Paralympic snowboarder Amy Purdy has been impressing Dancing with the Stars’ judges with her dancing skills and against-all-odds story since week one, but on Monday night the inspirational athlete surprised even herself when she performed the salsa with her partner switch up pro Mark Ballas.
“Literally this was the first time I realized I could move my body that way on my own,” says Amy, who showed off some serious hip action on the dance floor. “It was because we tried these different feet. And they’re made of wood, it’s not like they’re these awesome feet. They’re made of wood and they put me on the balls of my feet the entire time. I just basically decided to not wear a shoe because going on my heels kind of takes my hip motion away and I realized staying on the balls of my feet I could actually get down.”
Mark, who usually dances with Candace Cameron Bure, was thrilled to have the chance to work with Amy for the week, and really happy he was there to witness this breakthrough in her dancing ability.
“This is one of my favorite weeks I think I’ve ever had on the show,” he says. “It was such a new challenge and such an amazing person to work with, overcoming the obstacles but having fun with it at the same time. And it was experimental—there were a lot of firsts for Amy this week, like complete independence in certain moves and not as much hold in certain moves and then complete hold in certain moves. We were calling it stabilize and rubberize. There were movements where she had to feel loose. I really enjoyed it.”
In fact, apparently there were so many great moments during Amy and Mark’s rehearsals the two are kind of bummed their behind-the-scenes package didn’t include more of the lighter stuff.
“The package didn’t really reflect, in my opinion, the journey of the week,” says Mark. “The first day, of course, there were things we had to figure out like which set of feet we were going to use, we went through five sets of feet. Then we had to figure out balance and connection. And then figuring out there were these moves she could do on her own. She didn’t need me. The first time she figured out she could drop and move her hips, that was a first, and they didn’t show it. I was kind of pissed off at the edits.”
What did you think of Amy and Mark’s salsa? Tell us in the comments or tweet @OKMagazine.