The competing married couple blog exclusively for PEOPLE
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!
Even though [my partner Mark Ballas] and I scored a 22 out of 30 last week, I was actually bummed about how our performance went.
We rehearsed like crazy, and it’s a number that we knew backwards and forwards, but you can’t really prepare what it’s going to feel like on that first live show. The energy and nerves were overwhelming, and the feeling of the unknown got the best of me. I made silly mistakes and added random hand and arm movements out of nowhere. But the feedback the judges gave us was all perfect information that we could take back into the rehearsal room and work on. I want them to see I can take direction and can be a serious contender.
After my dance, I got to watch Carlos perform, which was surreal. I almost felt the way a parent feels when they go and see their child perform at their first recital. You’re so excited but nervous at the same time.
Before we got our scores, Carlos made a comment that he hoped I could keep the dress I was wearing. He’s ridiculous and so adorable and clearly does not care who is watching because he will say what is on his mind. I love him so much. We just have such a strong and amazing relationship. I couldn’t have asked for a better journey than to be doing this with him.
Looking forward to this week, “Holy wow” would be the best way to describe rehearsing for these next two dances.
It’s Hometown Glory Week, and tonight Mark and I will be doing a salsa. The choreography is fast and exciting. There’s a lot going on. We’re putting on some outfits and getting into character, so it should be a blast.
For Tuesday, we are doing rumba. It’s a slower, passionate and super emotional dance, and the moves are so precise.
Even though it’s the dance that represents Mark’s story, I feel more comfortable with the rumba this week. I think it’s because there is so much emotion behind it. I feel like we can tell an incredible story there. The song we picked is a song that Mark’s parents danced to before they split up, so for him it’s a very meaningful song. We just want to bring all that emotion so that when the audience watches it they feel enveloped in that story.
Rehearsals have been intense since we’re learning twice the dances in half the time. And I’m feeling it. I’m tired. I’m really tired. I’m praying for supernatural strength because I think that is the only thing that will get me through these next two days.
I was really happy after last week. [My partner Witney Carson] and I scored a 23 out of 30, and I was on cloud nine the whole show. I’d never done anything like that in my entire life, and for those entire two hours, it was just like one long “whoa.” The crowd was crazy. My wife looked great. I don’t think I actually had time to process all the things that were going on.
I am really looking forward to this week now that we have the pressure of the first live show behind us. Now I can focus on keeping calm.
That said, my legs have seen better days. It has been a crazy week. For the first show, we had weeks to learn one dance. This week, we had four days to learn two dances before camera blocking. My head is kind of exploding trying to retain all this choreography. I’m literally confusing the two dances and combining them when we are rehearsing.
Tonight, we are doing the foxtrot. And on Tuesday, we are doing the cha-cha. I have never done either of these types of dances, and they are the complete opposite of each other, which is hard for me. In one I have to keep my legs straight and the other I have to bend my leg. I keep bending my leg in the wrong one.
I’m really glad we don’t have to do both dances in one show. I’ve heard that happens later on in the season, but luckily that’s not where we are yet. It makes it much easier.
Knowing that two pairs are going home this week is weighing on me, for sure. I am trying to not let it get the best of me, but I definitely have a little rock in my gut that it could be my wife or me – or both of us – going home. So I’m just really trying to focus on my dances and my flicks and my kicks … or whatever they call them.
I’m curious to see how everyone has taken to this week because it was really stressful for me, and I know it has been stressful for all of them, too. This week is going to be tough for everyone.
Dancing with the Stars airs Mondays (8 p.m. ET) and Tuesdays (9 p.m. ET) on ABC.