It’s like a big pageant, and the collaborative effort of the costume department is just fantastic. They want to make you look good, and they do their best to tailor it to the personality of the performer. So that part’s a blast. Obviously, I have a lot of old Hollywood inspirations, but they almost don’t translate because some of the things you imagine aren’t that danceable. I wanted to wear different types of hairpieces and ornaments, and you can’t because they’ll poke your partner in the face. So a lot of thought goes into all of this.
Everybody is really supportive, no matter where I go. I’ve never gotten this many emails, and people calling from 20, 30 years ago going, "Congratulations! We’ll be rooting for you!" I feel a responsibility to represent and pull it off, to show that I can get it together and have fun with it. I really want to make it my own, to have my personality fly out of it. But it’s hard to have a personality when you’re looking down at your feet all the time worrying, oh, f***, how do I count that out? What’s the next step?