Karina Smirnoff is a former Dancing with the Stars champion, winning the coveted mirror-ball trophy in season 13 with J.R. Martinez. The longtime competitor has been blogging for PEOPLE about competing with former High School Musical star Corbin Bleu in season 17.
I’m just enjoying this whole process. At this point, you can’t control what’s going to happen from anyone’s side. The only thing we know is that we’re having a blast and we’re trying to figure out how to fit in all these dances. The workload this season is ridiculous. We’ve had to pretty much learn more than one dance per day.
We get nervous about the quality. How do you manage to work, polish and give great quality with such little time? So it’s like you don’t eat, you don’t sleep, you don’t use the bathroom. They say sleep is overrated. I respectfully disagree.
I told Corbin to concentrate on this week, but to also enjoy it. We have a freestyle, so anything goes. It’s a dancing competition and it’s very subjective. We’ve learned that and we know that from previous seasons as well. Instead of dwelling on what we can’t control, let’s dwell on things we can control. Regardless of whether there is a trophy at the end or not, we want to leave our fans with a dance that they think is awesome.
Corbin is incredible as a dancer and as a person. Being completely honest, this is the season that I can consider completely drama-less. To me, that speaks volumes. Why have drama when we can just enjoy this whole process? We’re the number one show on TV. We do what we love to do.
I just think it’s one thing to know how to dance and another thing to learn ballroom. Corbin has done an amazing job. Ballroom dancing isn’t jazz or ballet. It’s a dance style that is done as a couple. Knowing how to dance on your own is great, but it does not make you a great ballroom dancer. We’ve spent the last four or five weeks really working it out as a couple.