Jul 23rd


The new season of Dancing with the Stars has returned to channel 7 on Sunday evenings as of last week, it’s fare to say this season will be my biggest challenge yet! and one that I am really looking forward too in many ways.

In the past 6 years since I started working with the BBC production of Dancing with the Stars around the world I have never been partnered with an amputee before let alone one that is pregnant! I think that’s a first for any of the productions globally.



Both being a little nervous to say the least about commencing our training period, as this was UN familiar ground for the two of us, Kelly hadn’t danced since loosing her leg and I having never worked with a robotic leg before!! Getting to know Kelly throughout the first few weeks really showed me how determined this young lady is and why she is a Paralympic gold medalist. Her commitment and drive to succeed in what she does is very clear and once we figured out what was possible on the first few days of rehearsals there was no turning back. Even with the news of a baby on the way! I can’t help but be in ore of this young lady (now my dance partner). Each day I’d come in during rehearsals adding different groups and dance steps from all of the various dances that you get to see on the show during the season and if the steps wouldn’t fit on us, which happened a bit, there would always be a solution thankfully. We got to go the other way!! Hahaha generally. I really have relished the opportunity to create on Kelly as being a full leg amputee and having No knee, No ankle and No foot movement on the right side is defiantly restricting but once understanding how the robotic leg works with its resistance and computerized technology I have slowly started building a repertoire of steps you will hopefully get to see along the way.



So our first dance was contemporary and after getting some ideas together of what Kelly was capable of doing we received our first song choice for the season “Let it Go” by James Bay, A great track and a beautiful song to dance to. We also were lucky enough to have had the pleasure in working with Paul Malek for a few hours with this piece as well. Because if you haven’t noticed I am not a contemporary dancer! Ballroom all the way baby! and since we have these new genres on the show its great to be able to get the right information on what is needed.

Overall I couldn’t be happier with the way Kelly got out there and performed her first routine, she did everything I asked and more! She handled the nerves like a pro. Being use to the big stages out on the track field must have helped. But who am I kidding, this is nothing compared to what she has had to face in her life thus far!


The judge’s comments were all very encouraging and gave us plenty to work with for this coming week, I though we could have scored 7’s across the board but I’ll take 6, 6, 7, 7, as it gives us plenty of room to improve!!!!




Until next week, Happy Dancing, see you Sunday…


Damian Whitewood



Professional Dancer

Damian Whitewood


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