For much of her competitive life, Olympic gymnast Alexandra Raisman was trained to maintain a stoic demeanor in competition. But now that she’s on Dancing with the Stars, the two-time gold medalist is learning to shed the seriousness, have fun and play to the audience.
“It’s hard when you’re on national television to show your real self, but I’m trying to just be myself,” a smiling Raisman told PEOPLE after wowing the crowd and the judges with a stellar contemporary routine with partner Mark Ballas on Monday’s performance show.
“We have fun all day,” Raisman said of dance rehearsals with Ballas, a two-time Dancing champ. “This past week was a really great week.”
Not only did the duo earn the season’s top score, they had a special cheering section, which included Raisman’s fellow U.S. gymnastics team mates Gaby Douglas and Kyla Ross, who Tweeted about being in the ballroom.
“They’re so excited [for me],” Raisman said. “It means a lot that they are here supporting me.”