"Dancing with the Stars" contestant and “The Fosters” star Jake T. Austin is blogging exclusively for ExtraTV.com this season. Check out her latest post below!
Wow! Last night was insane! The first show was really interesting. From the people, to the music, the lights, and the protestors? Yes, there were even protestors. So, buckle up while I take you behind the scenes through the action packed season premiere of “Dancing with the Stars” Season 23!
I have to start by talking about the energy. I could feel it in the air as I entered the lot with my family and paparazzi clambered for the perfect shot. This is all brand new to me, up until now, usually going unnoticed at the local grocery store with maybe the occasional fan photo or autograph, but this was clearly a whole new ball game.
The moment I walked on set, I knew this was like nothing I've ever done before. Everything, as far as my eyes could see, seemed to shimmer and sparkle while the smells of hairspray and competition drifted through the air with a palpable mix of anxiety and excitement. Left and right, were dancers doing precautionary stretches, while others chatted with producers members, getting notes and making last-minute revisions.
The real center of the action was the red room. This is where we hang out before we take the stage. Everyone is running back and forth from costumes, doing interviews, all the while, being reminded of the hysteria taking place just behind the curtain when protestors stormed the dance floor after Cheryl and Ryan's performance.
Meanwhile, Jenna and I kept meeting in any free movement we could find to rehearse near the craft services table covered with some of the best looking food I've ever seen. All of which I was too nervous ever to eat. My heart raced faster as the minutes till our dance drew closer.
Luckily, there were a few familiar faces to put me at ease before we went on, like “Dancing” alum Alfonso Ribeiro along with several of the pros who reminded me of the importance of feeling the music and having fun. I took a deep breath and that was it.
In a flash, it was like our first dance was over in an instant. There are few experiences I can compare to the overwhelming sense of emotion I felt after the dance and the huge feeling of relief when it was finally over. Standing in front of the judges and waiting for that first critique, just terrified of the results. A totally surreal feeling being on that stage for the first time.
After the show was finally over and all the glitter had settled, everyone met at the center of the stage to an amazing round of applause. tWitch, (legendary dancer and husband to “Dancing” pro Allison Holker) even congratulated me on the performance! What a crazy honor it was. I can't wait to get back to rehearsal with Jenna this week to grow and keep getting better.
Watch Jake and Jenna perform on "DWTS" each week at 8 p.m. on ABC.