Carole Baskin might seem like one of the most unlikely members of the Dancing With the Stars cast, but she is working hard to change that view. When the Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness subject agreed to star on the ABC series, she began prepping for the series at home.
According to sources who spoke to TMZ, the Big Cat Rescue exec went straight to YouTube to help learn some basic steps. Salsa, cha-cha and the Venezuelan waltz were among the dance styles she brushed up on. One of her team members over at Big Cat Rescue, which is based in Tampa, Florida, is a dance teacher who helped her learn a thing or two.
Additionally, Baskin has also subscribed to an app that helps people learn to stay on tempo via music-based training. TMZ's source also notes that she's also lost weight since Tiger King viewers saw her, as she lost 20 pounds since the Netflix docuseries filmed, bringing her weight down to 165 pounds. This weight loss stems from a vegan diet of 2 meals a day and an exercise regimen that includes biking (10 miles a day), squats, lunges and leaps.
She's now started rehearsals with an unnamed pro partner, who is surely taking her dance skills to the next level. As for why Baskin joined the show after her appearance on Tiger King left her personal life under attack, the animal rights activist hopes to bring her cause into the limelight each week to spread awareness.
"Tiger King really glamorized animal abusers and villainized me for trying to stop animal abuse, and so I felt really betrayed by that. But what amazed me was how many people believed that false portrayal of me without doing anything to find out who I really am. It's been a nightmare since Tiger King aired," Baskin told Good Morning America as her casting was made public. "The longer my partner and I can stay in the running and in the competition it will keep the cats forefront in the viewer's eye and to me that was where Tiger King missed the ball - it really should have been focused on the animals."
Dancing With the Stars premieres on Monday, Sept. 14 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. All episodes of Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness are currently streaming on Netflix.