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Karina Smirnoff: Gavin & I 'Need to Step It Up' On DWTS

03/26/2012 at 06:45 PM EDT



This season on Dancing with the Stars, we have so many people who are able to dance, and it showed on week one. If they're already giving out nines in week one, I can't wait to see what the rest of the season has to bring.

We can only compare ourselves to ourselves pretty much, because we didn't see what the other couples were doing until the live show. So, based on what we've been doing and how Gavin and I have been dancing up until Monday night, I'm very proud of him. I think he did better in the live show than he did during rehearsals, which is a great sign. It means he works great under pressure.

Even though I think we did really well and I'm super proud of him, I think we need to step it up more. Our biggest hurdle in this whole situation is the schedule. I don't want to be happy based on someone else's problem, but Gavin needs to have vocal rest. I guess the travel and the show and multiple performances have taken a toll. So that will give us a little more rehearsal time in the next few days.



We're doing the jive this week, and it is one of those dances that even if you're a professional, it causes you to develop new sorts of soreness. My whole body is supposed to be used to it, and every night I use tons of Bengay on my muscles so I can bring the soreness down. Gavin says all of the soreness he feels doesn't even matter compared to the pain he feels behind his knee.

The dance is kicking our butts, but it's looking good. I love the story of our dance. I think it fits Gavin's personality really well. I think he embraces the whole experience. It's difficult, and at times we both get a little frustrated with the pace that we are learning at, but overall, we're doing really well. I think if we pull off this dance, we'll make everyone smile a lot.

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