A former “Dancing With the Stars” cast member says that being on the show helped him prepare for his new broadcasting job. Find out just exactly how “Dancing” helped racecar driver James Hinchcliffe trade in his Indycar for the broadcast booth.
Hinchcliffe Says There’s ‘An Entire Performance Element’ That He Utilizes, Which He Learned on ‘Dancing With the Stars’
In late 2021, Hinchcliffe announced that he was “stepping away” from full-time IndyCar racing and had taken a new position in the NBC Sports broadcast booth. For the 2022 season, he is working alongside Leigh Diffey and Townsend Bell, replacing broadcaster Paul Tracy.
“I got a taste of calling IndyCar back in 2020 and that really solidified my desire to get into this side of the sport,” said Hinchcliffe in a press release. “It’s always been a passion of mine to educate people about IndyCar, and I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity to help tell those stories from the booth alongside a couple of pros in Leigh and Townsend.”
Now in an interview with People, Hinchcliffe said that his time on “Dancing With the Stars” helped prepare him for making the leap to broadcasting.
“I think one of the things that attracted me to it in the first place was, there’s something about the rush of live TV. They do that countdown, the light goes on, and you’re on,” said the driver.
He added, “It’s not just about doing the steps and going through the motions. There’s an entire performance element to it,” much like on “Dancing With the Stars.”
Hinchclifee & Partner Sharna Burgess Have Remained Good Friends
Hinchcliffe competed on season 23 of “Dancing With the Stars” alongside pro partner Sharna Burgess. The two finished in second place behind winners Laurie Hernandez and Val Chmerkovskiy.
When Hinchcliffe announced that he was leaving racing, Burgess posted on her Instagram stories, “This is everything!!! @Hinchtown, I’m so excited for all that is coming your way. Your talent and possibilities are endless and I know this next chapter is about to be incredible. The best is yet to come.”
And in the comments on Hinchcliffe’s post, Burgess’ partner Brian Austin Green, with whom she is expecting a baby boy in July, wrote, “I haven’t really spent much time with you, but from the short amount of time I have you seem like a really kind and genuine person. Racing was an absolute stepping stone for you in life. You are gonna move forward into amazing things and continue to grow. Best of luck with it all, my friend. Sharna and I will see you guys soon.”
Indeed, on a different set of Instagram stories in early 2022, Burgess and Green revealed that they had met up with Hinchcliffe and his wife, actress Rebecca Dalton, when they were in Los Angeles. And in 2020, Hinchcliffe posted a sweet tribute to his dance partner on her birthday, writing, “Happy Birthday to the one and only @sharnaburgess! Since we first met we’ve been laughing and having fun, and while we’re missing you on your birthday, we hope you’re having as much fun as you are in the second pic haha! See you soon!”
“Dancing With the Stars” returns for its 31st season in fall 2022 on Disney Plus.