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Johnson to Waltz through Week Five of 'Dancing'
(113 votes, average 4.88 out of 5)

Preparing to perform the Viennese waltz on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" Monday, Olympic gold medalist Shawn Johnson told IG that mastering this "totally different" dance style is an enjoyable challenge.

"Every week it seems we're starting from zero again, because they give you the complete opposite of what you did," said Johnson, who is entering the fifth week of competition with her partner, Mark Ballas. "So it's kind of hard to change that fast, but I love it. I love the challenge of learning something new. This week is totally different from the waltz the first week and the foxtrot the third week. It's a totally different style. It's been pretty challenging so far, but we're working really hard at it."

Thus far in the competition, Johnson and Ballas have danced the slow waltz, foxtrot, salsa and Lindy Hop. The differences between the first week's slow waltz and Monday's Viennese waltz are subtle but unique, Johnson said.

"The Viennese waltz is a lot faster, and there are a few different steps," she said. "It's more about picking up the pace and staying in hold, and making sure all of your footwork is in place. It's been pretty hard to do all those controlled movements at a fast pace."

Johnson said she was surprised that the judges did not respond more favorably to the couple's Lindy Hop last Monday, which included a few gymnastics tricks.

"I was a little shocked," said Johnson, the 2007 world all-around champion and 2008 Olympic balance beam gold medalist. "Ever since the beginning, everyone's been asking us, 'When are you going to put gymnastics in? When are you going to do tricks and stuff?' This was probably the one opportunity we had to take advantage of that. We had fun with it, and we put in as much as we could. We also did all the basic Lindy steps. We had a great time, and it was the best we had performed it. I wasn't disappointed with the scores. I was just disappointed that they didn't enjoy it, because that is what we work for."

Johnson and Ballas are among nine couples who remain in the competition. Viewers will have until 30 minutes after Monday's show to phone in their votes, and until noon Eastern time on Tuesday to vote online. Johnson's and Ballas's phone line is 800-868-3409. AT&T customers can text votes for Johnson and Ballas to 3409.

When Johnson and Ballas perform the Viennese waltz on Monday, Johnson said she hopes to emotionally engage viewers.

"We try to do something different every week, but our biggest goal this week with the Viennese waltz is trying to incorporate the lyrical side," she told IG. "It's really expressive and you show emotion. Considering that, in gymnastics, you're supposed to keep that in, I want to show the crowd what it is that I actually feel and can express to them."

External Link: Dancing with the Stars

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