Editor's Note: NeNe Leakes (Real Housewives of Atlanta) is competing on season 18 of Dancing With the Stars, and she's blogging about her experience exclusively for E! Online with a new post each Monday.
Oh hunnis, it's a whole new world. On Dancing With the Stars, I'm so totally out of my element. But after week one, I was actually proud of myself for doing something that is not of the norm for me. Some of the people who are currently on the show have previous dance experience and I don't, so I was actually proud of myself for just even getting through it.
I definitely agree with what the judges said. Carrie Ann [Inaba] said to dance tall and don't worry about the height with Tony [Dovolani], don't dance down to his size…I agree with that. And I love that Bruno [Tonioli] called me a sassy sistah. I understand everything they were saying, be light on my feet and all those things. I actually feel I'm not light on my feet, so I'll get it.
The jive. The jive is extremely difficult. The biggest challenge for me this week is really going to be my endurance because of all the hopping and moving around and it's a really quick dance. My endurance is going to play a big part in it because I am winded like hell.
I told Tony that I'm a little bit of a perfectionist so I want to have it perfect this week. Obviously, I won't be able to do that, because I just don't have the background and it takes a lot more training. So we just worked really hard on technique this week. It's not so much the choreography for me, the choreography I can catch, hunnis; it's just the technical part—the hands and the feet—that I have to work on. It's a lot, it really is.
Right now we've been rehearsing twice a day, so we've been doing six hours of rehearsals, just so that I can do it. I told him I was going to get on the treadmill and he said no. He felt like it was really going to tire me out, so we just need to keep rehearsing, keep rehearsing to get through the dance.
My competition. Of the other contestants, Candace [Cameron Bure] surprised me. She doesn't have any dance background and I thought she did well.
If Billy Dee Williams was my granddad and out there on the dancefloor, I would say, "Grandad, go sit down. You don't have to do this." You know, he's 77…I thought he did great for his age because I saw him rehearse and he wasn't as good in rehearsal as he was on show night, so I thought he did well.
Even though Charlie White came out with a 27 on the first run, the standards for him are going to be a lot higher than they are for the other contestants because the judges are going to expect a lot from him. When you come out with a bang like that, I think you always have to give a lot. For me, I have room to grow. Coming out of the gate like that, you don't really have any room to grow.
To my fans...Please tune in! I hope you enjoy the jive. I've got to really work on my endurance to be able to make it through this dance, so pray for me! Don't forget my voting number: 1-800-868-3401.
(As told to Chris Harnick)
Dancing With the Stars airs Mondays, 8 p.m. on ABC.