J.R. & Karina Honor Vets with Dance Lessons


Dancing with the Stars has forever changed the life of former U.S. Army soldier J.R. Martinez, and to celebrate Veterans Day, the DWTS frontrunner is sharing his newfound love for dance with five of his fellow servicemen.

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J.R.'s pro partner Karina Smirnoff was on hand to assist Joseph Gallagher, Linda Bates, Jennifer Boman, Daniel Lennon and Lorena Alvarez in learning the Cha Cha, a dance Martinez and Karina have yet to tackle in the competition.

While the lesson was nowhere near as grueling as the sessions necessary to prepare for a weekly live show, the five caught on with record speed and were clearly gaining a great appreciation for the skill.

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Seeing the group having a blast with the exercise, J.R. pondered a future in teaching his fellow men and women of the military what he'd learned thus far in the competition as a worthwhile activity that can really bring families together as they return home from a long tour of duty. "We think this would be very therapeutic for a lot of troops and a lot of families," explained J.R. "This might be something we'll think about doing later down the road."

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"It's fun," Karina said of her afternoon teaching the Vets. "[Dance] takes your mind off of everything else. In the moment you're doing something as a team, so it brings people closer together."

If you would also like to celebrate the brave men and women who serve our country, visit ServiceNation.org for ideas on how to show your appreciation for those in the military by engaging in service here at home.

Don't miss J.R. on Monday's all-new Dancing with the Stars, only on ABC.