*If you were a judge critiquing any of your performances with Valerie from Week 1, 2, 3, or 4 what things would you say were particularly strong? What would you say could have been improved?
Valerie used her arms very well and was good showing pictures, but we for sure needed to improve the transitions between those pictures. Letting yourself be right can be harder than it sounds; trying to find a balance between always improving but also being confident in what you have improved upon play a big part in performing a dance. Again though unfortunately we can only be judged on what we do on Monday, I was happy to know that although Monday didn’t go right, I have seen Valerie improve each week and perform better in rehearsals to justify all the hard work. Live shows are live shows. They don’t always go your way. The live show is sometimes the only time things go wrong!
*We understand that you are assigned the dances to do with you celebrity partner, but even though you and Valerie are no longer competing, if you could pick one particular dance style that you think most suits her and then dance that dance on DWTS, which one would it be?
The first dance is always picked for you, and usually Week 2 as well. From then on you can sometimes get more influence depending on whether there is a theme week or what not. We had Foxtrot and Paso and then Cha Cha picked for us, and then I chose Viennese Waltz – first off because I wanted to do it. I knew the ballroom dances and the slower dances were the ones that suited Valerie better even more so when her knees became too painful. I tried to make something more about our dances and I put my own themes to the weeks and sold that to Valerie. I tried to make each dance a reaction to terrible news: Week 1 Foxtrot was accepting the news and appreciating what you have been through. Week 2 Paso was anger and frustration towards it which I think is a stage that a lot of people go through. Week 3 Cha Cha was more about people who use humour to face their problems not so much to say you should laugh about it, but I know family and friends who have reacted in this way. Then I guess Week 4 Viennese Waltz was for those who don’t give up and whether they accept it or not carry on. It was always my intention to use this song for Valerie, and I thought it was great to finish up with that one.
*This has been a very emotional but very inspiring season on DWTS. As a teacher, artist, choreographer, and performer, do you have any words of wisdom for us?
No words of wisdom from me, no. Just live your life and make your own decisions. There are too many instances where people don’t take responsibility for their own actions and try to shift the blame to others. Make your own path and follow your own head and live and die by your own sword.