Actress and model Choi Yeo-jin is enjoying her heyday right now due to her blistering success on MBC's reality show "Dancing with the Stars."
With her partner, professional dancer Park Ji-woo (32), Choi (29) has performed various dances including the waltz, rumba and jive on the show since April, taking the top spot six times out of 11 competitions.
The Chosun Ilbo interviewed Choi by phone on Wednesday ahead of the final round of the show on Friday, when she will face Girls' Generation's Hyo-yeon and her partner, Kim Hyung-suk.
"I've been practicing 10 hours a day for the final. I even postponed shooting a TV drama to focus on this," she said. "I learned ballet when I was young, and I dreamed of becoming a ballerina. But after my parents divorced, we emigrated to Canada when I was in the first year of middle school. Then we went through some financial difficulties and I had to give up my dream. Now I'm just really happy to be on the stage."
Choi debuted via the 2001 Super Elite Model Contest, and has eight years of acting experience. "Viewers like my dancing more than my acting," she said. "I was kind of frustrated as an actress because I always played the same kind of characters and ended up projecting stereotypes, which could bore viewers. But now I'm much happier because I can turn into a glamorous dancer every time I get on stage."
Choi said that even though she has picked up a few injuries during the filming of the dance shows -- a ruptured muscle in her lower back and a torn ligament in one of her toes -- she has no regrets about joining the program.
"I will dance the paso doble and cha-cha in the final round," she said. "As I know this will be my last performance, I feel quite relaxed about things. I'll just give it my best shot, so I won't have any reason to feel disappointed with myself later."