updated 10/21/2013 AT 1:15 PM ET
•originally published 10/21/2013 AT 2:00 PM ET
Karina Smirnoff is a former Dancing with the Stars champion, winning the coveted mirror-ball trophy in season 13 with J.R. Martinez. The longtime competitor will blog for PEOPLE.com about competing with former High School Musical star Corbin Bleu in season 17.
It was so great to be a part of Corbin’s dedication to his sister last week. The reaction was so touching. I know it meant a lot to her.
I’m so stoked for tonight’s dance. We’re doing a Viennese waltz to the theme song from a hit HBO show. The whole package is pretty much one of the top two characters of that show and their love story. It’s an incredible dance. The characters start out hating each other and then they fall in love.
It’s pretty incredible how in sync Corbin and I are. We finish each other’s sentences. Even our stomachs growl in sync. I have an amazing connection with him.
I’m very, very happily surprised because sometimes when I would suggest people for the show, they end up not being aware of how much work the show requires or they didn’t have the availability in their schedule. But with Corbin, he was my dream partner and I’m living my dream right now. I love every second of our routines. It’s just so natural.
I tell him thank you for being so normal. There’s no weird drama. He’s great. This season, people are cool. There’s always drama on Dancing with the Stars, but this season there’s no stupid drama or cases of people not getting along.