Here we are in the semi-finals and I can’t believe how far I’ve come in such a short amount of time. To say that this experience has made a large impact on my life and on my persona would be an understatement. This Monday’s dances were both rewarding and humbling for me. I felt so great in our rehearsals and my confidence continued right up to our second dance. I felt secure with the dance moves that Maks had taught me, but not knowing the musical element of the piece definitely put my nerves on edge.
We were the last couple dancing our waltz, which meant that we were the last ones to get to our ‘Instant Dance’ music and rush off for a quick 20-minute rehearsal backstage. I’ve never really paid attention to the stage and set up until now, but that night I noticed absolutely everything.
“Dancing with the Stars” has been on for 11 seasons and is a well-oiled machine. From the producers and the camera people, down to the technicians and stage crew, everyone knows what they’re doing, and they get it done fast. So, it was with a small amount (OK maybe, a large amount) of anxiety in my heart, that we changed into our second costumes and left for the backstage training areas which were located right behind the stage. We went through the brilliant (in my opinion) choreography many times before we were called back to stage to perform. Sitting on the steps and looking at the audience, I felt the calmness, and the music began. I remember smiling through our routine and hitting the right moves… and then came the judges’ critique.
Each week, I make certain to listen to the judges as they point out what I’m doing right and wrong. After all, this is a competition and a part of this experience is to become the best dancer that I can be. So, I’m always paying close attention to them no matter how happy or disappointed I may be with the final scoring.
This week was different. This week’s scores seem to reflect more on our choice of choreography than the actual footwork and technique. While I was stunned at how the evening turned out, I really am more stunned at how big of a deal it turned out to be in the press.
I mean, I know that a little drama goes a long way and this was definitely ‘dramatic,’ but I wasn’t expecting the reaction from outside the studio and later that night — or even on Tuesday from the press. What was a minor disagreement between my partner and Carrie Ann turned out to be the ‘drama for the week’ for “DWTS.”
Anyways, Maks went over to Carrie Anne on Tuesday and they both walked away with everything being OK. I know that Maks is a very passionate person and since dance is his life, I understand how he felt.
By the same token, Carrie Ann is there to help us ‘Celebrities’ become better dancers and continue to learn the intricate moves. Her criticisms are meant to motivate us each week to give just a little more for the audience to see and enjoy. Seeing both perspectives and being behind the scenes, it really wasn’t everything that it was made out to be.
What you saw on both nights made for some great TV and that’s one of the reasons why the ratings for “DWTS” remain so high.
C’est la vie.
Now, it’s on to Wednesday and my next two dances are the Argentine tango and the paso doble. I admit that I am looking forward to both. I’m sure that Maks has some dazzling choreography and costumes in mind for us!
Next week will take us one-step closer to that coveted Mirror Ball trophy and the competition is stiff. I have a new appreciation for everyone who has come before me and for those who will come after.
I’m going to miss Kurt, my trailer-mate. Kurt introduced me to one of my favorite “True Blood” actors, Joe M, at Tuesday’s show. He and his whole family will be missed, but I know that we’ll see each other again.
Much love to all my fellow stars and our fans,