Alexa and Carlos PenaVega are the first married contestants ever to compete on Dancing with the Stars, and they are chronicling their experiences on the show’s 21st season exclusively for PEOPLE.com. Follow Alexa and Carlos on Twitter!
After a week of learning two dances and two live shows, Carlos and I were exhausted. Our bodies are still getting used to being so active. One night last week, we were in bed by 9 p.m. and slept 12 hours.
But with just one dance to learn this week, we actually had time to grill a bit in the backyard, spend time with our Goldendoodle Sasha and German Shepherd Sydney and get to the gym before rehearsal some days.
My scores last week were a little bit of a bummer (24/30 and 22/30) but [my partner Mark Ballas] told me at the beginning of the season, “Even if you get three 10s from the judges, there is always something you could have done better. You just have to get to a place where you are having fun and feel good about how you did.”
We worked so hard on our two dances, and I could not have been happier with how they turned out. We were in it. We were invested. I feel like our partnership really grew, and I think you could see that.
Speaking of our partnership, there was a pretty big role reversal on Tuesday’s show last week between Mark and me. Seeing him get so emotional, I had to let him know that I was there for him and that we were going to be focused and do a beautiful job to honor his parents.
This show has never really given the pros the opportunity to talk about themselves and where they come from. Mark is really fun and has never shown his sensitive side. He’s wanted to dance to that song in the past, but he always chickened out. It is such a personal song. He says he doesn’t even listen to it because it gets the waterworks going for him. But he said he felt this was the right time and I was so honored that he trusted me to help tell his story.
I know I said it is great to only have one dance to learn instead of two this week, but because we had two live shows last week that meant one less day of rehearsal for this week – plus, most of the couples didn’t get their music cleared to be used until late on Wednesday. Everyone was freaking out because that was basically another lost day.
But it’s TV week and we are really excited to be doing an awesome and different Breaking Bad-themed jazz routine. And because we had that downtime, Mark and I actually had the chance to talk about our ideas for the dance together, which was really cool.
We almost did a Charleston to The Flintstones‘ theme song, which would have been fun, but I’m super excited for tonight’s cool, edgy jazz number. I think we’re going to bring something really unique and different to the show.
I felt good about last week. It was kind of crazy that were able to pull off learning two dances in a week and score 24/30 and 21/30.
I texted [my partner Witney Carson] after the show last Monday and told her, “I feel like we finally bonded.” I think the first couple of weeks we were still figuring each other out but now we get each other. We know how to keep each other focused and I think from here on out things are going to be even smoother.
Getting to be a Latin cowboy for our cha-cha on Tuesday was really fun for me. It’s the most themed dance Witney and I have gotten to do, and I think it made it a little easier.
There are times I can look in the mirror during rehearsal and think, “Ew. I don’t look good doing this move.” But if I think of it as a character doing the dance, I can tell myself, “A Latin cowboy would totally do that.”
And with this week being TV week, I’m totally stoked to be playing another character. We are doing a Golden Girls-themed dance. The theme song is “Thank You for Being a Friend,” so Witney and I are dressing up as really cool old folks for a jazz routine that puts a really positive spin on marriage.
I love that we’re doing that because that is the reason Lex and I wanted to do the show. We love spending time together. We are each other’s best friend, and I hope in 60 years we can still be best friends.
I hope I can bring all that feeling to the dance tonight. If I can, I think Witney and I will do great!
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Dancing with the Stars airs Mondays (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.