How's everyone doing? I'm very excited to be blogging this season. Hope I don't bore you guys too much!
I'm having a great time with Kellie. She's a wonderful person and such a hard worker, and I'm so happy I decided to come back this season. I had every intention of taking the season off to work on some other projects, but ultimately it didn't feel like the right time to leave. On top of that, I've always multi-tasked and I love the show. I was actually in the hospital with my mom and I had this overwhelming feeling that I wanted to do this season. It didn't feel right to take this one off. I've been trying to listen to my instincts a lot more, so I'm really happy I listened because I met Kellie. The funny thing is Kellie's grandfather is a huge fan of the show and wanted me to be her partner, so Kellie is very excited because she gets to fulfill her grandfather's wish.
We have the cha-cha as our first dance. Kellie's looking great. She has such natural ability and skill. The cha-cha will be very traditional since the first dance is about an introduction, but our second dance, the jive, is really going to surprise people. We're going to step it up a little bit. I like to play around with my partner and see what they're good at and work around that, and Kellie's good at almost anything - no joke! I'm constantly impressed by what she can do. The choreography is going to be super-intricate. We were working on it the other day and I said, "We've only got 20 seconds, but there's more choreography in those 20 seconds than there is in an entire dance."
I've gotten heat from the judges, especially last season, for "breaking the rules" and being too out-there with choreography, but I'm not really going to change my approach. I think you've got to push yourself, and that's what we're doing with the jive. A fan told me that Shawn had more YouTube views than anyone else last season and that's sort of what I choreograph for - not the number of YouTube views, but people who want to go back and watch it again and again. I'd rather please the people who watch the show and entertain them than just please the judges. I want to do both, but if it means I kind of have to step out of line, so to speak, I will. We want to step it up and challenge ourselves. I value the judges, but I want to make a lasting impression and good routines. There are a few that stand out. But no one else says, "Remember that samba you did one time that was sort of forgettable?"
I think this season will be a lot fun. Coming off All-Stars, it's nice to go back to the original concept of the show. The energy is different and the cast is awesome. Mark and I have been keeping tabs on each other. I think he and Aly will be strong. I saw a little bit of Sean and Peta, and Sean was looking pretty good. It's so weird for me because I didn't watch any of the The Bachelor. I have no idea what's going on! Everybody's talking about it and I'm like what?! It was funny because Kellie doesn't watch much TV, so she's unaware too.
I've gotten some questions about my neck and... it's still there! My neck is temperamental. I just have to be really careful. It's literally like the silliest little move and something could go wrong. I haven't had surgery yet. I'm trying to delay them cutting into my neck as long as possible. My doctors are OK with it as long as it doesn't get to a point where it's preventing me from doing certain things, so we can wait until it's absolutely necessary. But it's an ongoing thing. So far, it's holding up. I just need to take of myself more.
Thanks for reading. Enjoy the show!
View original Dancing's Derek Hough: I'm Happy I Came Back This Season at TVGuide.com
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