Amy Purdy Would Absolutely Do 'Dancing With The Stars' Over Again - Read Our Exclusive Interview Now!
We’re just days away from the Dancing With The Stars 10th Anniversary Special and JJJ is just a little bit…okay, VERY excited!
JJJ: What were some of your favorite moments on the show?
Amy Purdy: There are almost too many to list but I would say here are my top 3 favorite memories. 1. The first week and the first show since it overlapped with Sochi. Every time I hear the ‘Counting Stars’ song I think about my experience in Sochi, training for the biggest competition of my life in the mornings and learning the cha cha with Derek [Hough] every night. It was such an exciting magical time and in the moment I felt so blessed to have both opportunities! 2. Dancing our Contemporary Dance to ‘Human’ to say thank you to my dad for donating his kidney to me. Going into the show I thought I would learn the salsa and the cha cha etc. I had no idea that Derek and I would go that deep and share such an emotional experience with the world. This show ended up being so much more than I ever would have imagined, it’s not just a dance show, its life changing. It makes you dig deep and find out who you really are and want to be! 3. All the fun moments with Derek. He really is one of the silliest guys I’ve ever met and you only get so see 1 minute of an entire week in the packages. We had fun experimenting and playing, that really is what it’s all about, figuring out the possibilities!
(Click inside for more of our exclusive interview with Amy…)
JJJ: Can you pick your favorite dance? Why was that one your favorite?
AP: I mean the contemporary I think was by far the most special but there are so many more that are meaningful to me. Our Argentine Tango was one of my favorites! Going into the show I was worried that I wouldn’t look feminine because I couldn’t point my toes and when we got the AT I knew we needed to figure something out! So, I used the swimming feet that I used in the contemporary dance that have pointed toes. I’m pretty sure I’m the only person who has ever danced in swimming feet before! Derek liked to incorporate moves in the dance that showcased my athletic ability and although the move where he lowered me to the floor while I sat on the chair may seem simple it was incredibly difficult. It took so much lat and core strength to stay on the chair gracefully while being slowly lowered all the way to the ground and back up. You should try it! It’s not easy! That whole dance to me was so cool it was actually the first time I didn’t sleep the night before because I was so worried I would mess it up. It also was the first time that something clicked in me where I was able to fully enjoy the moment. The minute Derek and I grabbed hands when the music started I became more present than ever, I could hear the audience clap along with the beat and hear the music more clear than ever. From that dance forward I felt my nerves turn into strength and I now feel that I can use that in any performance I do whether its dancing or snowboarding, speaking or acting.
JJJ: What has the show meant to you?
AP: It truly was the most magical experience of my life! At one point it hit me that wow, very few people in the world get to experience this. Working with Derek Hough (one of the best dancer/choreographers in the world), designing costumes, becoming a different character each week. You really have to dig deep to express yourself fully when under so much pressure. It is more than a dance show, it helps you develop skills that you take with you for the rest of your life!
JJJ: Looking back, what made you want to join in the first place?
AP: I wanted to see what was possible! To be honest I had major reservations at first, my boyfriend and manager really talked me into it. I was so nervous that I wouldn’t be able to move my legs fast enough or graceful enough to keep up, but ultimately I was curious enough to want to figure it out. I actually put a lot of pressure on myself going into it because I felt I was setting a standard, from what I knew something like this had never been done before, dancing in a competition for 3 months straight with two prosthetic legs and I wanted to figure out what the possibilities were. I didn’t want to fail because I knew so many little kids with prosthetic legs were looking up to me. It was a lot of pressure but at the same time so much fun! I came out a changed person.
JJJ: Is there anything you haven’t told your partner? What would you like to say to them now?
AP: I’ve probably told him everything already! I’m a pretty open, honest person and certainly have expressed to him what he and this whole experience has meant to me. I can’t think of anything I haven’t already told him. I actually wrote about my experience with him in the last chapter of my book “ On My Own Two Feet”.
JJJ: What was the biggest hurdle for you to get over during your time on the show?
AP: It’s hard to round it down to just one. I think I battled with myself a lot, because I used to have legs, I know what certain moves were supposed to look like and feel like, I could visualize in my mind but when I would go to do it sometimes the mechanics of my legs wouldn’t allow me to. I think that was the most frustrating part and that’s where I really relate to Noah. I also battled with injury towards the end of the competition. Because I was balancing on the balls of my feet the majority of the time (by the way the human foot has over 150 bones and muscles to balance and I had just 1 piece of wood or carbon fiber) I ended up really overworking my back muscles to the point of them going into spasms and pulling out ribs. I have been through a lot in my life and those were the most painful moments I have ever experienced and what made it harder is that you can’t take a break to rehab. The last 3 weeks of the show I had a chiropractor in the studio working on me throughout the day and on show days he would work on me between stage practices. At night I would sleep on ice packs. But to make it to the end of the show, I really feel that I can literally work through anything now.
JJJ: If you could do it all again, would you?
AP: Of course! I loved going to the studio every day, sweating, moving my body challenging myself and having this amazing partner to enjoy the experience with. Me and Maria Menounos one of Derek’s past partners were just laughing and saying to each other “now how do we make this our day job?” But if you’re asking if I would come back for an all-star season, I would need to see where I am in my life at that moment. I have a clothing line with Element Eden coming out that I am currently working on that launches in the fall. I’m really excited about it and I was very inspired by my time on the show and the comfortable yet stylish outfits we would rehearse in. I love throwing myself into creative projects.
JJJ: What are you most excited about for the anniversary special?
AP: Seeing all the friends I made while on the show and meeting new ones! It really feels like a family and the celebrities that I haven’t met feel like long lost cousins, everyone is so excited to see each other, I wish we could a reunion like this every year! Plus….Some of the most magical experiences of my life took place in that ballroom. To be able to go back and live it all again really is a dream come true!
JJJ: Are you watching the show now? Who are you rooting for?
AP: I am watching it! I have turned into a huge fan especially because I made friends with so many of the pros and know what each of the celebrities are going through! There are so many people that I’m rooting for this season that it’s hard to just pick one team! Rumor is amazing, there is something very grounding about her and I get excited to watch her dance each week. Noah of course I am rooting for, he is doing amazing and I can relate to the challenges he faces! He’s a hero and a fighter and every week I want to see him excel. Riker is so so fun to watch, I find myself after each dance saying out loud, “Damn that was good!” Nastia is so flawless and flexible, I love seeing what she brings to the table each week! I totally ship Kym and Robert! Willow is just a doll and I love Mark’s choreography. So with all that said, I don’t think there is just one team I can root for!
Tune in for the Dancing With The Stars 10th Anniversary Special airing Tuesday, April 28th @ 8PM ET/PT on ABC!