This story was originally published by Woman's Day and is republished with permission.
As a rugby league star, Manu "The Beast" Vatuvei is used to being tough and unbreakable on the field, but dancing has opened up a whole new softer side for the father-of-four.
"With league, I was always so comfortable, it was something I'd done my entire life," he says.
"Dancing was completely new to me, but I absolutely love it now. I'm the type of person who doesn't really like to talk about things or my emotions. That's why dancing has helped me so much. It's a way to express my emotions without talking."
When asked about his favourite performance so far, Manu is quick to say his foxtrot from week seven.
The touching dance with his partner Loryn Reynolds earned high praise from the judges and left an emotional Manu teary-eyed after revealing the song Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me had a personal connection to his past.
"Loryn wasn't aware how special the song was to me and that it was part of my story until after she'd done the choreography. She did an incredible job," he beams with pride.
His close friendship with Loryn, as well as the other stars on the Three show, has been a highlight of the whole experience for the sports legend.
"I loved playing league because I created a lot of friendships there and it's the same with Dancing With the Stars," he tells.
"That's why elimination day is hard – I don't want to see anyone leave, but we'll always have that connection after this show.
"I look back at week one now and miss those moments because I know it's all coming to an end soon. We don't know when we could be out, so we've got to enjoy every minute."