‘Dancing With the Stars’ Host Carrie Ann Inaba Does One Thing Before the Show Goes Live

Carrie Ann Inaba is a success in the entertainment industry. From her career as a professional dancer to her new gig as a talk show host, it seems there’s nothing Inaba can’t do. Before she takes the judges panel on Dancing With the Stars, there’s one thing The Talk co-host says she will always do. Find out what Inaba does before going live on Dancing With the Stars

Carrie Ann Inaba on 'Dancing With the Stars'
Carrie Ann Inaba | Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images

Carrie Ann Inaba has taken on several roles in the entertainment industry 

The choreographer, host, writer, producer, and animal advocate started in the entertainment business in 1986. After she won a singing competition, she had a short-lived career as a singer in Japan.

When she returned to America, she started dancing as a “fly girl” on the sketch comedy series In Living Color. From there, Inaba’s career as a performer blossomed. She went on to star in several television series and movies like Austin Powers: Goldmember and Showgirls

In 2005, Inaba became a judge on Dancing With the Stars. She continues to judge the celebrity competition show today, as well as host The Talk

Carrie Ann Inaba is known for being a tough judge on ‘Dancing With the Stars’ 

Some DWTS fans think head judge Len Goodman is the toughest critic on the show. But there are many viewers who find Inaba to be one of the strictest judges on the show. 

While Inaba’s judgment might be deemed as harsh, she’s really just doing her job. As someone passionate about ballroom dance, Inaba strives to give the celebrities and their pro partners feedback to get better. 

One of the biggest mistakes Inaba sees in the ballroom is dancers breaking the lift rule. “[The National Dance Council of America defines] a lift [as] any movement during which one of the dancers has both feet off the floor at the same time with the assistance or support of their partner,” Inaba explained in a 2017 Facebook post.

RELATED: ‘Dancing With the Stars’: Cheryl Burke Asked AJ McLean Not to Do One Thing During Season 29

Dance styles that allow lifts include the Jitterbug, Argentine Tango, Salsa, Jazz, Contemporary, and the Charleston. Lifts are not allowed in the Rhumba, Cha Cha, Jive, Paso Doble, Samba, Tango, Waltz, Viennese Waltz, Fox Trot, or Quickstep.

“[The lift rule] levels the playing field for those who have physical challenges that make lifts impossible,” Inaba added. “If lifts were allowed in every dance, people would start doing lifts to make their dances visually exciting, because truth be told, a good lift is always great to watch.”

Though it pains her to dock a point when someone breaks the lift rule, Inaba says if the celebrities were judged in a real-life ballroom competition, their score would be impacted.

Carrie Ann Inaba prays for the strength to be an honest judge before ‘DWTS’ goes live 

Each performer has their own routine before Dancing With the Stars goes live from Hollywood. “When we get to our seats, I check my paddles, double-check my notes, and make sure my pen is working,” Inaba shared on her blog The Carrie Ann Conversations.

Inaba’s routine is also spiritual in nature. “Before we go live, I always say a prayer: to have the courage to speak my truth and to do so with love and compassion in my heart, to uplift others, and that nobody gets hurt,” she added. “I take a deep breath, and then we’re live!”

According to Inaba, the judges get into the studio roughly 10 minutes before showtime. That’s a lot to squeeze into that time frame, but Inaba always makes it work!