Melissa Joan Hart and Mark Ballas Talk Travel: When They Aren't Two-Stepping, They're Jet-setting

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AOL Travel recently sat down to talk travel with brand-new Dancing with the Stars duo Melissa Joan Hart and Mark Ballas. Melissa is best known for her role as Sabrina on Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Clarissa on Clarissa Explains It All, while Mark is a professional ballroom dancer who has already bagged two Disco Ball Trophies on former seasons of Dancing with the Stars.

These two clearly understand the saying "it takes two to tango."

AOL Travel recently sat down to talk travel with brand-new Dancing with the Stars duo Melissa Joan Hart and Mark Ballas. Melissa is best known for her role as Sabrina on Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Clarissa on Clarissa Explains It All, while Mark is a professional ballroom dancer who has already bagged two Disco Ball Trophies on former seasons of Dancing with the Stars.

These two clearly understand the saying "it takes two to tango."

Although the dancing twosome had only just met a few weeks before our interview, their on-set charisma and determination to win made it clear that they are well matched, even if working together is something that never would have crossed Mark's mind when he was younger; the dancer admitted to having a youthful crush on his celebrity partner, watching her every day after school on Clarissa Explains It All (believe it or not, he occasionally slips and calls Melissa "Clarissa" during dance practices).

That's not to say that Ballas hasn't enjoyed his share of the limelight: not only has he won the Dancing with the Stars competition twice, he did so alongside two Olympic gold medalists-gymnast Shawn Johnson and figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi. Will Melissa Joan Hart be the next title-holder? You'll have to tune in to ABC at 9pm (8pm Central) to find out.

These two celebrities are also experienced globetrotters. We convinced them to take off their dancing shoes long enough to tell us about snowmobiling in Utah, tips for flying on planes with kids, and run-ins with the police in Moscow and Bahrain.

Where are your favorite places to get away to?

Melissa Joan Hart: My favorite place in the world is Lake Tahoe. I have a house there and I would live there if I was sure I wasn't going to ruin the place for myself. I'm afraid to go there and have my bills, my phone calls and everything kind of be there. I like to go there and just escape. That's my go-to spot.

Mark Ballas: Recently, last Christmas, Derek and I-whose also on the show-and our girlfriends we went to Park City, Utah and went snowmobiling. It was in the mountains. It was just a completely different scene change from L.A. It was beautiful to just get away and be in the snow and be relaxed.

Melissa Joan Hart: I guess we're both mountain people not beach people.

Mark Ballas: I don't like beaches, I don't like sand...

Melissa Joan Hart: I don't like beaches, either. That's funny.


Have you ever had any cultural misunderstandings abroad?

Mark Ballas: My professional dance partner at the time was from Moscow and we were doing training in Russia for a month. I had a huge afro, like, the biggest fro you've probably ever seen on a white person-it was like this [demonstrates with hands]. And... to them, it was really strange, so I was constantly getting asked for my papers. I looked really out of place in Russia. One time I couldn't get it out of my pocket-I didn't know which pocket it was in-I was wrapped up all warm. He thought I was trying to stall and he got kind of mad. I was like "no, no! I have it! I have it! Relax. I'm not some kind of weird guy with an afro, I'm just..." And he didn't speak English, either. Luckily my partner came over and she sorted it out for me.

Melissa Joan Hart: I was in the Middle East, I was in Bahrain on a USO Tour. My friend and I were fascinated by everything, taking pictures of everything. We took, like, thousands of pictures. There was a homeless woman on the street and it just, I don't know... it really called to my friend. She gave her some money and asked the woman if she could take a picture... and a police officer nearby just did not like that. Actually, a civilian started hitting the police officer and saying stuff about us. They started kind of chasing us a little bit. That did not go over well.


Is traveling with your kids difficult?

Melissa Joan Hart: It's like you're kind of dying a slow death when you're on an airplane with a bunch of kids. We have now learned that with the little one, with Brady, the only way to travel is to have a car seat on the plane. Strap him in that and he's happy as can be. Mason, who's three... my one trick is going up to the flight attendants and asking the flight attendants "please go back and talk to my son, he won't keep his seatbelt on." Then they come back and go "excuse me sir, you need to have a seatbelt on," and he'll just look at them and get really freaked out, like, "is she looking? Is she looking?"


What do you worry about when you travel?

Melissa Joan Hart: I worry about planes landing safely. I'm not a good flier.

Mark Ballas: She's a bit of a scary flier. She get's scared.

Melissa Joan Hart: Yeah... I'm hoping we're going to fly to LA together next week. I'm like "I hope you're on my flight" and he's like "that's just cause you're scared."
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