Mark Ballas has spoken out about his Dancing With the Stars partner Lindsey Stirling’s rib injury.
The 31-year-old violinist was brought to tears as she dealt with the pain of her injury on Monday night’s episode of the ABC series, on which the pair performed a paso doble to her song “Roundtable Rival.”
“I am not going to lie -- she is in a bit of pain,” Ballas told ET after the performance. “We are blessed that the x-ray didn’t show any break or fracture. But definitely some muscle issues in there and she has to rest now, ice it [and] take care of herself.”
“If I have to bench her a bit this week, we will, but the fact that she got out there tonight was super-impressive,” Ballas continued. “All day she was like, ‘I don’t want to let down the fans, I don’t want to let anybody down, I don’t want to let down my team. I want to go out there and do it.’ I was really impressed -- that was a hard routine to do with a back injury.”
Ballas said he had wanted to do a Day of the Dead-themed performance for a long time, and added that Stirling refused to make modifications to their rehearsed routine just because she had an injury.
Having battled physical setbacks himself during his career, Ballas knows all too well how hard it is to get out on the dance floor when you’re not feeling 100%.
“It's hard, but it is all mindset, unless you are just so done that there is no coming back -- which I have been in that situation before as well,” the 31-year-old dance pro shared. “But the great thing about this show is that we have incredible fans that keep us going. Lindsey wanted to get out there for them and this was so important to her. She is working so hard and she’s got a shot at this. I just want to make sure she is taking care of her body.”
Injuries aside, Ballas said the pair will continue to “keep pushing” boundaries in their quest for the mirror ball trophy.
“We keep trying to be creative, we keep pushing the boundaries,” he said. “Lindsey and I have a great time together. Our chemistry is so fun in rehearsals, we laugh a lot, we've just got to make sure that she is healthy now and just keep pushing the envelope and entertaining the fans.”