Charlie White and Meryl Davis were eight and nine, respectively, when they first had to hold hands and gaze into each other’s eyes.
“It was strange,” White said. “At that age the opposite sex has cooties and you avoid them at school.”
Seventeen years, and an Olympic gold medal later, this is even stranger: the most decorated ice dancers in American history have split up, at least when it comes to dancing the cha cha.
With new partners for the first time since they were eight and nine, White and Davis competed against each other Monday on Season 18 of Dancing With the Stars.
After Davis handled the cha cha with ease, along with partner pro Maksim Chmerkovskiy, White said, “I wouldn’t expect anything less.
“Was it weird he wasn’t here with you?” new co-host Erin Andrews asked Davis. No, Davis said, because they both view their dance partners as instructors. “We still feel like we’re going through this together,” she said.
White, along with partner Sharna Burgess, had the best score of the night – 27 out of a possible 30, three points ahead of Davis.
So as ice dancers, do White and Davis have an unfair advantage? “I think there’s a performance aspect we’re comfortable about,” White said, adding that the movement is all new.
This season seems more like Dancing With the Sports Stars, with three other athletes also competing.