Daniela Ruah Fans
Apr 17

Now that she’s back in action fulltime, NCIS Special Agent Kensi Blye (Daniela Ruah) goes undercover as a professional dancer on the “From Havana with Love” episode of NCIS: Los Angeles, airing this Sunday.

For those who may not know, Ruah competed on and won Dança Comigo (the Portuguese version of Dancing with the Stars), so she was definitely jazzed when they told her about the episode.

“It was one of the most fun times I had shooting an episode,” Ruah told Parade.com in this exclusive interview. “I get to dance, I get to fight and I get to do some comedy.”

This week’s investigation is of defense contractor Rebecca Larmont (Shanna Collins), who is designing a nuclear attack weapon, after her estranged husband, Victor Larmont (Lou Ferrigno Jr.), says he has proof she is selling Navy secrets to a foreign government. As part of the investigation, Kensi goes undercover as a professional dancer at the Cuban club where Victor works.

So what about Kensi’s partner in crime solving, LAPD Detective Marty Deeks (Eric Christian Olsen)? Does he put on his dancing shoes?

“People would love to see Eric dancing at some point, so we will see what happens,” Ruah says. “There are actually three segments in the episode in which I dance and he was there for all three of them. He was a part of the scenes in which I am dancing. He is very supportive, actually. He knows I love dance.”

During our conversation, Ruah also talked about how she enjoys when the writers add new qualities to her character, how dancing is not something we would suspect Kensi does, how she took off the baby weight — daughter Sierra was born Sept. 4, bringing the baby to work, and more.

Was this episode written specifically because the writers knew you had won Dança Comigo in Portugal?
They did know that I had participated in Dancing with the Stars in Portugal, but I don’t know if that was the reason they necessarily wrote it in. They know I love dance, regardless of my participation in Dancing with the Stars, I have a dance background. I majored in dance in college.

Joe Sachs, who wrote the episode, told me late last season that he was thinking of writing this episode where I would get to salsa dance in a club. I had just found out I was pregnant with my daughter and I wasn’t telling people yet because it was too early to reveal that. At the time, I just smiled and said, “I am so excited for that. I really look forward to it,” knowing I wouldn’t be able to do it whenever he was planning to do it.

Then I was so lucky, and he was so sweet, because he really wanted the episode to happen, so they ended up pushing it to the end of this season, so I was not pregnant and able to dance. It was something that was a long time coming and was interrupted by my pregnancy but it happened anyway. That was really exciting.

Since you enjoy dance so much, is it one of the activities you used to take off the baby weight?
Funnily enough, no, I can’t say it is. Do I dance at home? Sure. Sometimes my son [River, 3]and I will prance around the house and dance. He responds to music so wonderfully, but I wouldn’t say it is something that brought me back into shape. I didn’t do any classes. I wish I had. It was mostly gym work with a personal trainer, jogging, working out with the kids, and eating healthily.

This is so not Kensi to me. She is great at martial arts, she’s a a super sniper, so where does dancing fit into Kensi’s life?
There’s a very fine line between martial arts and dance. Kicking with your foot stretched out, or kicking with your foot flat in someone’s face, in terms of flexibility, it’s all kind of the same thing. Of course, the technique is different. I actually think if you have dance, there’s a certain body language in your body, so when somebody says, “Turn your hip out. Turn your foot in. Stretch your arms. Stretch your legs,” your body understands that language whether you’re supposed to be attacking someone or defending yourself, or dancing. It’s the same kind of language.

In the episode, I go out dancing with my girlfriends every Saturday and they say I’m pretty good, so I’m going to audition for this guy at the club. That’s what’s behind it, but I would agree with you. That’s one of the fun things about these characters is there is always stuff that pops up and is something new about them. You have to stay creative after eight years of a show. How do you keep an audience interested if you just keep them with the stereotyped type traits that we all know about and never add anything new? It could get boring. I actually commend our writers for keeping it interesting.

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