EW caught up with Dancing With the Stars pro Louis Van Amstel, who’s on tour to promote his lifestyle brand (and just-released 5-disc workout DVD set) called LaBlast Fitness. Louis (pictured with Kelly Osbourne during season 9) didn’t compete on ABC’s dance hit last fall, but don’t worry — he’s on contract for five more years. “I’m liking the balance of having one season on, one season off,” he said. “But I’m ready to be back on. So far I have walked out with all the partners I’ve had as good friends — some of them were a little crazy of course, but it’s such a nice journey.”
Van Amstel singled out Osbourne and Niecy Nash as his two favorite partners, but quickly mentioned Priscilla Presley as well. “I absolutely loved my time with Margaret Cho,” he added (giving me an excuse to rewatch what Cho called “the gayest thing that ever happened” on DWTS on YouTube). “And Lisa [Rinna]!” he said. “Six years ago, absolutely. I think that season — although we didn’t make it to the final — is the most memorable.”
As for his guest choreography on Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance, Louis needs to limit his work to one episode per season. “It’s ABC that only allows me to do it once,” he explained. “So far, that’s the downside of the five-year contract. If I look at it from a business point of view, being part of SYTYCD, which has a few million viewers, versus DWTS with up to 24 million viewers…yeah. I’d love to do SYTYCD more often, but I’m not gonna fight ABC!”
The LaBlast DVDs run from levels 1 to 5, starting out for the “absolute beginner,” then building into short but powerful 15-minute workouts that focus on upper body extension and the legs. The videos are modeled after Van Amstel’s popular LaBlast classes, so even though they teach you to dance the ballroom standards in addition to the Lindy hop and disco, there’s no partnering involved in the workouts.
“One of the things I’ve found worldwide is that women want to dance, but husbands feel that they can’t. So they won’t try. So the ladies have to pretty much give up the idea or learning to dance,” Van Amstel said. “And now that’s a thing of the past.”