The Times is pleased to have Amy Purdy, who won a bronze medal in snowboardcross at the 2014 Paralympics, guest-blogging for us while she competes on "Dancing With the Stars" with pro partner Derek Hough. Here are Purdy's thoughts about Week 3 of the competition, which she offered via email.
Q. The footage they showed before your dance was very emotional and had several people in the audience crying. How did you maintain your focus after that was played?
Well, it was an emotional night…actually, it was an intensely emotional week, that's for sure, but when it came time to dance I was just trying to focus on this beautiful dance that we worked on together and the motivation behind it which was giving gratitude to my family and my dad for their support through my toughest time. Derek and I do these great exercises backstage before going on that help to put us in the right emotional space for our dances. Here I'm the motivational speaker yet he has taught me so much about myself, life and how to harness and channel your energy in a performance direction.
Q. I don't think many casual viewers of the show knew that your father gave you one of his kidneys. Did you try to talk him out of it at all?
No I didn't. Is that mean ? Lol the truth is that my dad was a perfect match almost like a twin which is rare from a parent and once we figured that out we didn't even question it. It had to be done and I am forever grateful for him for his gift.
Q. The competition this season is steep, with Meryl Davis getting 3 10s in Week 3. Do you have time to watch the other celebrities dance while waiting for your turn?
Yes and no. I am watching them, but I'm also mentally preparing for my own dance so I'm not really able to sit back and just take it all in. We dance during the Eastern time broadcast of the show, so when that ends I am able to get back to my trailer and watch a lot of the West Coast broadcast of the show. I love to watch the other dancers and you're right, the competition is incredible. Meryl was amazing this week, her grace on the dance floor is stunning. It's been fun to watch the other dancers progress so much in just the first few weeks that I find it really inspiring. I know everyone is working so hard that it pushes me to continue to give it my all. I'm in it to win it but so is everyone else so it really comes down to just focusing on your own dance and progression throughout the week .
Q. Derek Hough is considered by many to be the best pro dancer on the show. What is it like having him as a partner and how tough an adjustment will it be to work with someone else for a week?
I can't say enough good things about Derek, there just aren't words for how inspired I am by him. He's obviously an incredibly talented dancer, but I'm equally impressed by the creative things he comes up with. The way he helped me express this incredibly important year of my life was genius. I don't know how tough an adjustment it will be to work with a new partner but I am looking at it more as an amazing opportunity to complety jump into something new just as I did when I started the show with Derek. It will be another great challenge and I'm excited to see the process that another pro dancer will take me through in creating next week's dance. It's all a fun experiment and we will see what happens! Although, I can't lie, I'm already missing Derek, we have been together for three weeks straight building trust and supporting each other. He's my partner.
Tonight was an amazing tribute to my Dad, without whom I would not be here, but I also want to give some love to my Mom, who has also been there for me every step of the way. Thanks to P&G for putting together this tribute to her, which you can see here.
Don't forget you can vote online all day Tuesday so vote-vote-vote.