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Karina Smirnoff's Dancing with the Stars Blog: I Told Doug Flutie It's Okay to Cry

04/11/2016 AT 03:30 PM EDT

Dancing with the Stars pro Karina Smirnoff is blogging about her experience on the reality dance competition's 22nd season exclusively for PEOPLE.com. Follow Smirnoff and her partner Doug Flutie on Twitter!

I'm so glad it's Disney Week!

Last week I was so glad Doug and I could honor his parents, but it was a very emotional rehearsal process and performance night.

All of that really came to a head when our video package played right before our dance last Monday.

I was worried Doug was going to lose it the moment he watched the package and saw his parents. I wouldn't have been able to keep it together. But I made sure to tell him that it was okay to cry and get emotional because I think that reminded him that he had permission to that. I think that helped him just well up with tears and let that happen rather than trying to hold it in and then exploding with tears.

And I couldn't have been prouder of how Doug did with the dance. Yes, my dress got caught under his foot and that caused him to stumble, but he connected with the emotion of the song and was so strong.

Though, there was one component of our performance that I do wish I could have changed. I was so happy to have Andra Day perform "Rainbow Connection" for us live in the ballroom that night, but we had been rehearsing to a very different track all week. Andra's performance was incredible, but I wish I could have choreographed the number with a musicality that fit her version.

Karina Smirnoff's Dancing with the Stars Blog: I Told Doug Flutie It's Okay to Cry| Celebrity Blog, Dancing With the Stars, People Picks, TV News, Karina Smirnoff

Doug Flutie and Karina Smirnoff

ABC / Craig Sjodin

We were announced as being in jeopardy of going home, but after the show we asked around to find out if we had actually been in the bottom of the leader board and no one would give us a straight answer.

But at the end of the day, it doesn't really matter. All we can focus on is going out there and doing our best every week and that's what we plan on doing.

RELATED VIDEO: Karina Smirnoff and Doug Flutie's First Rehearsal


This week we are having a ton of fun preparing for our jazz routine set to "Spoon Full of Sugar" from Mary Poppins.

I'm being Mary Poppins and Doug is the chimney sweep. He's been so cute and great at getting into character – and even better at picking up the steps!

We actually had most of the choreography down by last Wednesday, which was just one day after we started working on the number. That's huge!

I always knew Doug was a fighter and I was hoping there was a dancer underneath it all but he is even exceeding my expectations.

With so much time to perfect our routine this week, I hope tonight we can get out there and just have a ton of fun. And I hope the audience has fun too!

To vote for Karina and Doug during season 22 of Dancing with the Stars – which airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC – dial 1-800-868-3402.
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