Willow Shields is a few years younger than Mark Ballas’ last Dancing with the Stars partner, 17-year-old Sadie Robertson. However, Willow’s family isn’t quite as conservative as the Duck Dynasty clan — her grandmother actually let her sip champagne to celebrate her new DWTS gig!
Willow Shields currently stars as Primrose Everdeen in the extremely successful Hunger Games film franchise. Many celebs would consider competing on Dancing with the Stars quite a few steps down from working with beloved Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence and other Hollywood heavyweights. However, Shields’ grandmother couldn’t be more excited about the 14-year-old becoming the youngest contestant on DWTS.
Willow Shields is blogging about Dancing with the Stars for Access Hollywood, and she recently shared her grandmother’s reaction to her casting on the show.
“Needless, to say my grandmother is freaked out because they wouldn’t miss an episode of Dancing with the Stars. They were so excited they insisted we open a bottle of champagne, and yes, I had a sip and it tasted awful! I have no idea why adults drink champagne — yeah, let’s celebrate something really exciting by drinking this terrible tasting stuff, ewww!”
It sounds like Willow Shields has a great sense of humor, and Mark Ballas will be relieved to know that his underage partner won’t be drinking on the job.
As the Inquisitr previously reported, a few Dancing with the Stars fans are concerned that Willow might be too young to compete on the show. Young girls wear skimpy costumes and compete in dance competitions all the time (see Dance Moms), but they usually don’t have partners who are more than a decade older than they are.
Willow Shields didn’t mention the age difference between herself and Mark Ballas in her blog, so perhaps she doesn’t see it as a big issue at all. She revealed that she was extremely excited when she found out that Mark would be her partner, and she said that she carefully studied YouTube videos of past DWTS contestants to make sure that she knew what she was getting herself into. It really seems like Willow is ready to prove her critics wrong as part of #TeamMarkingJay.
Maybe a certain Mockingjay star will find time in her busy schedule to support Willow Shields during her DWTS journey. Willow told InStyle that Jennifer Lawrence is like a sister to her, so Jen definitely needs to attend at least one of Willow’s performances.
“She’s so protective over me, and somehow we’ve become even closer while filming Mockingjay, which I didn’t know was possible!” Shields said of her close relationship with her costar.
As the Inquisitr previously reported, Jennifer Lawrence isn’t too proud to admit that she enjoys reality TV, so she shouldn’t consider herself above making a brief appearance on Dancing with the Stars.
You can see if Willow Shields first dance will have a Hunger Games theme when the Season 20 premiere of Dancing with the Stars airs Monday, March 16, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
[Image credit: ABC, Willow Shields/Instagram]