Dancing With The Stars Season 12 – Mark Ballas Defends The Jive

Mark has penned again for USA Today and this time in defense of he and Chelsea’s Jive this past week. Here is a take. I still think he was pushing it too much, but, I can understand his side of it better after hearing it….especially if he didn’t pick the “Panic At The Disco” song.

A lot of people have been asking me if the choices I made were worth the risk. The answer? I struggle over the position it put Chelsea in and the stress it caused her; however, I don’t regret utilizing everything Chelsea has to give. Chelsea has unbelievable skills and to not maximize those skills would be unfair to her and our audience. Besides, what our audience has yet to have the chance to see in Chelsea but, watched in Bristol last season, is that unbelievable work ethic and desire to be the best they can be.

As a pro, having that quality in your partner not only makes it easier for you to take risks, you jump at the opportunity to go for it. Last season, I would tell people that if I could take Bristol’s heart, passion and dedication, and put them into someone who has the physical ability to be a professional dancer, you would witness the most amazing experience. This season, I got just what I asked for in Chelsea. I can’t wait for you all to enjoy watching her talent unfold each week.

Since DWTS and my personal life go hand in hand, I can’t reflect upon one without the other. I’ve been thinking about our Jive a lot since last night and I keep going back to the process of making my album. The album has a little bit of everything in it and we pushed boundaries the same way I did in the Jive.

But it confuses people in the music business when you do that, because they like to put things into categories. For example, what radio format does it fit? It’s a lot like how the judges wished our Jive was more textbook for their evaluation process. For my record, I was fortunate to be in the hands of a great producer, Rob Chiarelli, something that I never had the opportunity to do before.

I was able to trust him in getting my vision down without ending up with a record that was all over the map. He took that vision, helped pushed the boundaries I was pushing, and yet stayed within the framework. Rob has the experience, wisdom and creativity to do that. The celebs on DWTS need us to be that person for them and I actually thought I did that with the Jive.

From the audience and fan response to our performance, our mission was accomplished. Not to mention my mom’s critique! She is the best in the world at instructing dancers and when we watched the performance again after the show, she saw 75% Jive, 25% entertainment and lots of details. It takes a lot to impress my mom and we blew her away with our creativity. That meant a lot to me.

Heidi’s Note: Dude, she’s your MOM. ;-)