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Nancy Kerrigan Blogs About Learning To Samba From Ricky Martin, Importance Of A Tight Schedule While On DWTS

By Nancy Kerrigan, Two-Time Olympic Figure Skating Medalist | April 04, 2017, 12:44 p.m. (ET)

Nancy Kerrigan and partner Artem Chigvintsev rehearse their samba before the third episode of season 24 of "Dancing with the Stars."


Nancy Kerrigan won figure skating bronze and silver at the 1992 and 1994 Olympic Winter Games. Follow along as she blogs for TeamUSA.org each week during her journey on season 24 of “Dancing with the Stars.”

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Who knew "Vegas Week" included a trip to Vegas?! But it did and we met Ricky Martin, who gave us a few tips on performing to his song “Shake Your Bon-Bon.”

His band was amazing so if you get a chance to see him perform, I would recommend it.

One of the things I have learned after three weeks on “Dancing with the Stars” is that every day is busy and every hour needs to be well planned. If your schedule isn't solid, the continuous stream of rehearsals, fittings, interviews and meetings can sneak up on you and you find a day has gone by without making enough time for eating, taking care of your body and sleeping. So when a wind and sand storm rolled through Las Vegas during our trip, it threw a monkey wrench into the week.

Fortunately, the DWTS staff was able to reroute us and find a studio in Las Vegas where we could rehearse but there isn't a lot of margin for things going wrong so spending an unplanned night in Las Vegas could have turned into a much bigger problem.

Back in LA, we continue to work hard but so is everyone else. And for once I actually ran into some of the other celebrities, getting a chance to have breakfast with Bonner (Bolton) and Nick (Viall) and also doing a "show and tell" with Simone (Biles), Sasha (Farber), Nick and Peta (Murgatroyd). It's helpful to hear how everyone else is doing because this is definitely not easy!

After a long week of rehearsals, the weekend is when things really seem to kick into gear. On Saturday we learned a group opening. On Sunday we ran our number for the cameras ("blocking") so they have time to figure out how best to cover it on television and I worked on some of the Samba movements as well as incorporating a couple of backup dancers for the first time in one of my numbers.

Perhaps the hardest thing about all of this is some of the intricate moves that these dances require to create a finished look. In skating, I am used to doing some "ice acting" but the focus is more on the jumps and spins. On the dance floor there are a lot of technical elements but many of them are directly tied to the hip, head and hand extension movements, which add to the dance but means you have to get that much more into character.

Sunday was another long day with a group rehearsal for the Vegas opening but I felt good going into Monday knowing that I had an early call to get ready to SAMBA!

After hair and makeup and a couple of run-throughs, it was time for dress rehearsal. Finally, we were dancing later in the show which most people think is good but I wasn't so sure.

There is something to be said for being warmed up and going right out to perform. Waiting around can be complicated. You cool off, have to occupy yourself.

And that is exactly what happened in dress rehearsal. I missed a couple of steps and as a result, was pretty nervous before the show.

But then in the show it all came together and we had an exciting performance which was a thrill. The judges’ comments were amazing and getting the first 9 from Len was very cool.

So this week was very satisfying and allows me to move on to Week 4 where we will dance the foxtrot.

More to learn... stay tuned!!