mentally and emotionally when it comes to learning and remembering steps, and showing more Suzy than has ever been seen before.

What has surprised you?

How much I enjoy it! Even coming home bone-tired and drenched in sweat, now my body craves it even more than chocolate.

Any previous dance experience?

I won a bronze medal in waltz when I was 10 and had a healthy appetite for jazzercise in my 20s. Now I break my mum moves out at any opportunity.

Who are your biggest cheerleaders?

My husband and family. My two babies are missing their mum, but they’re thrilled I’m part of this exciting adventure and supporting me in so many wonderful ways.

Jess Quinn, 25, Social Media Star

Why did you sign up to DWTS?

I thought it’d be a cool opportunity to push myself out of my comfort zone and raise money for The Child Cancer Foundation, a charity that provided me and my family with a huge amount of support, love and reassurance in a really scary time.

Who’s your biggest competition?

Suzy. She has serious style – and who doesn’t love her?

What’s your biggest fear?

My leg falling off. Nah, that won’t happen. Probably falling over or having a mind blank.

What do you think of your costumes?

I’m quite a tomboy, so it was a surprise at first, but I’m learning to love them!

Gilda Kirkpatrick, 44, Real Housewives of Auckland Star

What is your biggest fear?

My children disowning me due to embarrassing dance moves.

What’s surprised you most?

My lack of ability to have control over my body.

Describe your dance style in three words.

Very, very uncoordinated.

What do you think of your costumes?

They’re very theatrical. I’m loving it!

Your biggest competition?

Every single contestant.

And your greatest cheerleader?

My dance partner.

Sam Hayes

What’s your biggest fear?

I’m terrified I’ll get distracted by something as I walk on to the dance floor and go completely blank. It’s keeping me awake at night!

Did you have dance experience?

Nothing that counts. I did modern dance for about five minutes at primary school and I took one tango lesson in Argentina. I definitely came into this a beginner.

What’s one song guaranteed to get you on the floor?

Oh, I’ll dance to anything. We got the limbo going at my brother’s wedding. I came first – or was it second? It’s still hotly debated.

Naz Khanjani, 28, The Bachelor NZ runner-up

Who is your biggest competition?

Nobody. I’m not here competing for a rose. There is no hit list. This is all positive vibes and raising money for charity.

What’s your biggest fear?

Falling over or forgetting a move on live TV.

What has surprised you most?

After boxing live in front of thousands of people, I thought I’d be confident going into this, especially because I’m so fit and love dancing, but everything scares me in training.

Any previous experience?

I danced in high school and did cheerleading, but that’s going back 15 years!

Describe your style.

Sassy, strict, sexy!

Shavaughn Ruakere, 40, actress

Why did you sign up?

Like most females on the planet, I love to dance, but apart from a couple of years of ballet and jazz when I was little, I haven’t had any real training. The thought of learning a new skill and really challenging myself was very appealing – plus it looks like so much fun!

What has surprised you most in training?

Finding out the way I learn. Counting the beat doesn’t work for me – I have to make sound effects all the time to remember steps. You’ll hear a lot of “swish, swish” and “ba-ba-boom” coming out of my mouth!

The best advice you’ve received?

Be yourself, try your best and get your boobs out.

Related stories

Get Woman’s Day home delivered!  

Subscribe and save up to 29% on a magazine subscription.