This interview was posted a few days before Dorothy had to withdraw from the competition due to medical reasons.
Obviously, Dorothy is a great partner with many strengths. As her teacher, what do you see as those strengths and how can you use that to your advantage this season?
Dorothy is great. I love working with her. Her willingness to learn and perfect is admirable, and it's purely to better herself which is amazing. Her biggest asset besides her elegance, grace and humility is that she can perform under intense pressure, and when it matters most she shows that she can pull it out of the bag.
We were surprised when Contemporary was announced as your Week 1 dance, but the end product was brilliant. How did you come up with the concept, and how did you go about teaching a basically unfamiliar dance style?
The concept came from just a story really in that we all find inspiration in our own ways from different things, and the thought that anyone can help anyone - a statue can inspire a down-and-out, a 'nobody' can help a 'hero” (statue worthy) - basically just the thought that we can all help and inspire each other whether we are trying to or not. I let the story be told, and I didn't think about it as a style.
This season is obviously very different than your seasons with Nancy, Gladys, and Pamela, but what do you see as the particular challenges facing you and Dorothy?
The main challenge I guess is the same for everyone to do your best and not be discouraged by comparisons, be it how your competitors did on the night or how your fellow athletes, tv stars, musicians, or comics did previously. Everyone has their own challenges without living up to someone else's as well.
You have the Jive coming up for Week 2. How is that coming along?
Jive is taking its time alright but looking forward to it. It's a lively, fun dance so happy faces make a difference when it comes to nerves I think against a more straight-faced restricted ballroom hold dance. It's gonna be a lot faster than last week for sure so I can't wait to see what Dorothy can do.
There seem to be a lot of very strong contenders in Season 16. How would you size up the cast?
The cast is strong personality wise, and it’s easy to write people off straight away but I'm sure another week of experience will be crucial, and the thick skin will bite back for a lot of people.
Since you and Dorothy were announced as Season 16 partners, the outpouring of love and support for Team Hamill on this website, Twitter, Facebook, and the new @TeamHamill Twitter page has been extraordinary. From those in the skating world to those who saw your dance Monday and jumped on board, it has already been a great journey. Any words you would like for us to share with your fans?
The support as usual has been immense, and we are very grateful. Hopefully we can continue to justify a portion of it each week until we can give it all back. Thank you. Keep being amazing and striving to be the best you can.
Thank you, Tristan. Until next time...
Since July, 2012, we have interviewed Tristan 75 times and each is posted here with the most recent first.