I. Am. So. Sore.
I thought I was in pretty good shape, but my entire body is sore – from my feet to my neck. I’m using muscles I’ve never used before, dancing in heels for hours and perfecting my posture. Everything hurts, but I love it. It means I’m working hard.
And I do want to work hard. I want to give this experience all that I can.
Making it easier is my partner, Gleb. He’s so patient with me and really understands that I have to practice a move about a million times before I feel comfort with it. We are quickly becoming friends, but I will admit that our accents make communication difficult sometimes.
Gleb is Russian and will say what sounds like “Food! Food!” and I automatically think, “Are you hungry? We just ate!” And then I realize he’s saying “Foot!” But aside from that, we are working so well together. He’s on the road with me while I’m touring and we’ve become really good friends who can laugh and have fun together while we work.
This opportunity came at a very busy time in my life. I’m balancing being on tour and being a single mom for the first time, but I knew I couldn’t say no. I knew what I was signing on for and I want to show moms out there that we can do it all.
Of course, that means prioritizing my schedule. My daughter, [Jolie Rae, 7 months,] is my number one priority. Then, it’s being out on tour and giving my fans the best show I can. So, we really are just squeezing in rehearsals whenever we can. We usually get our practices in after I put my daughter down to sleep. It’s challenging and hard, but we’re making the best of it.
Tonight, we are doing a Viennese waltz to Ariana Grande‘s “Dangerous Woman”. It’s super sexy, which was hard for me in the beginning. It’s not that I don’t feel sexy, but there are moments where he wants me to do a particularly sexy move and I’ve never done anything like that before. But it’s a really fun dance and I hope to not let him down.
If I’m totally honest, thinking about the fact that tonight is the first live show makes me want to vomit. No joke. It terrifies me. Yes, I perform live for people out on tour and I’m no stranger to television cameras from my time on One Tree Hill, but I’m completely out of my comfort zone here.
I would love if we had a few more weeks of rehearsal so I could really nail it. Unfortunately we don’t have that luxury so I just have to find a way to control my nerves. If I go out there and tell myself to just try my best, then I won’t have any regrets.
I am super competitive and want to win the Mirrorball Trophy, but at the end of the day I’m more excited to get to share my story with people. I read what people write on my Instagram photos and comment on online stories, and I think they really are judging a book by their cover. I don’t think they’d say half the things they do if they really got to know me and what I’ve been through.
I have amazing fans that have followed me from One Tree Hill to my country music to becoming a mom, and I want other people to know all those parts of my life too. I just want everyone to get to know who I am as a person and hopefully understand me more.
But don’t get me wrong, I also totally want to win.
Dancing with the Stars season 23 premieres Monday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.