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I’m getting better. I’m starting to move more. Sometimes I feel like I can really dance and then I kick and I’m like, “Nope! Big toe’s still hurting!” My ankle is getting better too, but I can’t put too much weight on it yet. We’re working on it. There’s recovery and then there’s dance recovery. I still can’t jump and spin and kick and push off yet.
Don’t worry — I got the all clear from my doctors to do the trio. I didn’t really move that much. I was mostly stationary and Nastia was dancing. We did consider bringing in someone else to dance instead of me, but it felt like it would be too many cooks in the kitchen, and then I got the go-ahead to perform, so we felt like this was the best way to go. The idea was to make it fun and exciting. I think the instinct with the trio is to have the pros do a lot of the heavy lifting around the celebrity, but in our case, Nastia had to pick up the slack. She was leading the whole dance. She totally rocked it. Towards the end of the week, I wasn’t sure if there was enough dancing from me and if she was mobile enough. And actually it wasn’t at first, so I changed the beginning on Saturday and made it more active and had her dance more.
I have to say I’m pretty disappointed in the package they showed. I know how the show works and they like to build narratives and everything, but last week was the first time Nastia and I had a chance to bond. The whole season we had been on the go because of our schedules and then my injury threw a curve ball into everything. This past week, because of the injury, we had more time to get to know each other. The first day of rehearsal we had rehearsed so hard, but in the eighth hour of rehearsal, she was tired and the producer was asking her a question that had nothing to do with the show and what we were doing. She was like, “I’m tired.” They kept pushing her because they wanted her to react and she did, and that’s what they played. When they played the package before our dance, we both looked at each other, like, “What was that?!” We really did have such a great week. I got to know Anastasia, the girl who’s fun and giggly, not Nastia, the Olympic champion.
What’s more ridiculous is I would understand it is if it we actually had an argument last week, but we’ve never had an argument. On Tuesday, I saw that Nastia was still upset about it and I felt like there was something else there. One of my favorite parts of the show is being a mentor and a friend and I haven’t had an opportunity to do that this season, so we had this great conversation in the trailer. I opened up to her and I think that made her feel safe. And I think that helped her open up to me. It was a massive breakthrough. Regardless of the competition, it’s the friendship and personal gain from the experience that are important and everlasting. What’s even funnier is when we were talking about her, the producers knocked on the door and told us to look at some freestyle songs in case we make the finale. And you know, we had just talked, cried and hugged. We shared tears. So we were like, “Let’s listen to some music!” The very first song we put on was literally what she was saying minutes before about herself. We both looked at each other, like, “This is crazy.” If we make the final, we’re definitely using that song. Too bad they couldn’t capture that on camera!
This week we have the judge’s pick — they have full reign over everything, including the outfits! So we’ll see what Len comes up with! Our other dance is the quickstep, which I definitely will not be able to do! But we’re definitely gonna again try to do something creative and fun with it.
Thursday was the final show of Spring Spectacular. I am bummed I couldn’t be there for it, but it was such an honor and thrill to have been just a little part of that show — and I don’t just mean because my run was cut short. There are so many talented people and so much blood, sweat and tears that goes into a production of that caliber, and they don’t get acknowledged often enough. It’s just like Dancing and any other show. The crews are the people who make the shows what they are. I’m very thankful to them and for the opportunity to be in it.
See you Monday!
VIDEO: How well do Derek and Nastia know each other?
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