Dancing With the Stars Kids Edition
In 2006, Dancing With the Stars held open auditions nationwide for ballroom dancers between the ages of 8 - 13.
My partner Brandon and I auditioned and were selected for the Dancing With the Stars Kids Edition. We were flown to LA weekly for camera blocking, live tapings and onsite tutoring, but traveled home for choreography and training. I had traveled a lot for competitions and shows but the TV world was new to me so it was an amazing experience. Not only did we get to dance live on TV, we met some of the most talented and sweetest young dancers that were competing with us and spent time with the professionals, many of whom had either trained at our studio, coached us or done shows with us in the past.
The first week we were given the Cha Cha to Magic Carpet Ride by Steppenwolf . Our coach, Rick Robinson chorographed our Cha Cha and we were off to Los Angeles for live taping. We competed with a couple that was our age and as we sat backstage watching them kill their jive, the nerves set in. I normally didnt get nervous but it was at this time that it hit me that we were going to be on TV :P As soon as the music started, we both settled down and gave it all we had, then.....the mishap! My dress got caught on my heel. I could feel it pulling me back and down so I had to think quickly and make sure I didn't fall. My brain was pushing ahead in the choreography to figure out how to uncatch my dress and luckily I found a smooth exit :) We finished strong and got great feedback from the judges. Then the waiting... until the next weeks live show to see who was voted off and who would move forward. We made it to the final round :)
Our 2nd appearance on DWTS was in the finals. In preparation for the second round we were given the Paso Doble to Phantom of the Opera. Our coach met with us our first day home and started the choreography but was unable to finish because his wife had an unexpected difficulty with the pregnancy of their twins (the most beautiful babies ever) We, at 13 years old, looked at eachother with wide eyes. That meant that WE had one week to choreograph the rest, a DWTS worthy paso!!! Our coach gave us some last minute pointers but wasn't able to come to LA with us. Armed with no coach and our own choreography we felt unsure,but as with most performers, as soon as we stepped onto the floor, we felt right at home. It was amazing to perform that peice, our peice... we loved it. We competed with the winners of each age division and again, waited until the next live show to find out who would win the Mirror Ball Trophy which was announced live at the finale.
Winning the 2006 Dancing Wth the Stars Mirror Ball trophy with Kristy Yamaguchi and Mark Ballas was such an amazing experience.
We had a wonderful time on the show and it was exciting to meet the stars and pros and judges. So many opportunities came to be
as a result of our participation on DWTS, including appearing on Good Morning America, performing at several stars private parties around LA, performing on DWTS in subsequent seasons and making life long friends.