Update: Chad gets seal of Marvin

Updated: 3-3-10, 5:05 p.m.


Ochocinco practices his dance moves in the end zone following a touchdown in last season's 45-10 win over Chicago.
Chad Ochocinco found out right away in Monday's first rehearsal that partner Cheryl Burke isn't going to let him get away in soft coverage.

"She's tough. She's a competitor. She wants to win," Ochocinco said Tuesday from Hollywood. "She's beautiful and she's got a great personality."

Burke is taking along the six-time Bengals Pro Bowl wide receiver this season as she tries to step to her third championship on ABC's *Dancing With The Stars *in a competition that starts March 22 and ends in late May.

The Ocho says the TV show won't hurt his offseason regimen and he insists it will make it even better because it's going to supplement what he does in the gym. He plans to continue boxing, a sport he says helped him have the best yards-after-catch season of his career last season.

"Are you kidding me?" he asked. "This will make me stretch whether I want to or not. I've never been flexible, but I will be after this. I'm feeling muscles I didn't even know I had."

The Ocho says he wouldn't have done the show if he didn't have the blessing of Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis.

"I was nervous about it because if Coach Lew told me he didn't want me to do it, I would have told the people 'No,' " Ochocinco said. "But he knows that football is always first and I'm not going to let this hurt my focus. He told me, 'I think this will be good for you (physically).' "

On Wednesday Lewis didn't dance around the issue when he issued a statement through Bengals public relations director Jack Brennan.

"My conversations with Chad will remain between us, but let's just say I hope he wins the whole thing," Lewis said. "Like Carson (Palmer) already said, we'll have Bengals football players watching a dancing show like never before. Chad is not going to miss any mandatory team work, and at this point in his career, the muscle endurance and flexibility promoted by dancing should do nothing but enhance his chances for a great football season."

The Ocho says the show's schedule won't interfere with his work plans because he had already decided to join the Bengals offseason sessions at the same time he did last season. He arrived in the middle of June, in time for the last of the Bengals' four voluntary weeks on the field and then that weekend's mandatory minicamp.

After Wednesday's rehearsal he tweeted, "Just finished todays workout, 4 hours of dancing compared to training camp! this ain't to different I'm just in doors."

Among those celebrities vying to knock off The Ocho are ESPN reporter Erin Andrews, moon man Buzz Aldrin, gold medal winner Evan Lysacek, and comedian and actress Niecy Nash.

"Of course," said The Ocho when asked if he'll win. "I'm just going to bring my personality and character to it."

But he doesn't bring a lot of experience. He says he doesn't dance when he goes out and the last time he danced "was in the end zone."

But the 25-year-old Burke is seasoned, sexy, and has already won with a football player (Hall of Fame running back Emmitt Smith) and a Cincinnati celebrity (Drew Lachey).

"Any kind of Latin music, I can dance to it," The Ocho said. "I'll be cool with any kind of Latin dance."

Now, the Oscars may turn into the Ochos. He tweeted Tuesday night that he has been "invited to the Academy Awards Gift Suite the day before the OSCARS, awesomeness, waiting on show invite now."

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