‘Dancing with the Stars’: Lindsey Stirling & Mark Ballas’s cha cha was ‘the dance of the night’ [WATCH]

“I’ve always wanted to do ‘Dancing with the Stars’ because I love dancing, and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity, so I’m going to do it,” said violinist Lindsey Stirling in the clip package that preceded her first performance of the season with pro partner Mark Ballas during Monday night’s season premiere episode. “I’m really excited to have Mark Ballas as my partner,” she added. “He’s so creative. I feel like that’s me to a T as I like to think outside the box.” Well they must be doing something right: their cha cha closed the show and it was the highest scoring routine of the night, tied with Jordan Fisher‘s tango. Watch Stirling and Ballas’s performance above.

DWTS” struggled to fit 13 performances into a two-hour show, so we only got to hear detailed critiques from one of the judges for each performance, and in this case it was Len Goodman. That’s not always good news since Goodman can be a cantankerous critic, but he absolutely adored Stirling’s performance. His instinct was that Stirling would excel at elegant, graceful dance styles, so he was surprised by how well she took to a fast-paced cha cha. He said that it was “crisp” and “clean,” and he complimented her “lovely leg action” and “nice hip action.” Having already seen and judged every other performance that evening, he called it “the dance of the night.”

Goodman scored her an 8 out of 10, which was higher than he gave anyone in the season premiere, but his fellow judges Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli gave her 7s instead. Nevertheless, that was good enough to top the leaderboard with Fisher. What did you think of their performance? Do you agree with Goodman that it was the best of the night? Vote in our poll below to let us know.

Be sure to make your predictions so that the contestants can see how they’re faring in our racetrack odds. You can keep changing your predictions until just before the next episode airs every Monday on ABC. You’ll compete to win a spot on our leaderboard and eternal bragging rights. See our contest rules and sound off with other fans in our reality TV forum. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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