“I am so ready to perform tonight. I’m dancing for redemption. Yes, I’ve got something to prove, to a lot of people. “It all started in eighth grade when I got kicked out my dance class. I’ll admit that I’d fallen in love with a boy and stayed up all night to talk to him on the phone. The next day was our big performance, but I was so sleepy from having been up late that I couldn’t remember the steps. My teacher snatched me right off the stage, in the middle of the performance. “That experience shattered me and at that point, I decided to hang up my leotard, for good. Then in 1990, I came out of “retirement” to audition to be a Fly Girl on “In Living Color.” Although I wasn’t a trained dancer, I figured that I could definitely street dance, but the show’s choreographer, Rosie Perez, said, “Not so much!” “I’ve always wanted to be a lead dancer, on something, so the opportunity to join “Dancing with the Stars” came at just the right time. At 40 years old with three babies and a divorce behind me, I still feel like I have a chance to live out my dream and I’m going to take it. I love working with my partner, Louis, because he’s able to translate dance to me in a way that I can understand. Tonight, we’re doing the Cha Cha Cha, which is much harder than I thought. There are parts of my body that hurt that I didn’t even know existed and I’m not ashamed to admit that I end my days with some sangria and a foot rub from either my Mr. Wonderful or my mom. “Many people have laughed when they see me going to rehearsal in eyelashes and with my hair done, but I’m usually coming from one of my other gigs at “Clean House and “The Insider.” I’m just trying to stay employed so I can feed my children, so I’m really not being a diva. But then again, I did buy about 45 pairs of leg warmers, 75 leotards and about a million little wrap skirts, so I definitely dress the part. If there was a “Best Dressed” category, I might win that! “So, yes, I’m ready for tonight. I’m wearing a very spicy, gold halter number. My family will be there and I’m just hoping that I remember my routine and don’t embarrass anybody that I love. If I pass out, ya’ll pray for me. Otherwise, if I’m still standing, just know that I would have peed on myself, just a little bit!” Read more: