Aly Raisman and Mark Ballas perform their waltz. (Adam Taylor / ABC )
The Times has gymnast Aly Raisman, a two-time Olympic gold medalist at the London Games, guest-blogging while she competes on "Dancing With the Stars." Each week while she competes on the show, Raisman will answer a few questions from Sports Now editor Houston Mitchell and give some insight into the competition. Here are Raisman's thoughts about Week 3, which she offered via email.
You had to dance a waltz this week, which requires you to give the illusion of romance. How hard is that to do with someone you've only known a short amount of time?
It actually wasn't hard to be romantic with Mark! Even though we've only known each other for a short amount of time, we spend so much time together so it feels like I've known him forever. Mark is such a great teacher. I never realized that being a good dancer involves being a good actress! I learned that you have to feel the music, the story, and connect with your partner on the dance floor to create a story.
Counting to six. Memories of math class. People (the judges) giving you grades. Was this whole week just the worst part of high school relived?
Lol ... The past few weeks have been math class all over again. So much counting! Luckily, I've always liked math, so I love the challenge of learning to understand music, and counting.
April is alcohol awareness month, and I understand you have a campaign going to encourage kids to say no to drinking. Tell us a little about that.
Century Council has a program called "Ask, Listen, Learn," and it's all about saying no to underage drinking and yes to a healthy lifestyle. As the oldest of four siblings, I always want to set a good example. I think it is so important for people to be encouraged and to encourage others to make healthy decisions!
I'm sure there are some teenagers out there being pressured to drink to "be cool." If you were able to talk directly to one of those teenagers, what would you say?
I would say to always remember to believe in yourself, and to be yourself. It's important to always set a goal and never, ever give up. Living a healthy lifestyle is so crucial to be successful in life!
Does the pressure of the show get easier or greater the longer you last?
I think it stays the same. I feel like I know what to expect going into each week. The competition is definitely hard, but I love challenges and trying new things. This week is contemporary and it's all about the best year of your life, which for me was 2012 because I went to the Olympics! I want to nail the performance because this week means a lot to me!
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