The world saw a brand new side of David Ross this week when he took on a ‘Magic Mike’ routine that Lindsay Arnold created. This week — and every one to follow — Lindsay walks us through what happened behind the scenes.
Read Lindsay Arnold‘s entry on this week, and follow her on Instagram @lindsarnold.
Last week was all about Vegas — it such a fun night! It’s something new on the show so it was pretty cool to do. When I told David [Ross] we were dancing to “Candy Shop” by 50 Cent and it was Magic Mike themed, I honestly think he was about to throw up. He was so shocked, so nervous. I could tell it was a lot for him to take in. For someone who has no experience in this entertainment industry, no experience performing, to all of a sudden be told, ‘Ok now you have to be Magic Mike‘ . . . it’s so far from his natural personality!
He doesn’t take himself too seriously, which is good because I think it made this dance work. At the same time, it was extremely tough for him to consider himself sexy and to take that role seriously and be confident in that. He wasn’t extremely excited about it at first, and honestly that made me nervous. I was hesitant because David is a family guy. He’s married. He has this persona that’s really fun loving and easygoing, and doesn’t read Magic Mike, sex appeal, strip tease. But it was really cool to see him transform and to gain some confidence in himself. Confidence is sexy — if you believe in yourself, people are going to watch that and they’re gonna enjoy it.
It was really important that we worked all week, and for me, to make sure he was comfortable — and not just him, but his wife and kids. I wanted him to be comfortable doing this on national TV and knowing that his wife is watching, his kids are watching, his parents are watching. There were so many things I knew he was hesitant about, so I really wanted to make sure we worked through that.
That’s where the hard part came in; I recognized that it was gonna be a fun dance, but I definitely didn’t want it to be a joke. I wanted people to take David seriously and recognize the work he was putting in. I wanted people to say, ‘Wow, it was funny and entertaining but he was nailing the steps, getting the dance down.’ I always really wanted him to dance with troupe boys and stay on their level. Hearing the judges say he was keeping up with them, was so great. We were able to find a proper balance for that.
During the week, we had a visit by (Chicago Cub) Anthony Rizzo; he came to rehearsal one night. While I was teaching David, Rizzo joined in and they did the dance moves together. I have a video on someone’s phone! I think it was helpful [having him there] to remind David that this supposed to be fun — it’s crazy and tough, but it needs to be fun and you need to let loose and not take yourself too seriously. We also went to visit the Cubs at training. I hadn’t met any of his teammates yet, and it was fun to get the details from them on how he was as a teammate, and I heard nothing but high praise. He really has been such a good role model for them, and I could tell that they really miss him.
I’ve asked a lot of David and I’m very grateful. We got great responses from the judges. I was so proud of him all week, going all in, and I really hoped the judges would commend him for that. It’s cool to see his character dive into this. Our scores were great — we got our first 8s of the season. One of the coolest moments was at the very end of our dance, the applause for David was insane. We thoguht it was gonna stop three times, and it’d keep going. It was just a reminder that we’d both not be here without the fans. We need them in this competition and we appreciate everything they do.
This week will be a little different — well, extremely different. We’re doing a Viennese Waltz. We’re slowing things down and really getting on a more serious and more emotional level. The past few weeks, we’ve seen a fun loving, energetic, outgoing personality , and now we’re going to get more personal. I want to tell the story of his most memorable year through this dance. I’m really excited for America and the judges to see a new side of him. There are so many sides that I’m still seeing! The traveling has been really really hard on us and it is taking a toll, but we’re so motivated to push through. The better David does, the more competitive he gets. This week lit a fire under him. He wants to get better so that we don’t ever go down from here. Right now, we’re on an emotional high!
Keep coming back every week for more from Lindsay!