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!
I know I messed up a bit, but for the most part I felt really good about last week. I feel like the judges saw a different side of me.
I am really over messing up though. It’s just embarrassing. The first couple of times I did it, it was just like, “I’ll get it.” But now I’m looking to really get to the root of why it keeps happening.
My partner Mark Ballas has been giving me all the right tools in rehearsal, though, and we realized that I needed mental markers of where I am on the dance floor during each part of the dance because I often had no idea where I was physically because I am so focused on the specific steps. That has really helped, and I’m hoping for no more mess ups going forward.
This week Mark and I are doing a contemporary number, which I love, but it’s also Showstoppers Week, which means we all got teamed up with another star and have to dance a second dance all by ourselves without our pro partners.
I got paired with Bindi Irwin, who is amazing, but we really are with our pro partners for only about 10 seconds of the entire dance. It is crazy. I will say, Mark prepared me for that with our Breaking Bad routine. A lot of that was side-by-side. Even last week during our Argentine tango, the whole beginning I was on my own so I had a little preparation for this week.
What’s made things even more difficult is the lack of rehearsal time. Bindi and I got to fly to New York and see Chicago on Broadway since we are dancing to “All That Jazz” and “Hot Honey Rag,” but that meant that we just got back to Los Angeles really late Friday night – or really early Saturday morning, rather – and we didn’t get nearly as much time as we normally do in the studio.
Up until now, Bindi and I have been told to be big with our gestures and movements but this dance has a really jazzy, Charleston-feel and we’ve been having to hone in our movements and making everything really sharp. That hasn’t been the easiest, but I love working with Bindi. The girl is just so incredible. She is so sweet and works so hard and keeps everyone so positive.
This week has been stressful but even though the pressure is on and it’s been intense, Bindi has been such a positive light and I’ve loved working with her.
I was really happy with last week’s performance. We were supposed to go second-to-last but at the last minute we got moved to opening the show.
Going first really throws you off because you don’t have time to get rid of the nerves at the beginning of the show. But I couldn’t have asked for better than three 9s from the judges.
It was great to start off the week like that, but let me tell you, the past seven days have been nuts. I got partnered with Alek Skarlatos. We’re doing, as he likes to call it, a “dude-on-dude paso doble” to Queen’s “We Will Rock You”.
After the show last week, Alek, my partner Witney Carson, his partner Lindsay Arnold and I got to go on a three-day cruise out of New Yorks so we could spend time with the cast of We Will Rock You, which is the Queen musical.
The cruise was a lot of fun, but it was also a lot of work with a packed schedule of events so we didn’t get a lot of time to rehearse. We didn’t have our first real rehearsal with mirrors until Friday!
It’s been stressful getting things performance-ready, but working with Alek has been great. I didn’t know much about him but hearing his story and what he did on the train is such an inspiration. Getting to know him on a more personal level has been amazing.
Witney and I are doing an Argentine tango to Justin Bieber‘s “What Do You Mean?” We’re having a good time, but Witney has been really stressed out about the lack of rehearsal time. That has been tough for her, but I’ve been trying to be strong and supportive so we both get through the week.
It’s been interesting to see our dynamic go back and forth in that way over the past few weeks, but it just makes us stronger as a pair and makes me more confident going into tonight.
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Dancing with the Stars airs Mondays (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.