I can't speak for my partners, but I've become quite desensitized to touching somebody's hands or hips." It's all about intent, he adds. "If I'm grabbing a girl's hips, I'm grabbing them to help her to get to a movement. "I think you might assume that if you're dancing with somebody very close and all over them, and know their body inside and out, that there has to be some sort of sexual, sensual follow-up, but honestly it's not always the case." He says, "I guess it's like acting.
USA TODAY caught up with the 29-year-old at a recent stop on his just-wrapped Move Live on Tour.
"When I competed I always fell in love with my partners," he says, referring to his pre-DWTS days.
But now, he says, it's not an intimate thing, despite what it looks like.
You can read about their season on Dona’s DWTS Season 6 Statistics page.
A video that contains all of Derek and Shannon’s dances has been added to the bottom of the post – no packages or scores, just all of the dances.