Lindsey Stirling

Lindsey Stirling receives season’s high score on ‘Dancing With the Stars’ after tough breakup

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Eric McCandless, American Broadcasting Companies, Inc.Lindsey Stirling and Mark Ballas dance the jive on ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars.”

“Dancing With the Stars” duo Lindsey Stirling and Mark Ballas received nines across the board from judges on Monday night. Earning 27 out of 30 points for their jive to “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” by Wham!, the couple’s score was the highest of the season.

According to Stirling, though, the lighthearted jitterbug number was actually inspired by some emotional lows in her personal life.

“It’s been a rough couple of weeks,” she said before the dance. “My relationship of a year and a half came to an end a week ago. It’s been hard to push through all this while feeling a lot inside.”

So, when the theme for the show ended up being “Guilty Pleasures Night,” Ballas knew just what to choreograph. Showing up to rehearsal in footie pajamas with an extra set for Stirling, Ballas planned their upcoming number around the idea of spending a relaxing day at home.

Stirling, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said the dance also reflected her desire to have a home and family of her own.

“As much as this dance is about my guilty pleasure of being in my pj’s, it’s also about what I want. I want to someday have a home with a family where we can dance around in our pj’s together. To me, that’s what this dance is about.”

The performance showed the couple waking up in matching pajamas and dancing across the floor in yellow high-tops, retro lighting jazzing up the stage.

“Well, if I’m dreaming, don’t wake me up, because I thought that was great: lots of jive content, lots of fun, lots of wham and energy,” said judge Len Goodman. “That, so far — the dance of the season.”

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Carrie Ann Inaba also gave high marks for the creative choreography and loose swing style Stirling and Ballas delivered on stage.

“Tonight, that’s going to go down as one of my favorite numbers of all time,” she said. “I think you’re [Stirling] getting stronger. Not only is your soul getting stronger, but your body is getting stronger. And every time you hit the floor, the dance is getting stronger.”

Following the performance, Stirling added that while her training in ballroom has been minimal, she’s enjoyed the experience so far.

“I’ve actually never had any dance training, especially never anything like this before,” she said. “And we just work our tails off. He works me really hard, but I love it, I genuinely am having the time of my life out there and I think that’s what makes it work.”

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