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Dancing with the Stars

DWTS's Terra Jolé on How Her Babies Inspire Her to Succeed — and Why Her Height Is a Hurdle This Week

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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!

Was last week’s performance my best? No. But I felt we gave it our all and I felt it was a strong showing.

I felt like I was in it to win it. But he judges felt as though my confidence was lacking, so I wish my facial expressions reflected how I felt.

That said, getting two 7s and two 8s from the judges is not a bad week. 7-8-8-7 is not a bad week. And moving forward, we will continue to push harder.

I was sad to see Amber go. She and I have become good friends. She wanted to win this as much as anyone else, and at least she left on a positive note. We all become so close, and every week we are faced with a goodbye that is never easy.

But it’s a competition and I’m glad I’m still in it.

Craig Sjodin/ABC
Craig Sjodin/ABC

I really, really want to continue performing and to advance every week. I want to dance. Every minute of every day I’m trying to give more and more to show that I deserve to be here. When I’m not at work, I try to take care of myself and spend time with my family. Any way to keep the sanity is essential.

I’m so grateful to the fans who vote, and I want to show them that the time they take to keep me here is not in vain! I’m sacrificing time with my newborn baby and I’m missing some of Penny’s firsts, but it’s all worth it.

This journey is truly once in a lifetime. And with every dance I want to show the world that there is nothing that can stop me. I want to continue setting the standard for my kids by working hard and never giving up.

This week is Era Week, and Sasha and I have the 1930s, which I love! We are dancing a foxtrot to the song “Cheek to Cheek,” which I love because we’re able to feature lots of bubbly energy and charismatic movement. My costume reminds me of Ginger Rodgers. It’s elegant, beautiful and classy. I’m so excited for everyone to see this one!

But as if learning one dance a week wasn’t enough, this week we also have a team dance!

Sasha and I have been teamed up with Marilu Henner and Derek Hough, Laurie Hernandez and Val Chmerkovskiy and Jana Kramer and Gleb Savchenko to be Team Future.

Working as a group has been both easy and difficult.

It’s been six weeks since my height has been a personal insecurity for me in this competition, and all those emotions are back. Everyone wants to look uniform. Luckily, my amazing team is working together to make the group look as one.

Honestly, I feel like we couldn’t have a stronger team. I love all of the women and completely respect every pro male on #TeamFuture.

 

Rehearsals can be exhausting, but the most difficult element of this entire competition is my tendency to get in my own head.

Sasha will give me notes to improve something and I’ll fix a problem, but that will make me mess up another move. Remaining relaxed in a sea of stress is key, but that’s much easier said than done! This whole Dancing with the Stars thing is no joke!

Sasha continues to push me everyday, every week and I feel like we are truly a unit now. I hope I can show the judges just how confident he makes me feel this Monday.

Dancing with the Stars airs Mondays (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.