Corbin Bleu and Karina Smirnoff
10/28/2013 at 02:05 PM EDT
Karina Smirnoff is a former Dancing with the Stars champion, winning the coveted mirror-ball trophy in season 13 with J.R. Martinez. The longtime competitor will blog for PEOPLE.com about competing with former High School Musical star Corbin Bleu in season 17
We didn't get really into dance rehearsals for this week until a bit later than usual. We did start early, but then we found out we had to change our dance.
It was a little frustrating, but the good news was we found out it was going to be changed on Tuesday, rather than a Friday so we had enough time to start over fresh and concentrate even more on the new version. Even so, we didn't really get into rehearsing until late last week.
I'm not going to lie, last week's critiques
had me a little confused because I had done that exact lift with Ralph Macchio
from a previous season and it was never called a lift. There have also been different couples doing the same thing, so I thought it would be a safe bet to add in the lift, but it is the judges' decision. I respect it and we can't fight it. We just have to keep moving forward and hope that everyone enjoys what we put together each week.
We are doing the Cha Cha this week. It's a faster dance that's upbeat and fun! It is going to show that Corbin's "hips don't lie!" There will be fun, fast movements throughout the dance and a ton of hip action. We are so excited.