Dancing with the Stars: Athletes airs Mondays (8 p.m. ET) on ABC
Mirai Nagasu is a figure skater who made history at the 2018 Winter Olympics when she landed the rare and incredibly difficult triple axel jump, which made her the first U.S. female figure skater to land the jump during an Olympic competition. Now, she’s taking on the competition on season 26 of Dancing with the Stars, and she is blogging about her experience on the ABC reality show for PEOPLE. Follow Nagasu, 25, and her partner Alan Bersten, 23, on Twitter!
Before I took the stage last week, I had butterflies in my stomach. When I looked over and saw that Alan was feeling the same way, we said a little prayer before going out there. There is so much going on when you’re performing to live music, plus we had one of the most challenging first dances and so many tricks. In ballroom, there are only certain dances you can do lifts in so we went full force. I’m happy with how it went, I think Alan is happy and the judges scores seemed to reflect that. The 7 from Cannie Ann Inaba was a little bit of a shocker because a 7 out of 10 is a C, but I feel good about where I am.
I’ve never been told that I attack things too much — I almost take it as a compliment, but I want to have a little bit more control, so I’m definitely going to work on that. All of that criticism that I received, I’m only going to use it to help make myself a better competitor. I think that’s why the Athletes season is super exciting because we hear criticism and we only use it as fuel.
I’m super grateful that America kept us around, and I’m especially excited for this week because we have team dances already. Adam [Rippon] is going to be on my team, which will be super helpful because we’ll be traveling together for our Stars on Ice tour. Alan and Adam’s partner, Jenna [Johnson], will be traveling with us as well.
This is the craziest my life has been, but I’ve never been happier with my schedule and with myself and my life. I’m really soaking in every minute of it. My boyfriend, Darian, has been super supportive and has been with me every step of this journey. I haven’t seen him in a while, but he was at the show last night. I’m grateful for any opportunity to see him and I’m glad I have him on this journey, as well as Alan. Alan has really had to take a lot of the brunt of the work with all of the traveling that he’s had to do with me since I have Stars on Ice and he has to come with me.
It’s definitely going to be magical. I have expectations and big shoes to fill, especially with Meryl Davis winning the Mirrorball trophy as well as Kristi Yamaguchi. This upcoming week is a dance that’s going to be really close to my heart. It’s about reliving my childhood, and I just love what we’ve done so far. It’s a really graceful dance, and it’ll be completely different from last week. I’m having the time of my life. I want to keep growing, not just as a dancer, but as a person. It would be too soon to cut this journey short!
Dancing with the Stars: Athletes airs Mondays (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.