updated 05/10/2011 AT 2:00 PM ET
•originally published 05/10/2011 AT 2:30 PM ET
Ralph Macchio isn’t letting an injury bring him down.
“From the fans’ perspective, from my perspective, and my relationship with Karina [Smirnoff] and my family, [this experience has] been golden,” he told PEOPLE backstage after Monday night’s show. “Obviously, if you don’t like your partner, I don’t know how you do this. But we have something special.”