Idaho’s Rumer Willis will make her Boise debut in tonight’s performance of “Dancing With the Stars Live: Perfect 10 Tour” at the Morrison Center.
Although she is the ABC TV show’s season 20 celebrity champion, she won’t be dancing due to a stress fracture in her right foot. However, you will hear her singing throughout the show.
“I’m like the soundtrack they dance to,” she said from her hotel in Las Vegas, where she joined the company last week. “When I heard the show was coming to Boise, I had to be there.”
Willis, 26, is the daughter of actors Bruce Willis and Demi Moore, and like her parents is pursuing a career in acting. She grew up in the Sun Valley area, hiking with her dogs in the hills and mountains of the Wood River Valley, and attending the Community School during the school year.
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Idaho was a great place to grow up as the daughter of celebrities, she says. “It grounded me in a way that I wouldn’t be if I had grown up somewhere else.”
Idaho is where she discovered she loved to sing and dance, she says, “but I was back and forth from Idaho and L.A. so much that it was too hard keep up the training.”
It wasn’t until she accepted the offer from DWTS producers that she realized how much she loved to perform — and that she is good at it.
“They’d approached me a few years ago and I turned them down,” she says. “I didn’t know what I was capable of, but the opportunity to work with a world champion ballroom dancer for three months, I just couldn’t turn down.”
She trained and performed with professional ballroom dancer Val Chmerkovskiy. The tall and leggy Willis is a natural. The two became the pair to beat early on. Disco, cha-cha, waltz, tango — she excelled at them all, and the pair took the top prize handily.
“Dancing through the season was incredible. It was more challenging than I ever imagined. It takes a lot to get in the head space to dance 8 hours a day and compete. I’m so much more confident now.”
Her turn on “Dancing With the Stars” has inspired her to set her sights on a different kind of career.
“I would love to be able to sing, dance and act — maybe on Broadway,” she says.
Her ideal role: Either Velma or Roxie in “Chicago: The Musical.”
Watch Rumer Willis’ and Val Chmerkovskiy’s dances from “Dancing with the Stars” season 20: