Karina Smirnoff and Corbin Bleu
09/23/2013 at 04:30 PM EDT
Corbin Bleu is a former
High School Musical star who is competing on season 17 of Dancing with the Stars with season 13 champion Karina Smirnoff. The Disney alum will blog for PEOPLE about his experience on ABC's hit show
For me, the dance on Monday
wasn't flawless. I always think it could have been better than it was. I wanted our lift to be slightly more stable. The big lift when I pull Karina [Smirnoff] over my head – we did it, but I wanted it to be a little more of a punch. I think with something like contemporary, it was very beautiful and very touching, but with something like [Amber Riley's dance] the cha cha, you get a chance to engage the audience a bit more, so you get people a little more excited and you get people's heart rates going a bit more.
So I'm excited about the Latin dances coming up. With our contemporary, it was all about the storyline between Karina and I, and I didn't even realize much of the audience that entire performance. Whereas, with our jive coming up, I'm going to be able to really engage the audience. But I do think for a first-week dance, our contemporary was fantastic.
Karina and I are working really hard on the jive. It's a completely different feel. With our dance, we're doing a High School Musical
tribute. It's got the whole jock and nerd vibe, and I'm going to be in my baseball uniform. That's going to be really, really fun. We're doing that one for the fans and I'm hoping a lot of people will be able to connect with that one.
Personally, the biggest challenge with this dance is getting my legs to lift higher and be turned the right way. It's a fast dance, and throughout the whole dance, you're trying to show personality and you're trying to make it funky and your body is used to doing that a certain way. I keep resorting to turning my body a certain way, and I keep getting yelled at. I want to make sure it's fast and clean, but still has all that personality and gusto.
Karina and I still continue to get along great. Anything that seems argumentative is all in a joking manner, which is great. Yesterday she brought these weights in that she wanted me to wear on my ankles, so that I would lift my legs higher when I tried to do the dance, and that way when she tried to take them off, it would be easier for me to lift them.
When she went to go put them on, I said, "Why are you torturing me? Why are you being so mean to me?" But it's all for the good of the dance. It's never mean-spirited or malicious in any way.