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This week is another crazy, jam-packed one for us. We have our regular dance and the team dance, and I'm not going to lie — the team dance is in shambles right now. We're not in good shape. We had rehearsal Tuesday after the show and we didn't come out of it with a team dance. We have the samba, and Aly and Mark, Sean and Peta, and Andy and Sharna are on our team. (Yes, Team Pickler Dick is happening!) Basically the pros failed to commit to one theme. We had to conceptualize and we didn't like any of them. We have a few ideas for entrances, but then we were told that we can't do them! So that worked out well!
I feel bad because it was almost like a waste of rehearsal time and we only have one more together on Friday, so hopefully we'll come up with something then. I've won every team dance I've been part of and when I looked back at them, the songs lent themselves to more dynamic dances. The routines were also a little longer as a group. We used to have 30 seconds together and now we have 19 seconds. I don't know why they did that. It just seems so short as a group that I felt like we didn't have a chance to do anything. In the past, we mapped out the whole routine in the first rehearsal, but this one, it was weird. We were always like, "I don't know." But we'll make it happen!
Our quickstep is going much better than that. This week, I'm focusing on the quality of the dance and the technique. I just want to make it really solid. I'm not trying to make it crazy or add gimmicks. It's a little easier this week because we worked on frame last week, so Kellie's used to it now and it can bleed over.
I'm glad you enjoy my Kellie impression! I can do more. She cracks me up when she says that: "I'm not mad at you, but I'm mad at your ways." I just want to be clear that I never get frustrated at her, or any of my partners for that matter. The frustration always comes from myself. It's like a child. A baby wants to tell his mother that he's hungry, but he can't speak, so he cries. Then it's a guessing game with the mom. Does he need his diaper changed? Does he need to be burped? Oh, he's hungry. It's the same way here. If I can't find a way to help her make it click, the frustrating part is me not being able to find the analogy to help her say, "I got it!" It's never with my partners. I know they're trying their best and working hard. It's just when I can't find a way to help them, the frustration manifests as, "Ugh, just do it." It's easy when everything's going smoothly. When you're confident in the way you can relay a message, then you do it in a very calm way. But Kellie understood that I wasn't mad at her. We really just have a blast. She's truly wonderful.
I'm very happy with our foxtrot and I liked the side-by-side challenge. I think it went well. They made the routines longer, which I think helped. You're watching more dancing. That's important for a dancing show. It just felt more complete. I had a lot of fun incorporate more bodies and choreography into the routine. I hope they keep doing it. The show has tried a lot of things over the years. Some have worked, some haven't. You can always tell when something is forced and doesn't make sense. This was a good idea. It was promoted as "oh, you can compare the two." But ultimately it's not about comparing; it's about creating a more compelling routine.
I'm bummed D.L. left, but he should be super-proud. He made it to Week 5. He got some harsh comments he and persevered. He can walk out with his head held high. It was really nice to see him leave on a good note. I gave him some advice in some moments when he was hurt or embarrassed because I've been through similar situations in my career, so it was great to see him come back and improve.
This week, I also started working on a very special routine that's not for the show. I'm choreographing a number for our world champion ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White to perform at the Olympics next year. They graciously asked me to do it and how could I say no? It's truly an honor and they're amazing. They won silver in Vancouver, are five-time U.S. champions and two-time world champions. If you're not familiar with them, I highly recommend you check out some of their routines. They actually taught me a new move that I might have to do on the show. It's a trick and Kellie would be able to do it. Maybe you'll see it in a few weeks!
That's all for now. Gotta brainstorm some team dance ideas!