Being out with Covid last week and not being able to dance on the live show really made me realize how much I love doing Dancing With the Stars and how much I will miss it when it’s over.
I’ve spent the last week alone in quarantine in an apartment made available to me by the show’s production company, Shinawil, so it was great to finally get back to the real world on Thursday.
Another good news was that I was able to move back in with my grandparents in Dundrum. Before I had Covid I used to get up early to have breakfast with my grandma and we both spent that time chatting and laughing so it was nice when she told me she was delighted to have her breakfast partner to have with you again.
One of the great things that has come out of this show for me is that I’ve been able to spend more time with my family. Chatting with my Aunt Carol on Friday and hanging out a lot with my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins over the past few months has really made me realize just how much of the stuff I’ve missed over the last 15 years because of my cycling Career.
But when I got back on the dance floor on Thursday, my dance partner Karen was missing. She’d also tested positive a few days after me, so I spent Thursday and Friday dancing around the studio with her surrogate — a brush handle that helped keep my back straight. Although the brush touch was much softer than Karen, she spent a lot of time viewing my choreography via Zoom from the comfort of her sofa, so I could still have her soft tones in my ear if I got my foot wrong.
Luckily we got to do the same dance this week that we were supposed to do last week, the tango. Luckily I managed to get two decent days of tango before I got sick last week and by the end of that second day I had actually managed to learn the basic steps, although my routine definitely needed polishing.
However, once I was able to go through the basic steps, I had a video of them to watch while in isolation, and I also found myself browsing YouTube clips of the tango to try and get all sorts of tips from the best professional dancers.
video of the day
Since her isolation period ended just in time for dress rehearsals, Karen and I decided to get up early yesterday and spend a few hours at her dance studio beforehand.
It’s amazing the bond you form with someone during the show, and even though we hadn’t seen each other in over a week, when Karen and I hit the dance floor together, it felt like we had never been apart.
The only symptoms of Covid I had last week were a slight cough and a bit of a headache, both of which went away after a few days, but I have to admit that after three training runs in the gym yesterday I felt more tired than normal. Otherwise, rehearsals went pretty well considering how long we had to prepare.
After a very quiet week it was great to see the smiling faces of the other attendees and crew again today and once we were changed I had a good chat with Matthew and Jordan ahead of the live show today.
Tonight I had two family friends in the audience supporting me.
Paul and David Tansey have helped me and my father throughout our cycling careers. I bought my first pair of David cycling shoes at his bike shop, Joe Daly’s in Dundrum and have been going there ever since.
Paul, a physical therapist and chiropractor, has always tended to my aches and pains whenever I was home. Even now he’s shrugging his shoulders and everything else I strained learning to dance so it was great to see her and her wives in the audience tonight.
Since starting this show, I’ve found that the adrenaline rush you get from finishing a dance in front of the cameras and live audience every Sunday night is very similar to what you get from winning a bike race . Every week after that, my palms are sweaty, I’m out of breath, and my heart is racing no matter how good or bad my dancing is.
I think tango went pretty well for me tonight, but the level here is so high now that even though I got my highest scores ever from the judges, I was still in the last two afterwards and was extremely nervous of having to face a dance -off with one of the others.
Waiting for the result of the audience vote was so nerve wracking again!
After being away from the show last week I realized how badly I wanted to keep dancing, improve and stay as long as possible so I was doubly nervous. To calm the nerves, Karen and I told each other that we loved tango so much that if we were among the last two, we would at least do it again.
Amazingly, we were called as the first couple to be rescued and immediately the palpitations and nervousness turned to excitement and dizzying joy as we high-fived each other like schoolchildren who had been given a homework card for the week.
I know the names are called out randomly and not in the order of those with the most votes, so I really have to thank the public for saving my skin again this week. A sincere thank you to every single person who voted for me again this week.
However, when Billy and Jordan competed in the dance-off, there was always only one winner. Billy was brilliant on the show, the life and soul of the party and a real breath of fresh air wherever he goes. But competing against Jordan is a big challenge for anyone as he is such a born dancer.
However, people have supported each other so much across the series, from the contestants to the pros to the crew, that you almost forget this is a competition until someone gets voted out again, no matter how many times it happens.
I came to this show as a challenge for myself after retiring from cycling, something that would throw me in at the deep end and teach me a few things about myself.
That I’m still here in just three weeks and still splashing around to keep my head above water is amazing and I couldn’t have imagined dancing so much a few months ago. I know I’m not the best dancer here but all I can do is keep trying to get better and hopefully I can stay here a little bit longer.
https://www.independent.ie/style/celebrity/celebrity-news/nicolas-roches-dwts-diary-as-soon-as-karen-and-i-hit-the-dance-floor-together-it-felt-as-if-we-had-never-been-apart-41417780.html Nicolas Roche’s DWTS diary: “When Karen and I hit the dance floor together, it felt like we had never been apart.”