Adam Taylor/ABC
October 14, 2013 10:10 AM

Corbin Bleu is a former High School Musical star who is competing on season 17 of Dancing with the Stars with season 13 champion Karina Smirnoff. The Disney alum will blog for PEOPLE about his experience on ABC’s hit show.

I have a very close, tight-knit family, and 2011 was a big year of change for us. So the theme for my dance this week is “The Memorable Year” – and it will be a dance that evokes a lot about my family.

In 2011, I ended up moving out, my sister went off to school, and then my other sister was diagnosed with scoliosis. It was just a big year of transition for all of us, and because there were so many obstacles getting in the way, it kind of brought us closer. So I’m dedicating my dance this week to my three sisters: Hunter, Phoenix and Jag. It’s going to be really sweet, and it’s to a beautiful song. This dance is extremely close to me, and it’s very different from what we did last week.

Last week, we really wanted to portray a fight between this fiery couple, and I felt like we achieved what we wanted to do.

Karina actually slapped me in the middle of the performance, but she was supposed to. Initially we were just doing a fake slap, and I told her that on the day you have to actually hit me, you need to full-on slap me.

So we practiced a couple of times during rehearsals and she was really nervous, but come the night of the performance, she gave me a full-on good whack.

Also, Karina and I both said that this is probably the dance where I should take my shirt off. Plus, it’s week four, so it’s time. The week prior to the dance, I was really dialed-in on my diet, and I was going to the gym every day on top off my dance rehearsals. I was getting myself ready for it.

I’ve actually been waiting to take my shirt off. I wanted to do it during week one, and Karina said we have to save it. Let them wait for it.

After it was over, I went back home and I watched the dance. I felt like I could see what the judges were talking about as far as truly extending myself. That said, Carrie Ann Inaba felt that my hip-hop roots came through, although I didn’t see it. And neither did Karina, who also watched a playback of the dance.

But the judges are always going to be thorough. And because of that, I always want to make sure I’m pushing myself even further.

RELATED: Watch Karina Smirnoff Practice Slapping Corbin Bleu

RELATED: Corbin Bleu’s DWTS Blog: Our ‘Scandalous’ Dance This Week

RELATED: Corbin Bleu’s DWTS Blog: This Week’s High School Musical-Themed Dance Is for the Fans

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