The rumba is not an easy dance. I wanted it to be entertaining – and classy! Tristan spent a great deal of time re-training my hips. My days as a cheerleader helped.
However, despite returning to the '80s, it was probably the most rewarding week of this competition. I thought our rumba was our best dance yet – and it was well received by the judges! We had so much fun putting together our '80s week routine.
Even more rewarding, our Dancing with the Stars group has become a family. We support each other, encourage each other and want each other to succeed. When someone is having a hard time with a step or even just processing critiques from the judges, we all jump in. One thing I did not anticipate from this experience (aside from making it halfway through!) is how close we would all become.
This past week was particularly special because Tristan's family flew in from Ireland. Now I know why Tristan is so sweet and wonderful. His parents are the nicest, most endearing people you could ever hope to meet. And his sister, also here, is lovely, beautiful and sharp! I know it meant the world to Tristan to have them in the audience Monday and Tuesday night.
Saying goodbye to Carson Kressley was not easy. His presence creates a positive environment; his laugh is contagious and always puts a smile on my face. I will miss my friend dearly next week.
Monday night, Tristan and I dance the foxtrot next for Broadway week. When I lived in New York, I collected and saved every one of my Broadway Playbills from every show. Growing up on a red dirt road in rural Macon, Ga., Broadway was the most glamorous and exciting thing I could imagine!
I'm already trying to incorporate what Carrie Ann said about "finishing" my moves and connecting my technique with emotion during the dance routine. We got our second eight-point score – and it was great! Or, as I say, I got two sevens and Tristan got the eight. Heading into Monday night with high hopes!