Louie Vito will be blogging about his journey on Dancing with the Stars each week at PEOPLE.com. The professional snowboarder, along with 15 competitors, will hit the ballroom Sept. 21 on ABC. Check back each week to hear from the 2010 Olympic hopeful as he tries to prove he has moves on the parquet as well as on the side of a mountain.
So when I found out I was going to be doing a blog on my experiences on DWTS, I was stoked. Then I started to think, ‘What am I going to write about that would make interested?’ Well, first let’s start with who I am:
I’m a pro snowboarder and I absolutely LOVE what I do. I’ve been snowboarding ever since I was 5- or 6-years-old. This December and January, I am going to be trying out for the 2010 Winter Olympics. Just making the Olympics for the U.S. is a feat in itself. So, right now I have been trying to get in shape and strong for the upcoming snowboard season and practice, and do what I need to do for DWTS, which brings us to the show …
Going into DWTS, I wasn’t too sure what to expect. I am not going to lie, I have never watched a full episode and as most of you probably can tell, I have ZERO ballroom experience and not much regular dancing for that matter! But I have to say, this whole thing has been better than I thought.
In snowboarding, I can learn a trick within a few tries or, at worse, within a day. With dancing, it’s a whole new world. I tend to get frustrated not being able to learn a step or the gracefulness that I need not only within a few tries, but instead in a few days. I just have to keep reminding myself this is like NOTHING I have ever done before.
In snowboarding, I tend to hunch over and it’s okay to do what works for you to keep your balance. In dancing, I always have to have my shoulders down, head up, straight back — totally different than what I am used to. Poor Chelsie keeps reminding me and reminding me and reminding me! But now that I am a little over a week into practice, I am seeing my progress which is such a rewarding feeling that I can’t even explain.
As most of you know, my partner is Chelsie Hightower. She, in my eyes, is one of the best, if not the best, on the show. (Yes, I am a little biased since she is my partner.) She took Ty Murray, who was a rodeo guy, almost all the way to the finals last season. That gave me a whole new boost of confidence knowing that even if I am the worst dancer in the world, she can get my dancing to a somewhat respectable level. It’s cool to watch her figure out dances right on the spot just by listening to the music, and she knows what she wants to do and what I need to do.
I am going to be writing every week here at PEOPLE.com, so check back to see what Chelsie and I are doing and how everything is going.
PEACE, Louie Craig Sjodin/ABC