Earlier this month, the 59-year-old Tiger King star was announced as one of the many famous faces set to hit the dance floor and compete for a shot at the mirrorball trophy on the ABC series. While speaking to Us Weekly and other reporters on Wednesday, September 9, Baskin admitted that she has “absolutely no dance background” — but was already in the middle of a wellness journey.
“[Rehearsals] made me aware of muscles that I didn’t have. There’s an awful lot of things that ache!” Baskin teased.
One day earlier, the animal rights activist posed alongside fellow DWTS competitor Chrishell Stause — and fans were floored by Baskin’s significant transformation. The women stood side by side, both wearing face masks to protect themselves amid the coronavirus pandemic. “So THIS just happened,” Stause, 39, captioned the Instagram Story.
“The stuff that people saw in Tiger King was filmed in 2018,” Baskin said on Wednesday, referencing her noticeable slimdown. “This has been a two-year process, it wasn’t just from this.”
Though she wasn’t too familiar with Dancing With the Stars before starting her rehearsal process, Baskin welcomed the learning experience with open arms. However, trying to master ballroom dance technique in a short period of time hasn’t come without challenges.
“I’ve always been really determined and extremely competitive within myself,” she said. “I think the most challenging aspect is that I’m a workaholic — I work seven days, 70 hours a week. To be limited to three to four hours of rehearsals has been so difficult for me. I want to rehearse all day, every day until I get it right.”
“I will be dancing to ‘Eye of the Tiger,'” she revealed on Wednesday. “It’s the paso doble. For costumes, I gave instructions for no fur, no feathers — but just have a blast.”
Season 29 of Dancing With the Stars debuts on ABC on Monday, September 14, at 8 p.m. ET.