The woman much of America knows as D.J. Tanner is far more than a '08s/'90s icon, though — she's an actress, mother, and author. Her newest book, Balancing It All: My Story of Juggling Priorities and Purpose came out this January, and answers the question she is asked most often: "How do you do it all?"
Wetpaint Entertainment recently chatted with Candace about how Dancing With the Stars rehearsals are going, what she thinks of the Switch Up, and how she's managing to balance it all now that dancing is part of the mix.
Wetpaint Entertainment: When you were offered a spot on Season 18, did you know immediately you wanted to do it, or were you hesitant?
Candace Cameron Bure: Oh, I knew I wanted to do it. I've loved this show for a long time. I was very excited when they asked me to be on it.
Since you're a fan, you already knew the pros. What was your reaction when you found out you were paired with Mark?
I screamed. I was so excited that it was Mark! I didn't want to have too much of an expectation of who it was going to be, because obviously they're all amazing dancers. But I was so excited to get Mark, because I just think that our personalities compliment one another and obviously he's won the trophy a few times, so I was so excited.
How are rehearsals going?
They're great! I'm still working through my first dance. We have a week until show time. It's a tough dance. We're starting with Contemporary. Now that I understand it a little more, I kind of wish I didn't have it the first week, only because it's such a fun dance, I would love to have a little bit more experience and a few more weeks just dancing in general before doing this dance. But I'm loving it. But, like I said, still working on it!
This is all very new to me. I don't have any dance experience. So, learning choreography, retaining it, and then looking good while doing it — the entire process is challenging, and I knew it would be, going into it. But that's it so far, learning the choreography. As far as my daily life and my family and balancing everything, that is totally under control. It's great. I have great support from my husband, and my kids, and my schedule is adjusted well.
How do you manage to balance everything?
Being able to balance my schedule has been great because of the flexibility of the times that we practice. I definitely couldn't do this without my family's support. Knowing that my husband is 100 percent in with me doing the show, and is excited, and knowing that my kids are too — they're helping and making it easier for me. When you have your family behind you, it makes it so much easier.
Another advantage I have is my husband being a professional athlete. So, as far as maintenance for my body, which is really sore, and really bruised up — he knows how to help me take care of my body and stretch it properly, and condition it properly. And what balms, and salts, and baths, what massages to get — all that kind of stuff.
What do you think of this new Switch Up concept?
It will definitely be a challenge. At this point I've been working with Mark now for about two weeks. You connect. You start to speak a language between each other. And that just makes it easier. So to all of a sudden be thrown with someone new — they're going to have to quickly figure out what kind of dancer I am, and how to talk to me in a language that works for me. And for me, to understand how they teach, which could be very different from Mark.... It's going to be tricky!
In the beginning I thought it was going to be really cool. Like, "Oh, that's fun, I get to dance with someone else, too." Now that I'm in it, I'm like, "Oh, I don't want to leave Mark!" Mark's a comfort to me, and I don't want to have to get a new partner.
It seems like a lot of the stars and pros are feeling that way.
I do think the fans will love it, and that's the really fun part. It's not the producers choosing, the fans get to vote who they want to see together. So, that's the cool part.
This season there are a lot of athletes, including the two Olympic Ice Dancers. Are you worried about that competition at all?
I think because we haven't actually performed yet, the competition, in terms of competing against the other celebrities or athletes, that part hasn't even entered my mind. I'm just trying to do the best job I can do for myself and make Mark proud. I'm sure that perspective will change once I see everyone dance, but I haven't yet, so it's not a thought in my mind.
The other part to that is obviously there are certain incredible athletes who have a leg up on us to start, like [ice dancers] Meryl and Charlie. But the cool thing about this show is that even though it is a dance competition, we see people who make the final three who aren't necessarily the best best dancer, but who the fans really like. So that's in the back of my mind like, "OK, fans can push you through." So in that part it relaxes me a little bit.
For more from Candace follow her on twitter @candacecbure. And, of course, don't miss the DWTS Season 18 premiere on Monday, March 17 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.
Rebecca Martin is an Associate Editor at Wetpaint Entertainment and our resident Game of Thrones, Pretty Little Liars, and genre TV expert. Follow her on Twitter and Google+!