“You’ve got to be sell-able.”Injuries, romances and fights are all part of “getting attention.”“After 19 seasons, people start to catch on as to what works and what they think the audience wants to see,” she adds. I’m not going to be someone to put on a show or create drama.”Instead, the 25-year-old pro has focused on the work that lands on the dance floor and, in the process, she netted an Emmy nomination for choreography.Crafting dances, though, is only part of the “Dancing with the Stars” assignment.In addition to working with the celebrity, the pro has to help design costumes, choose the music and decide what props to use. You have a costume consultation on Tuesday and you have to rehearse five to seven hours a day.” Add in press interviews and it’s clear the job is more difficult than it looks. But, at the end of the day, it is a TV show.”During her seven seasons on “Dancing,” Hightower worked with a range of celebrities – from racecar champion Helio Castroneves to singer Michael Bolton.Even when a celebrity is voted off, the professional stays, performing in group dances and “bumpers” – dance turns before and after commercials.“There’s so much that’s out of your control,” Hightower says. Her best finish was fourth – with rodeo star Ty Murray.“I am a virgin, I don’t drink, and I don’t do drugs. In the 3rd grade, her parents enrolled her in an after-school dance class. She was a shy girl, and cried when her mother first brought her to class, but she quickly realized if she was going to sit in class for an hour anyway, so might as well learn to dance.There are always temptations, and they come in different ways, but this is really who I am. She started as the worst dancer in the class, and the slowest learner. Chelsie grew up with five athletic older brothers, and spent most of her childhood outside playing sports.
You see the best side and the worst side and you’re constantly pushing them,” she says.In most competitions she was cut or disqualified in the first round.One day, something “clicked” and she started winning almost every competition she entered.They’re not trained dancers.”Currently appearing in “Dancing Pros Live,” a stage show that pits ballroom dancing champions against television professionals, Hightower spent seven seasons on “Dancing with the Stars,” one on “So You Think You Can Dance.”Both shows, she says, have given dance enormous attention but their goals are different.“So You Think You Can Dance,” Hightower says, “is really about the art form of dancing. ‘Dancing with the Stars’ is about the celebrity and his or her journey.”Personality, then, becomes a key factor, particularly when it comes to the audience vote.“They’re going to vote for the person they relate to the most,” Hightower says.