When she was first offered the gig, she was a bit hesitant. As she explained, "when they offered for me to do this, my first reaction was fear. As a female and an actress, I think we get criticized way more for the way that we look than males do. I didn't know if I wanted to suffer that kind of criticism, but I don't operate in a place of fear, so I was like, 'okay, I'm going to do it.'"
Riley hopes to send a message that women of all body types can learn to dance. "Hopefully, I can encourage girls that look just like me, and women that look just like me. If you want to dance, if you want to take a dance class, you want to go out to the club and strut your stuff, you want to look sexy in your dress, do it!"
Back in 2011, Riley was motivated to adopt a healthier lifestyle after chronic stomach pains had driven her to the doctor. Since then, she has been cutting out fast food, and sticking to a healthier diet and exercise plan.
In August 2012, she shot down rumors that had surfaced after she collapsed at a red carpet event. As she commented, "I'm not pregnant! Yes I'm black but I don't have diabetes, I don't starve myself to fit clothes; I buy clothes to fit ME not vice versa, I DO NOT DIET; I eat right and exercise! I love myself waaaay more than I like my career. I would never ever put myself in harm's way to mirror any 'image.' Come on ppl. Get a life. I did get a great laugh this morning reading all the BS though lol."
Do Amber Riley and Derek Hough have what it takes to win that Mirror Ball Trophy? Can Riley inspire the fans with her journey on the show?
Catch Riley and Hough on "Dancing with the Stars" Mondays at 8/7c on ABC.
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