Ariana Greenblatt made Puerto Rico proud on ‘Dancing with the Stars: Juniors’ with Giving Thanks salsa [WATCH]

On “Dancing with the Stars: Juniors” Giving Thanks Night, Ariana Greenblatt performed to the song “Pintame” by Elvis Crespo because “my family always plays this song on the spinning thing,” by which she meant a record player — though she’s so young she might have also meant some other dusty musical antique, like the hard drive of an iPod. She was paying tribute to her family and celebrating her Puerto Rican heritage with a salsa routine that opened a night of gratitude. Watch it above.

Even though Greenblatt performed at the beginning of the night she still had a tough act to follow — herself. On Juniors Choice Night she performed a jazz routine that made history as the very first dance on “DWTS: Juniors” to receive a 10. She got that mark from Adam Rippon along with a pair of 9s from Val Chmerkovskiy and Mandy Moore. She took the confidence from that breakthrough and ran with it during the Thanksgiving show.

Moore said she was “grateful for that salsa … I love that it was very complex.” And how! The choreography was intricate and relentless. Chmerkovskiy called it a “spicy” salsa, “athletic, but it was really authentic as well … I think Puerto Rico is really proud of you.” The routine ended up scoring her three 9s for a total of 27 out of 30. That was one point shy of her Juniors Choice total, but it was nevertheless her second highest score of the season, and it tied her with Mandla Morris and Mackenzie Ziegler for second place on the judges’ leaderboard.

This week Sky Brown topped the leaderboard with two 10s and a 9, so she surpassed Greenblatt for the highest score of the season. Will Greenblatt take back her crown?

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