Nastia Liukin for Huffington Post
Time certainly flies when you are learning how to dance. I can hardly believe it has been a week since the premiere! I have had such a blast!
Looking back at my gymnastics career, the thing that I miss the most is to be able to perform in front of a crowd and Dancing with the Stars really takes me back to the competition days as the show has given me the opportunity to be able to do that again. There is truly nothing quite like the feeling of being in front of crowd.
On premiere night, I was pretty nervous before taking center stage on that ballroom floor. After all, as of three weeks ago, I had never danced before and suddenly I was going to do it in front of a crowd and a live television audience! The second that music started, I just lost myself in the dance and like in gymnastics, if you put in the hours of training, muscle memory will take over during the competition as long as you stay calm and know that you are prepared for the performance.
I hope that you all enjoyed our Foxtrot to “New York, New York” — parts of it definitely made me feel like a Rockette! Although it is a challenge for Derek and I to be training in New York and traveling cross-country every week for the show, it has some perks. For instance, being able to rehearse at the legendary Radio City Music Hall (I still have to pinch myself to believe it).
Tonight, we will be dancing the rumba! We have worked really hard and I hope that everyone watching will enjoy it. The theme of the week is “My Jam Monday,” so I am pretty excited to have the opportunity to dance to one of my favorite Ed Sheeran songs, “Thinking Out Loud.”
This past week, I was actually on spring break from NYU, but it still turned out to be a pretty hectic week. I was fortunate enough to travel to Las Vegas this past weekend to host The All Star Games and was able to squeeze in a performance of the Michael Jackson ONE Show by Cirque du Soleil. It was an amazing performance and I left the show feeling so inspired. The creativity that goes into each and every one of the Cirque du Soleil productions is quite unique and all of the performers are incredibly talented. It is just unbelievable what they are able to do! Their talent mixed with Michael Jackson’s classic hits made for such a memorable show.
Now it is our turn to perform — Derek and I will be taking the Dancing with the Stars stage again tonight! One of the aspects of the show that I love the most is that there is always something new happening. Every week presents a new set of challenges to each couple because everyone is doing completely different dances and styles. I am really enjoying being a part of such a charismatic cast this season. Everyone is great and to be totally honest, I am just as excited (as you are at home!) to watch all the performances live.
Derek and I are both looking forward to our performance tonight! I hope we have your continued support! I would love to connect with as many of you as possible via social media so please follow me on Twitter and Instagram and share your thoughts – tag Derek and I, and remember to use our official hashtag #TeamHoughkin to join the larger conversation.
We definitely need your continued support! Derek and I are so appreciative of all your encouragement and votes so please help us stay in the game by voting tonight: 1-855-234-5604 or http://vote-e.abc.go.com/shows/dancing-with-the-stars/vote/season-20.
Until next week America!