Davis, White bring Disney magic to dance floorOlympic champs not letting exhausting travel schedule slow them down
It has been an intense 2-1/2 weeks for Olympic gold medalists Meryl Davis and Charlie White. The golden duo has criss-crossed the country multiple times to rehearse for and participate in both Stars on Ice and Dancing with the Stars.
"It's pretty much been the craziest schedule I've ever had in my life," White said. "But we're having fun with it. We're traveling so much; there's really no time to rest. There's barely time to eat. And we're making the most of it. How much we're loving it is really coming through in our performances both on the ice and when we're performing on Monday nights for Dancing with the Stars."
For example, after a four-hour rehearsal in Los Angeles on Wednesday, they headed to the airport for a flight to the East Coast. There, they'll do Stars on Ice shows Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and then head back to Los Angeles. Rehearsal time with their dance partners will take place each day before they hit the ice.
After last week's partner switch-up, Davis was reunited with Maksim Chmerkovskiy this week. White returned to the dance floor with Sharna Burgess. This was Disney week, with the celebrities and their professional partners performing to music from movie musicals made by the beloved film studio.
White and Burgess took on an iconic routine from Mary Poppins, an incredibly fast interpretation of "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious." They received three 9's and a 10, the latter of which came from judge Len Goodman. It was the first 10 he has awarded this season.
A portion of the routine included members of the DWTS troupe, with whom they rehearsed for the first time on show day.
"Sharna was able to send videos of what she wanted them to do," White said. "We had two runs when we were camera blocking to show them where they needed to be. We also had to figure out what we were doing on the stage in terms of what directions we were going and how much area we could cover.
"It's been pretty much magic so far, and that was appropriate since it was Disney week."
Separate from his routine with Burgess, White also did a solo, recreating a bit of Dick Van Dyke's dance with animated penguins for a bumper (the short pieces going in and out of commercials).
"That honestly might have been the most stressful because I can't see them," White said. "That's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I wanted to make the most of it. I worked hard to get the routine. I tried to do Dick Van Dyke proud."
Davis and Chmerkovskiy received four 9's for their light-hearted but technically difficult samba set to music from The Jungle Book. Guest judge Donny Osmond, season nine DWTS champion, said it was "thoroughly entertaining."
Next week's theme is "party anthems." Davis and Chmerkovskiy will perform a tango; White and Burgess will do the cha cha. Since he received criticism for his lack of hip action in the rumba, White said he is going to try to get them going this time around.
"Party anthem week will be about bringing that party, that groove to everyone at home, and making them want to get up and dance," said White, who admitted he and girlfriend Tanith Belbin have been known to hit the dance floor at parties.
On the ice, at the Stars on Ice shows, Davis and White are in sync as always, performing for audiences that shower them with appreciation for their Olympic accomplishments. At the post-show meet-and-greets, fans lavish them with praise for their dance moves.
"We tell them, 'Please don't forget to vote,'" White said. "We're having a great time enjoying the moment with all the fans."
Despite the hectic schedule and demanding travel, Davis and White are relishing the dancing experience.
"The learning process is part of what's made it so enjoyable," White said. "Having a better understanding of what goes into ballroom dancing and what goes into this kind of production on television.
"Each week, I feel like we have renewed vigor," he added. "We're excited to keep dancing, keep learning, keep living in the moment, enjoying and taking it all in."