Carrie Ann Inaba blogs that her father died days before 'Dancing with the Stars' premiere

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The "Dancing with the Stars" Season 16 premiere was a bittersweet one for judge Carrie Ann Inaba. Just a few days before the competition show began its season on ABC, Inaba lost her father, Rodney Y. Inaba.

Carrie Ann wrote about her father in what was meant to be a "DWTS" style blog for People.com. Rodney Inaba passed away on Thursday (March 14), leaving his daughter with a tough decision about whether or not to participate in the first episode of the new season.

"I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to make it through the show with all the emotions that have been overflowing," Inaba wrote on Wednesday (March 20). "But I felt my father's spirit was with me last night, supporting me and cheering me on."

Despite her grief, Inaba did not give away that she was hurting throughout the show. She made her typical dancing critiques and even managed to jokingly flirt with some of the male dancers. Inaba wrote that she used the memory of her father -- who she says would have wanted her to go on with the show -- in order to get through the night. "I dedicated the show to him, in gratitude for all that he taught me about life; for his bravery, his courage, his huge heart and his love for the underdog."

Inaba finished her tribute to her father with some appropriate dancing sentiment: "Dad, I know you're up there dancing in joy."

Photo/Video credit: ABC
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