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The pro dancer blogs exclusively for PEOPLE

By Karina Smirnoff
Updated September 23, 2015 11:15 AM
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Credit: Craig Sjodin/ABC

Karina Smirnoff has been chronicling her experiences as a pro partner to jockey Victor Espinoza on

Dancing with the Stars21st season exclusively for PEOPLE.com. Follow Karina and Victor on Twitter!

There were definitely some tears Tuesday night after Victor and I found out we were eliminated, but I wasn’t crying about losing the competition.

Yes, Dancing with the Stars is a TV show, and you always have to keep that in mind, but at the end of the day what I’m the most sad about is that Vic and I won’t be rehearsing every day together. What I’m going to miss most is going to the studio every day and seeing his face – seeing him jump up and down and trying to joke with me.

I’m going to miss Vic’s vibrant spirit and getting to see him work so hard and try his best to actually deliver it every show. Those are the moments that made this season so precious to me.

Working in Hollywood, I get to meet a lot of stars and big personalities. But I rarely get the opportunity to actually meet the people behind those marquee names. I got to meet Vic the man. I got to learn what a huge heart he has and everything he does for others through City of Hope. He is such a positive person who is always kind and grateful for everything.

Vic is always saying, “Life is too short. The most important this is to keep looking forward. Never look back. Everybody has dreams, but it’s not the dreams – it’s the goals that matter.” And I totally agree.

The rhinestones and spray tans and judges’ scores are all extra. Getting to become lifelong friends with people like Vic is what this journey is all about.

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