"Life is relative. Happiness is perspective."
Bet you didn't expect your Tuesday to start with that kind of advice from Dancing with the Stars pro Val Chmerkovskiy, but here we are.
Val and his partner Victoria Arlen made quite the splash in last night's premiere, and it was only partly because of their hot pink outfits and their very respectable 19/30 first week score. Victoria only learned to walk a year ago after being paralyzed for the past 10 years, and now she's dancing on DWTS without being able to feel her legs.
"I think everything presented a challenge," Victoria told us after the premiere. "I think the key is, you know, I can't feel my legs, so not worrying about where my legs are and trusting Val, because he's like, give me a frame, give me your posture, and we'll get your legs to go where they need to go."
"Every day is a challenge, but every day is an awesome opportunity to grow, and for me as a teacher to figure out a different way of explaining a step, as a choreographer to figure out movement that can be accomplished within the time taht we have, and keep building on that," Val added. "But ultimately we have such a blast. Every little thing of progress is such a celebration for us and you know, life is relative, happiness is perspective, and we have an awesome perspective."
(Important question: Is Val available for hire as a therapist??)
While Victoria says she could never have imagined herself on Dancing with the Stars, it was somewhat of a goal of hers when she was little, along with another seemingly impossible accomplishment.
"I've been a fan of the show since I was little. When the show first aired, I told my mom nonchalantly that I was going to be on the show, but I also told her when I was five that I was going to win a gold medal, so she was like, we're just putting it on this really fun sparkly list and we'll see what happens," the gold medal-winning former paralympian said. "And then obviously never foresaw what would take place after that."
Dancing with the Stars airs Mondays (and Tuesdays starting next week) at 8 p.m. on ABC.