Tyson Beckford is putting his dance skills to the test for the 32nd season of Dancing With The Stars, which debuted in late September.
The 52-year-old model revealed that DWTS had been “chasing” him to join the cast for a long time, but his work schedule and a knee problem kept him from saying yes. But this time, he said the timing “was just impeccable.”
“I’ve always been someone who wants to try new things, which is why my career has spanned so many genres,” Beckford told Blavity’s Shadow and Act.
Beckford expressed his admiration for Iman Shumpert, who won the 30th season of DWTS.
“To be honest, I’ve never seen the show. I’d seen snippets and knew who won last year since I admire Iman. “I was like, ‘If that big man can move like that, I can definitely get up [there],'” he said of Shumpert’s appearance on the show. “So I’m kind of like following in his big footsteps, ’cause they are some big shoes to fill.”
Beckford gives credit to his So You Think You Can Dance partner Jenna Johnson.
“When you get in there with your partner and your partner is someone like Jenna, she makes me work,” Beckford went on to say. “This woman has changed my life in terms of how we work together. We bonded on the first day, and there are so many things we have in common. We’re just having a fantastic time talking. I feel like I’ve known her my entire life. And you want that in a companion.”
Beckford also mentioned that DWTS’ male professional dancers have been assisting him along the way because everyone roots for each other even though it’s a competition, which he appreciates.
“Who’s been helping me the most is Sal and Brandon,” he went on to say. “Everyone is extremely helpful…no one wants to see you fail.” Nobody wants to watch you go out there and fail to execute the routines because, at the end of the day, this is all about promoting ballroom dancing. “Hopefully, someone will see this and say, ‘Man, I’m inspired by that.'”
Beckford’s appearance on DWTS has also influenced his younger brother, Leon, who is now taking dance lessons.
“I can’t wait to see my brother and my sister-in-law get out there dancing,” he went on to say.
Beckford wants viewers to know that as someone who grew up between New York City and Jamaica, he has always considered himself a dancer.
“There are many street dancers, and you look at that and…I enjoy dancing, but this Ballroom [dancing] is a little different. “I’ve never done it,” he said. “I’m good at hiding my emotions when it comes to nerves, but I get nervous before every show.” I’m not as awful as the first episode.”
Beckford talked about how essential it is for him to represent his roots as he prepared for this week’s Motown Night theme. The music selection is an important part of achieving this goal. As a result, he revealed some of the musicians who will be featured in his forthcoming routine.
“To begin, we did my late great friend Luther Vandross. So many of the artists I choose are Black artists I grew up with or Latino performers like Willie Colón and Hector Levoe,” he explained. “This week, I’m listening to Stevie Wonder’s ‘Master Blaster,’ which ties to my Jamaican heritage…It’s difficult to do the foxtrot, which I’m doing. “Because ‘Master Blaster’ is a fast song, my foxtrot has to be fast.”
Despite the fact that it is only the third week of the competition, Beckford has discovered a newfound passion in dancing and a sense of pride in executing a new routine each week.
“I’ve done a lot of stuff in my career, but I’ve never done anything like this. This is the most fun I’ve ever had on TV,” he said. “I don’t want to go home. I want to stay here as long as I can and as long as the fans want me there.”
To keep up with Beckford’s dance moves, tune into Dancing With the Stars on Tuesdays at 8/7c on ABC and Disney+ or stream it the next day on Hulu. (Tyson Beckford)