Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Erika Girardi (also known by her stage name Erika Jayne) is competing on season 24 of Dancing with the Stars — and blogging about her experience exclusively for PEOPLE. Follow Girardi, 45, and her pro dancer partner Gleb Savchenko, 33, on Twitter!
Let me tell you, Dancing with the Stars is no joke.
I’m having a great time and everyone is so, so kind, but it’s tough. The schedule is strenuous. I cant imagine someone doing this show without being physically fit.
Someone told me the other day that people sometimes come on the show to lose weight. I said, “Are you kidding me?! That is the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard in my life!” To anyone who wants to join DWTS to lose weight, just don’t do it! You’ll die! You just won’t make it. I’m barely making it!
And I’m no stranger to performing. I love getting out on stage and putting on a show, but I have no ballroom experience. This is a completely different animal. And I’m not going to lie, it’s been a struggle at times.
Gleb is such a talented, kind and patient person, but he’s also a stickler for technique. We’re doing a salsa and that’s really strict when it comes to the moves you are supposed to do. It can be a little bit of a drag, but I totally understand that we have to get the technical pieces in there — that’s what we’re being judged on.
We’re dancing to my song “XXPEN$IVE.” That could seem like an advantage, but it actually makes it a little harder. I hear the song one way and then Gleb hears it another and then we have to salsa to a song that’s not really meant to be salsa’d to. It took us a second to get all that together, but it’s been great.
Obviously this isn’t my first “reality show,” but RHOBH and DWTS are on two completely different planets. This is a competition show shot live. There isn’t much time for sit-down and commentary. You get out there and perform live. There’s no sitting there worming out of any tacky thing you may have said about someone. It’s dance or shut up.
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And it has been just so amazing to get to know all of the other people working on the show Bonner Bolton has been showing me videos of his bull riding, Simone Biles is just this little American hero, Charo is insanely fabulous and Chris Kattan is hilarious — he’s on another level.
There are definitely nerves going into tonight, but you can’t take that out on the stage with you. Now all I can do is go out there and have fun!
Season 24 of Dancing with the Stars premieres Monday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.