‘Dancing with the Stars’ Now Stars on Ice?

Maria and Derek (Photo: ABC)

A crazy, cold new craze has hit the “Dancing with the Stars” cast. The celebrities and their partners have been freezing their bodies through cryogenic chamber therapy to ease the aches and pains of competition.

EXTRA hostess Maria Menounos got some of her fellow DWTS competitors to try cryogenics after she used it for her injured ribs and foot. “We had a huge cryo party!” she told reporters after last week’s show.

Katherine Jenkins confirmed, “Maria recommended it and took a few of us along.”

Katherine’s partner Mark Ballas, who underwent the deep freeze, marveled, “They shoot you with liquid nitrogen and your whole body is frozen. I got light-headed; that’s how cold it was. [But] it’s good for recovery.”

The Dancers Confess:

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While the odd therapy raises thoughts of that creepy, but untrue, urban legend about Walt Disney’s cryogenically frozen corpse, the competitors swear cryogenics can do wonders for living, hurting dancers. Maria’s dance partner Derek Hough tried to explain the process: “It’s like a chamber, your head pops out and nitrogen—it comes in there, dry cold–and you literally get so freezing. It’s unbearable.”

But cryogenic therapy is also a miracle cure, raved Derek, who is not afraid to try new things. “It’s amazing—you literally feel brand new,” he said. “It moves all your blood to your core and organs. It’s just like refueling you. [I’ve gone] to spas and do the plunge pools and the hot springs and saunas–but this was something new and different and fantastic and beneficial.”

Maria, who has suffered injuries while doing the show, said she got turned on to the unconventional therapy by her friend, Leroy Dixon, an Olympic runner. When he visited Maria at DWTS last week, he told her he used cryogenics and other therapies a month before the Olympics to cure stress fractures in his foot and shin. He recommended the same team to Maria. “He said, ‘let me get you to the right people’ and so, since Tuesday, I started going to all these people and it worked and cryo was one of them,” she explained.

“Cyro’s so cool. Everyone had the best time but it was very healing, too,” Maria said. “People do it for so many different reasons. It speeds up your metabolism; it’s anti-inflamatory; there’s collagen benefits so it’s actually kind of a beauty thing, too.”

But most importantly, thanks to cyro and other therapies, Maria has been able to keep dancing! Derek said her recovery from injuries “is insane … last week – they didn’t show it on camera because she didn’t want him to say it — but the doctor pretty much told her you should bounce out [of the competition] because you can’t be doing this and she was like, ‘no, I’m not going to do it. And she told me the other day, ‘Derek, what if I had listened to him? [Now] I’m getting better.’

“With William [Levy] hurting his foot, I was like, ‘Dude, talk to Maria because she will hook you up and heal you in a couple days,’ ” Derek added.

Still, some DWTS cast members are trying things the old-fashioned way. Jaleel White told reporters he swears by Epsom salt baths for his DWTS related aches. “I’m in there like a divorced woman with candles and incense, watching episodes of ‘Dexter.’ It’s hilarious!”

This week, DWTS presents a Motown special featuring live performances from Motown legends Smokey Robinson, The Temptations and Martha Reeves. The eight remaining couples will also finish off the show with a special Motown Dance Marathon. Tonight’s episode is followed by a special edition of “20/20,” “Dance Floor Confidential: Behind the Scenes of Dancing with the Stars” at 10/9c.

“Dancing with the Stars” airs live Monday night at 8/7c on ABC.

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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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