Country singer Jana Kramer is currently competing on Dancing with the Stars, and she’s blogging about season 23 exclusively for PEOPLE. Follow Kramer and her partner Gleb Savchenko, both 32, on Twitter!
Every week on Dancing with the Stars is crazy, but the past few days have been particularly stressful as I’ve had to learn to dance with an entirely new partner.
During rehearsal on Wednesday, I found out that Gleb hurt his knee. That was devastating.
Gleb and I have worked together for 11 weeks now. He’s become a very close friend who has been there for me through everything I’ve gone through professionally and personally — which has been a lot since we started this journey together.
And this was a week for us to celebrate my journey, which has become our journey. We were assigned a contemporary dance and are telling the story of a woman who is in a really bad situation and it’s messy and she’s lost, but it’s all about getting back to the person she knows she can be and knowing her worth. I’ve struggled with that for a long time and Gleb — and DWTS — has been a big part of helping me move forward.
Knowing that I may not do the dance with Gleb is devastating. I’m so used to the way Gleb dances, the way he moves, the way he teaches me. And now I’ve having to learn how to work with a completely different person: troupe member Alan Bersten.
None of that is to say that Alan isn’t amazing. He’s been fantastic jumping in and making me feel comfortable. The way he teaches and dances isn’t any better or worse than Gleb, he’s just different. Gleb is much more sharp because of his ballroom background, while Alan is more flowy.
To make things even more nerve-racking, it’s Monday and I still don’t know if I’ll be dancing with Gleb or Alan tonight. Alan has been working with me in the rehearsal room and in spare moments backstage, but if Gleb feels he can physically do the dance then he’ll get out there with me tonight.
But because of his injury, Gleb and I only rehearsed the dance at camera blocking rehearsal and it did not go as smoothly as I would have liked. And while I ultimately hope Gleb can dance with me, I’m a control freak and would rather just know definitively so I can stop running scenarios in my head.
I love working with them, but because of our travel schedules, Laurie and I have only rehearsed about two hours together this week. I have confidence that we’ll do great, but I’d feel a lot better if we’d had more time.
It helps that I also feel very connected to the song Laurie and I are dancing to. I’ve connected it to telling a story about domestic abuse and being trapped for so long but now being strong and breaking free.
No matter who I dance with tonight, I hope Gleb is able to fully recover and continue on this journey with me. If we’re fortunate enough to make it to the finals and win that Mirrorball Trophy, there’s no one I’d rather be holding it up next to me at the finale.
Dancing with the Stars airs Mondays (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.