Sherri Shepherd doing 'Dancing With The Stars' for son, working mothers


The 12 couples named to compete on season 14 of the ABC reality dance show are busy rehearsing for next week's two-hour premiere. And Shepherd, who's not one to shy away from what's on her mind, is already feeling the pain.

"Oh my gosh, everything on my body is hurting," she said.

But bruises, aches, and pains are nothing new for the celebrity contestants and dancing pros. And hospital visits have increased over the last few years for leg, shoulder, back and neck injuries, as well as torn tendons and broken bones.

During an interview this week, Shepherd joked with her dancing partner, Val Chmerkovskiy, about showing some skin.

"When are you going to take your shirt off? That's what I want to know. Let's get down to the nitty gritty, let's set some rules right now," she said.

And while his big brother, fellow "Dancing With The Stars" pro Maksim Chmerkovskiy, doesn't seem to mind showing off his six-pack, Val appeared a little shy about disrobing.

"I don't know, I want to come across a little more humble, a little more modest this season," he replied.

It was an answer Shepherd wasn't satisfied with.

"Hey, we didn't sign on for humility. You take your shirt off in one of them dances, let's get the fantasy going. You know, let some people live vicariously through me, shoot," she joked.

Putting on those dancing shoes is something new for Shepherd, and she says it's for a special someone: her son.

"Jeffrey, by me doing this, by mommy doing this, no matter what anybody says if you put your mind to it you can do it," she said. "So I'm doing this for my baby. I'm doing it for working mothers who feel like, I don't know if I can handle something. You know what? Yes, you can, go for it. If it scares you, if there's something in your little belly, go and do it. So I'm going to show some people you can do anything you want to do."

Shepherd's career took off with her role on the ABC sitcom "Less Than Perfect," which debuted in 2002. After appearing a number of times as a guest co-host on the ABC morning talk show "The View," she was named a permanent co-host in 2007.

The rest of the "Dancing" cast includes R&B legend Gladys Knight with pro dancer Tristan MacManus; TV personality Maria Menounos with pro dancer Derek Hough; "Family Matters" actor Jaleel White with pro dancer Kym Johnson; "Melrose Place" actor Jack Wagner with pro dancer Anna Trebunskaya; actress Melissa Gilbert with pro dancer Maksim Chmerkovskiy; singer Gavin DeGraw with pro dancer Karina Smirnoff; actor and model William Levy with pro dancer Cheryl Burke; tennis legend Martina Navratilova with pro dancer Tony Dovolani; Disney Channel star Roshon Fegan with pro dancer Chelsie Hightower; Green Bay Packers receiver Donald Driver with pro dancer Peta Murgatroyd; and opera star Katherine Jenkins with pro dancer Mark Ballas.

"Dancing With The Stars" returns with a two-hour season premiere on Monday, March 19, at 8 p.m. on ABC7.

Check out photos of this season's dancing pairs rehearsing for Monday's premiere.

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