SOUTHLAKE -- It's nonstop practicing for Melissa Rycroft, who is trying to make sense of the foreign language that is ballroom dancing.
“I don't understand -- 'feet in, knees bent, hips up,'” she said.
But she's happy to be home in Southlake. So is her Dancing partner, Tony Dovolani.
“The first thing I tweeted when I landed in Texas, was 'Wow, it's so beautiful,'" he said. "Remember, I am from Kosovo. I grew watching Dallas, Dynasty, I grew up watching JR, and I know you guys are tired of hearing that. But for me, Dallas has a special place in my heart."
And he's making himself at home, golfing with former Cowboys players between practices and even travelling with Emmitt Smith on vacation.
For Rycroft, the love for a man nicknamed "twinkle toes," seems to be everywhere, even at home.
“Here is the thing: Who does not like Emmitt?" Rycroft said. "I like Emmitt. My husband even said, 'Man, I just love him.' But I said, 'Don't be splitting votes in the household."
Rycroft laughs through it, as after all, this is supposed to be fun.
The one tough spot was leaving her little girl for the first time.
“I think every mom that steps out of mom-mode for the first time, you're trying to balance it all, and you trying not to feel selfish for wanting to do something else,” she said.
“Melissa was always driven" Dovolani said, "but now she has a little girl she is doing this for."
“She'll be with me each time in the green room, and maybe a show or two they'll let her out,” Rycroft said.
And if they do, she'll be on the sidelines cheering with dad, Ty.
“Ty would go out there and put his dancing shoes on if he could," Rycroft said. "He has me do the dances for him at night and he's like, 'Point your toes, make sure your shoulders are back.' I'm like, 'You've already told me you're voting for Emmitt.'”
“He already has a trophy," Dovolani said. "Now, it’s our turn."