It was a "Dancing" affair at the 14th Annual Race to Erase MS event Friday night at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles.
The Race to Erase MS, which raises funding for research and finding a cure for Multiple Sclerosis, is a spectacular celebrity gala benefit held annually by founder Nancy Davis and co-sponsor Tommy Hilfiger. This year's guests and performers included "Dancing With The Stars" participants, including Joey Fatone, Lisa Rinna, Drew Lachey and Cheryl Burke.
"It's 'Dance to Erase MS' this year," says Davis, who was diagnosed with MS 14 years ago. "At our event every year, everybody really does get up and dance, so we thought we would just naturally celebrate that, and we have so many great 'Dancing With The Stars' people here. We have a lot of the really great dancers, so we're so excited."
Current "Dancing" contestant Ian Ziering was there to support the cause. "It's great, it's an honor and a privilege to help support the Race to Erase MS," he tells Access' Shaun Robinson. "It's the first year I'm a part of it and I'm very happy to be here."
Like Shaun, Ian was strutting his stuff on the catwalk as a model at the event, and was confident that he wouldn't trip and fall. "I'm nimble on my feet," he boasts, adding, " I'm nimble on Cheryl [Burke's] feet too, but I try not to be on those toes. "
As for the rumor that Ian would be posing for Playgirl magazine, he tells Shaun, "It's a rumor. That I started."
Joking aside, Ian admits that posing for Playgirl just wouldn't be his thing:
"You know what, some things are sacred. Really, honestly, 'cause my integrity, my self-respect would go out the window. And to me, that's priceless. I hold that most dear to me and you know, it's not me. It's not me. You know, it's, it's just not me."
Apolo Anton Ohno was there with his dancing partner, Julianne Hough, and the Olympic gold medalist admitted to feeling a little out of place on the catwalk. "This is my first fashion show I'm actually walking down, so it's going to be interesting to see," joked Apolo. "We're going to freestyle and see what happens. I'll have a move. It's going to be called the 'Slip, Fall, Jump, Roll, Get on the Floor and Just Flail, and then Get Back Up.'"
Season two "Dancing" winner Drew Lachey walked down the catwalk with brother Nick: "We're working on our walk a little bit, trying to get the runway walk down," Nick admitted. Drew said he got his modeling inspiration from the "Zoolander" movie, saying, "Blue Steel. You know, a little 'Zoolander,' the Blue Steel look."
And who are the Lachey brothers rooting for to win "Dancing" this year? Nick admits that he's pulling for his brother's former partner. "I'd have to root for Cheryl," he said. " She's obviously very talented, she's the defending two-time champion, so I think we're all kind of pulling for her to do it again." Drew agreed that Cheryl was his choice as well. "Regardless of what season, which partner, whoever, I've got a special allegiance there, but if she's not going to win, I'm rooting for Joey and Kym."
And after scoring a 10 and two 9's from the judges last week, Joey Fatone and Kym Johnson are certainly making an impression. "We're trying," said Joey. "Kickin' ass and takin' names." Kym agreed, saying how proud she was of Joey. In fact, she admitted to being relieved when she heard who she'd be dancing with this year. "When they told me I had Joey, I was like, well, he's a performer, so very different to my last partner, Jerry Springer," she said, laughingly. "So it's really, really good fun."
This season's "Dancing" dancers were all thrilled to be taking part in the event, though some admitted they were tired. "I'm pretty exhausted," said Cheryl Burke. "I went straight from practice, been practicing since 10 this morning." But she wasn't going to let it spoil the night. "It's great that we can all go out together and have fun you know, and it's nice seeing everybody and it's like a little reunion off the dance floor, so it's nice."