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Meet My DWTS Partner, Louis

By Paula Deen

I am lucky enough to have the very best partner for Season 21 of Dancing with the Stars: Louis Van Amstel. Louis is on his 10th season of DWTS, and has had such wonderful partners as Kelly Osbourne, Lisa Rinna, Priscilla Presley. I hope I’m lucky enough to be added to that “wonderful” list after this season!

Here’s a fun fact about Louis if you didn’t already know it: Louis was born and raised in Amsterdam, and he somehow danced his way to the states to eventually become my dance partner, which I’m surely thankful for. He is here for the long-haul now, though. In 2007, he became a US citizen.

I asked Louis all sorts of get-to-know-you type questions, and he immediately shared with me his love of dance. When I asked what his favorite dance was, he said he likes whatever dance his partner connects with most. Plus, he said he likes the dance that the judges and the at-home voters love best. I can’t say that I blame him. I think that just might be my favorite dance, too! Did you know that this is his first season back after missing the last five? I’m honored that I get to be on his arm for his return. And I can feel that it’s goin’ to be a winning season for him, too—or at least I hope so!

In addition to his role with Dancing with the Stars, he started a very successful company, LaBlast Dance Fitness, about 5 years ago. He said, much like when I wrote Paula Deen Cuts the Fat, he just wanted to help people to become healthier and still have a good time. Everyone can dance, and it’s just such a good workout—you can trust me on that one! He has me dancin’ hours on-end nearly every, single day.

Let’s see… what else should you know about my sweet Louis? Well, much like me, he’s an animal-lover. He has four dogs. Ain’t that a house-full? Also, while he loves dancing, he just can’t get enough of snow skiing! Even though his trainers, dance teachers, and doctors have warned him against skiing so that he doesn’t hurt his dance career, he just didn’t listen. He actually told me that skiing was his first love! And that’s not the only daredevil thing about Louis. No, sir! He also loves rollercoasters. The more loops, twists, and turns the better!

I am so fortunate that I’m able to work with Louis during Dancing with the Stars, but his talent and guidance can only get us so far. After all, dancin’ is just half the competition. I cannot ask y’all enough to vote for Louis and I each week to keep us goin’. We truly cannot do it without each and every one of you voting for us. In fact, you may be surprised just how many times you can vote! During the first couple weeks, you can vote up to 13 times each by phone, by text message, and online. I sure do hope you’ll help me make it all the way until I’m holding that beautiful mirror ball trophy! Dancing with the Stars premieres Monday, September 14, at 8pm EST!

Paula Deen - As a young girl growing up in Albany, Georgia, Paula Deen never dreamed she would become an American icon. As a young mother, Paula was living the American dream — married to her high school sweetheart and raising two adorable boys — when tragedy struck. Her parents died, her marriage failed and she began a prolonged battle with agoraphobia. With her boys in their teens and her family near homelessness, Paula took her last $200, reached deep inside her soul and started The Bag Lady, a home-based catering company that marked the start of Deen's professional cooking career. With sons Jamie and Bobby delivering lunch-and-love-in-a-bag, beginning in June 1989, Paula turned her life around by sharing what she knew best, traditional Southern cooking.

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