Dancing with the Stars

Dancing with the Stars – Week 1-6 💃✨

Hello everyone! Welcome back to my blog, thank you for being here 💞

I know a lot of you have been asking for me to fill you in on all things ‘Dancing with the Stars’ and the initial plan was to do a post a week however, with the time it took to get the website live again and the very limited spare time I have each week I thought it might be a better idea if I do one post bringing you all up to speed on the last 6 weeks, it will be a long one, so make sure you have a nice space to sit down with a cup of tea and catch up. As I write this, we are preparing to dance our ‘American Smooth’ on Sunday 19th February so make sure to tune into RTEOne at 6:30pm.

Week 1 – Samba

So lets start with the WHY. Why did I want to take part in this season’s DWTS? As I mentioned in my first blog post ‘Welcome Back’ I found myself having some spare time after recruiting my new CEO to run the day to day of my businesses. DWTS is a completely new challenge for me, totally out of my comfort zone. I mentioned that I did some Irish Dancing back in the day, but never anything to this level, so I was excited to try something completely new to me. I was assigned to a wonderful Pro Partner, Michael Danilczuk, who had been a finalist in Poland’s DWTS the year prior. Michael was one of the first dancers in Poland, to perform live on TV as part of a same sex couple and also competed and won the Greatest Dancer competition in the UK and having looked over a few of his videos, I knew I was in excellent hands.

I didn’t really know what to expect. Of course, I have done live TV before, so being around camera’s wasn’t really that daunting however, preparing to go on live TV and dance did make me slightly nervous and looking back now, its all kind of a blur.

The first live show was on the 8th January 2023 and we danced the Samba. It was amazing! Myself and Michael had so much fun learning this dance and I was so happy that I was able to get out on the dancefloor and give it socks for my first live performance!

Show days are FULL ON! Call time is 8am and you’re straight into hair and makeup. You do a full dress rehearsal on Saturday and then on Sunday morning you do another dress run, a pre-show live rehearsal at 2.30pm on Sunday and then you have the show at 6.30pm.

You can watch our Samba here:

Week 2 – Viennese Waltz

Week two was when I really started to feel nervous. I think the adrenaline of week one really overtook my emotions and it didn’t register properly. We had a slip in the dress rehearsal on the Saturday. When you’re rehearsing during the week you’re in your gym gear but when you are doing a dress rehearsal on the Saturday its the first time you wear your dress. Michael slipped on my dress during a lift and the two of us fell to the floor. That was the first time I think I realised ‘woah this could actually not go according to plan and happen on live TV’.

On the Sunday I was still very nervous after the Saturday fall however we got really high scores this night and I was so impressed with judges comments. Looking back on it now I realised that Ballroom is an area I feel more at ease and I enjoy ballroom more. Latin is very fun, its very high tempo and very sassy and I struggle with trying to be sexy. I love ballroom because I can be elegant, show my emotions and enjoy it more as its at a slower pace.

We went out and danced our Viennese Waltz and it went really well. I really loved this dance as I think ballroom really suits me. Thankfully there was no slips on the dress and we got a really good reaction from the judges.

You can watch our Viennese Waltz here:

Week 3 – Jive

This was the week the nerves really hit me. Firstly allow me to say, I didn’t forget the steps! I’ve seen a few online articles claiming that and I just wanted to put that straight! As I explained, I missed the beat and then lost my footing – there was ALOT of work that went into this Jive but it was so fast!

That’s all I will say on that piece. What I want to focus on here is how incredible you guys were in supporting me that week. As I said above, I am in no way a performer. I’ve never danced ‘professionally’ in any capacity (unless you consider a move or two in Wrights Café bar back in the day!🤣) but honestly, this was the hardest week for me in this competition to date and I am still overcoming the fears I unlocked in myself that week. I had worked it up in my head so much the week before ‘what if something goes wrong’ and I really think that’s the kind of mindset I stepped out onto the dancefloor with. But its ok – we got up and we dusted ourselves off. But I want to thank every person who took the time to send me a message and gave me the motivation to step back on that dancefloor on week 4. I really believe we have come a long way since this dance. *Disclaimer: I will say that YouTube have blocked the video of our Jive due to copyright (convenient aye?) but if you head to Instagram you can watch the video of what the Jive should have been on the night of the live show.

Week 4 – Paso Doble

This was a really exciting week. We got to meet Kyra Sorce, who is playing the part of Anita in West Side Story as we were dancing the Paso Doble on Sunday to the song ‘America’. This was such a lovely experience where Kyra gave me such good advice on how to engage the character and really immerse myself in the routine.

Of course I felt nerves, I had to prove myself here following on from week 3, I knew the pressure was on but I just said ‘feck it lets give it socks’ I think the nerves will come each week regardless, because I do genuinely want to do a good job, I just need to learn how to control the nerves better but performing our Paso Doble was amazing, everyone was in such high spirits for Movie Week and it was so fun getting to see everyone in their costumes. Can I just say, the whole production team on Dancing with the Stars is just INCREDIBLE! Did you guys see the production that was put together?! From hair, make up, costumes, cameras, lighting …. Everything involved, huge well done to the whole team.

Now onto the dance! Myself and Michael are very happy with how our performance went, as Brian said, he was worried in the first few seconds if I was there or not but I was just processing everything, putting my nerves aside and telling myself ‘Suzanne you can do this’ and I really am very happy with how it went! I am also so glad that I ‘got back on that horse’ as I said and gave it my best shot.

You can watch our Paso Doble here:

Week 5 – Contemporary Ballroom

This was my favourite dance to date! We were the first couple in the competition to dance Contemporary Ballroom this season and of course it came with some pressure but I really enjoy any style of ballroom and with Contemporary Ballroom, there are no rules. You can do whatever you like. So this was fun! We added some nice lifts and I really loved it.

I was excited to dance Contemporary Ballroom as its quite a vulnerable dance. The idea is that you tell the story through your dance moves. We had put so much work into it and I really felt like I connected with the song and the emotion – and then the judges told me to loosen up some more and let go…. someone tell me how to do this? 🤣

You can watch our Contemporary Ballroom dance here:

Week 6 – Cha Cha Cha

And finally we come to week 6 – the Cha Cha Cha.

Week 6 was dedication week on the show & I dedicated this dance to my wonderful parents, Susan and Damian.

Anyone who has followed me for quite some time will know how much my family means to me and it meant a lot to me to be able to dedicate this dance to them to show them how much they mean to me and in celebration of their 40th wedding anniversary this year – what an achievement!

Week 6 also meant nobody left the competition which was lovely! It kind of took some pressure off however, regardless of potential elimination or not, I still really wanted to do a good job. Rory (aka Panti Bliss) was granted immunity from week 7 – congrats to you & Denys! and the whole atmosphere this night was incredible. It was so emotional with lots of (happy) tears and it was really special for us all to celebrate something or someone that means a lot to us.

This was the first kind of dance where I had any type of solo in it and I really enjoyed it, it pushed me a little further outside my comfort zone. It was so fun. I actually felt less nervous this week also, maybe its because I had my parents there watching me, or maybe I am getting a little more confident .. who knows? One thing I do know is that I hope that feeling stays with me each week from now on.

You can watch our Cha Cha Cha here:

Allow me to say thank you so much for reading this blog post and for your support on this journey. I won’t lie, it has been the hardest thing I’ve ever done – but each week I am getting a little more confident and I am loving the whole process. Its thought me a lot, even more than I had expected and I really am so grateful for the experience.

You can tune into Dancing with the Stars each Sunday on RTEOne at 6:30pm.

To vote for myself and Michael you can text Suzanne to 53125 for 60p/60c but please don’t vote until Jennifer and Doireann announce the voting lines are open as your vote won’t count but you may still be charged.

Thank you all for your support so far!

Chat soon xx


1 Comment

  1. Kathleen Gunning
    17 February 2023 / 23:32

    You are smashing the danceing so GLAMOROUS

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