For the 17th season of Dancing With the Stars, professional dancer Tony Dovolani will take In Touch readers along his incredible journey by providing a behind the scenes look at DWTS and reflecting on his performance. This week, he is talking about what it is like to work with his latest partner, Leah Remini and how her confidence is making her shine!
WEEK NINE! I'm actually going to stop saying, “I can't believe we made it this far.” I'm feeling really calm this week and that's a new feeling. At this point there are no losers; if you've made it to the quarterfinals everything else we do is just a bonus.
Coming off a successful evening like last week gave us fuel for the next couple of weeks. The fact that Cher got the message in our dance (how we tried to re-create a defining moment in her life with Sonny) and the fact that she loved it really meant a lot. We also ended up winning the whole dance challenge! Oh and I also got to dance for Cher, and she personally requested me! Calling that a bucket list item is an understatement – it’s Cher! It really was a special performance for me.
At the beginning of the week I always ask Leah, “How difficult do you want me to make this?” Now it's not a question; she's expecting me to make it difficult. The workload has doubled, but for some reason Leah has bought into this whole two dances thing. In fact she asked me, “What am I going to do when the show is over? I'm used to dancing every day.”
I told her I'd keep her dancing and she replied, “You had better!” I see a whole new confidence from Leah and that’s something we always hope people accomplish while doing the show, so it's nice to be a part of a journey that accomplished that.
And she's looking good! I’ve noticed that her clothes are a lot tighter and she is feeling good about herself. It's a great feeling to see your student blossom. Leah actually insists on not stepping on a scale, but she did say the show has changed her body quite a bit and she's had to change her wardrobe completely. She’s walking tall; not that shy anymore and she's feeling good about stuff.
She's really attacking things now and that's a huge difference. Before she’d get insecure and a little scared before a show. Now it's the other way around and she attacks things really hard.
On Monday, we danced a regular tango and a jive with Henry Byalikov. The Jive could scare people but in this case Leah was really excited about it and we chose Henry because he and I have a history and we danced together with Melissa. I don’t want to spoil too may surprises for next week, but I know Leah is going to wow the crowd once again. Can’t wait for you all to see what we have in store!
Wish us luck!