Dancing's Derek Hough: I'm Having Choreographer's Block
Derek Hough | Photo Credits: Craig Sjodin/ABC
How are you?
Thanks for all your comments this week. I'm so glad you enjoyed the routine with Brilynn. It was truly an honor to dance with her. I was overcome with emotion throughout the whole thing. We don't see those video packages before we dance, so I was just a viewer for a second. Her story and she herself are so incredible. Brilynn really emulates what I try to live my life by, which is following your passion no matter what. She doesn't make any excuses, and just makes it work and makes it happen. I felt very blessed to be dancing with her. I didn't know much about her before we met. They just told me that she was legally blind and asked if I'd like to dance with her. I immediately said, "absolutely." Anyone who's willing to dance, I want to work to dance with that person. When we met, I was just blown away not just by her ability, but her heart.
Kellie and I are happy with our rumba. I like to think of it as her and Kyle's rumba. I was just assisting in the moment for the two of them. I was pretty surprised with the high scores we got after the judges' comments, which I agree with. It was a little tight. Our dress rehearsal went really well, but Kellie definitely gets nervous on show days. This time, she got really, really nervous. Things felt a little stiff because she held a lot of her nerves up high, so things did look stilted. That's the thing about the show: You can dance the routine 100 times and do it great, but you only get that one chance to do it when it counts. She was pretty bummed out afterward. She kept saying, "Aw, man, I'm so mad at myself because I didn't dance as well as I danced before. I just wanted it to be perfect." I told her perfection doesn't lie in what we do because it will never be perfect. The judges will always find something wrong or something will go wrong. But perfection lies in the feeling that it gives you. I said, "How do you feel right now?" And she said, "I feel amazing that I got to do that with my husband." I said, "There you go. Then it was perfect."
The same is true for Andy's dance. That was just the sweetest dance. It was so beautiful in its simplicity and so rich in emotion. That was not a technically perfect dance, but I don't think anyone was not moved by it afterward. You might have been moved to tears like Carrie Ann, but you felt something. I was so happy for him. That's one of my favorite moments of the season so far.
This week we have the foxtrot. It's going... OK! I'm not going to lie — it's been one of those weeks where I'm not liking anything I'm choreographing. It's one of those things where the creative process is not coming to me. On Wednesday, I was banging my head against the brick wall. Sometimes you just have your off days. It's choreographer's block, I guess. I have a lot on my plate this week, so it's about compartmentalizing and not getting overwhelmed. But I'm excited for the dance. Whenever I beat myself up about the choreography, it's only because I want to arrive at the right stuff, so I think it will turn out good.
It's also a little tricky for us because this is Kellie's first ballroom dance, so I feel a little bit behind. I had to teach her the frame and the technique. We couldn't just jump into the choreography, which is kind of frustrating, but she's doing well. It's completely different from any of the dances we've done, so it's just a matter of her getting used to it. We're also missing the entire day of Saturday. She has a show in Alabama and I can't go with her because I'm choreographing a routine for the results show that is very elaborate. There's a lot going on this week, but they're good problems!
Henry and Anna are dancing with us. I know some people are confused by the side-by-side dancing, so here's how it's going down: Henry and Anna will dance for 30 seconds, then Kellie and and I come in and we all dance together for 15 seconds, and then Kellie and I dance the rest of the routine. It's more about couples dancing side-by-side than the celebrity and another pro. It's something interesting to do to keep the show fresh. I'm curious to see how it all pans out.
I'm really going to miss Lisa. She's such a wonderful woman and a great personality. I think she did great. The show is so incredibly physically demanding. We don't get a single day off. Not having a day off can be relentless. I think she exceeded expectations from the beginning. And to go out and dance like that after being ill is a testament to her fight.
Someone pointed out to me that Lindsay, Gleb and Sharna, our new pros, were part of the last three couples standing for the second time this season. I didn't even realize that! Obviously two of them were in the bottom two both times, but that is interesting. The producers have a way of planning out the results show and who to declare safe when. I have no idea how they decide it, but I think sometimes leaving a couple in jeopardy until later in the show helps them. Some casual fans might not be paying attention that closely and think that the couple is in the bottom three when in fact that's not the bottom three, so it might spur them on to vote the next week. Still, I don't know about you, but I'd much rather be safe first than wait that long!
Thanks for reading! See you Monday!