Welsh Opera Star Has High Hopes for 'Dancing With The Stars'

By the Associated Press | March 12, 2012 | 10:05 AM EDT

FILE - In this file photo dated Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2011 Katherine Jenkins arrives for the Brit Awards 2011 at The O2 Arena in London. Welsh opera star Katherine Jenkins has been rehearsing for 'Dancing With The Stars' in London and has found her love of high heels helps her on the dance floor. The Welsh mezzo-soprano has been rehearsing for the show with professional partner Mark Ballas, Monday, March 12, 2012. (AP Photo/Joel Ryan, file)

LONDON (AP) — Welsh opera star Katherine Jenkins may have a leg up on some of her "Dancing with the Stars" competitors: She's already used to high heels.

The mezzo-soprano has been practicing for the show in London with professional partner Mark Ballas.

He says her preference for stilettos is an advantage because she is used to running around in shoes that are higher than ballroom shoes.

The two fly to the U.S. Monday to join the other competitors, who include "Family Matters" actor Jaleel White, singer Gladys Knight and National Football League player Donald Driver.

Jenkins and Ballas deny rumors they are romantically linked off the dance floor.

Jenkins says: "We knew each other for just twelve hours, and in the press it is we are now dating."

The new season of "Dancing With The Stars" starts March 19 on ABC.