New mom of two and Little Women L.A. star Terra Jolé is making history as the first little person to compete on Dancing with the Stars, and she’s blogging about season 23 exclusively for PEOPLE. Follow Jolé, 36, and her partner Sasha Farber, 33, on Twitter!
I felt really great about the cha-cha Sasha and I did last week. I felt it was a strong dance and I loved performing it. And I felt really good about the judges’ scores. The only problem is that were at the point in the competition that we need great scores, not just good scores.
And I hate thinking about the competition that way. This is about my journey and pushing myself. But it’s hard because when the judges feel differently then you do about your performance. It makes you feel incomplete.
But after all of that, we stayed in the competition and Ryan Lochte and Cheryl Burke had to go home. Ryan and I are buddies so it was hard to say goodbye. He and I would show each other our dance routines prior to show day to kind of work out the jitters. He also proposed to his fiancée in the exact location that my husband proposed to me. We’ll definitely continue to be great friends.
But now on to this week! Last week was really fun to get to dress up and have a ton of props and troupe dancers, but this week it’s all about dance. Less props, no backup dancers — just Sasha and I dancing. We are jamming tons of steps I’ve never done before and can’t wait to show them off!
I feel really great going into tonight show, but the physical toll of the competition has definitely started to get to me.
I started on DWTS only three weeks after having a cesarean section. That probably wasn’t the smartest thing. I shouldn’t have done any cardio until eight weeks after giving birth, and two hernias have formed.
But we are so close to the finish line and instead of having the surgery now and hurting myself again, I’m waiting until the end of the competition. During rehearsals and the live show I’m having to wear a belly band or girdle to not injure myself any further. It’s tough and very risky — but it’s all worth it!
Being away from my newborn can be a little harder to justify, though. Not being able to spend a ton of time with her is the hardest things I’ve ever experienced.
I gave my daughter Penny so much of me in the start of her life and now her younger brother Grayson sees me in his dreams, basically. I’ve already missed his first smile and to make things worse, he won’t latch anymore. I usually am only able to get him to latch at night, but due to missing a night here or there, he now prefers the bottle.
It truly tugs at my heartstrings, but I keep telling myself this is for them. One day they will look back and hopefully feel that if Mama can do this, they too can do anything.
DWTS is the hardest job I’ve ever had — and probably the most rewarding at the same time. Not only are you tested physically, but emotionally as well.
Few words can describe the roller coaster you ride on the show, but it’s the best roller coaster at any park.
Dancing with the Stars airs Mondays (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.