Ward's strong performance keeps him going

He wore black and gold, waved his version of a "Terrible Towel" with a gold silk scarf, and brought the crowd to their feet, including teammate Larry Foote who was waving a Terrible Towel, as if he scored a touchdown at Heinz Field.

But this wasn't the football field, it was the dance floor and Hines Ward looked like a seasoned pro as he performed the samba on ABC's "Dancing With the Stars."

Ward and his dance partner Kym Johnson performed the Samba to Earth, Wind and Fire's "Fantasy," a favorite song of his mother Kim Young He. The dance was a tribute to his mother, a celebration and thank you for all she has done for Ward.

"My mom wanted me to have that American dream, but unfortunately my mom and my father divorced," said Ward during a taped portion of the show. "She didn't have a job. She didn't know any English. She could have easily went back to Korea and left me with my father. But she worked three or four jobs, she did all of the things she had to do, saved every penny just so she could gain custody of her only child.

"She wanted me to have a better life than she had. She was more proud of me going to college than playing football because I was the first in my family. Then I had the opportunity to go to the NFL and be able to provide for her."

Judge Carrie Ann Inaba gave Ward and Johnson a nine out of 10 for their performance while fellow judges Bruno Tonioli and Len Goodman both gave them an eight out of 10, finishing their performance once again tied for the best score of the night at 25 out of 30. Last week Ward and Johnson scored 23 out of 30 for their performance.

Ward's performance was so popular with the judges that they requested it for the encore dance during the results show and they were told they were safe this week right off the bat. When Ward and Johnson finished, the judges all waved Terrible Towels.

What The Judges Said during the show:Carrie Ann Inaba - "Boo-yah! Baby's got bounce. Mama, you must be so proud of him. Hines, you are dancing the samba like you have been dancing the Samba your whole life. Thank you, thank you. Good job."

Len Goodman – "The story was upbeat, the dance was upbeat. It's obvious Carrie Ann is proud of you, your mother is proud of you and I will tell you what, I am proud of you."

Bruno Tonioli – "His samba was like an uplifting expression of happiness."

What He Said:

Hines Ward – during the show immediately following the dance about his mother
"It was great. My whole life experience has been great. I am very blessed. It was a tribute to her. It's a celebration from where we started to here we are, Ma. We're going to the moon, Ma, we're on 'Dancing With the Stars.' "

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