Shawn Johnson is not just the youngest contestant to ever put on her dancing shoes for "Dancing with the Stars," she is also the shortest. She tells ET's Thea Andrews all about the complications that is causing!
At 4 feet, 10 inches, Shawn Johnson, who turned 17 in January, was sure that her height would keep her from competing on the hit ABC series, so she says she was honored and surprised when they came to her with an offer.
She has been paired with Mark Ballas, who won the competition with Kristi Yamaguchi -- also an Olympic gold medalist, but says that he had to ask her to wear three-inch heels in order for them to partner up.
"I am used to being barefoot [to perform gymnastics], so it is awkward," she admits.
Shawn, who won her gold medal in Beijing last summer, says that the advantage to her being a gymnast is that she is used to long hours of practice, but she says that is where the advantages stop. Especially since her first dance is the Viennese Waltz.
"Our first dance is so smooth and elegant, and I'm used to really sharp powerful moves so it's a little hard," she tells Thea. "Ballroom dancing and gymnastics are completely different sports."
Look for Shawn and Mark to make their debut when "Dancing with the Stars" premieres on Monday, March 9 at 8 p.m. on ABC, but don't expect to see quite as much of her as the other competitors.
"They've actually said that since I'm younger I have to be a little more covered up than usual, just to make sure it's age appropriate, which I don't have a problem with, I'm used to being in a leotard, that's pretty revealing," she says.