“I’m here to show my fans — and the rest of the world — more about who Heather really is and, to me, this seems like a step back in time,” Morris wrote in her exclusive PEOPLE blog before Monday’s live show.
But backstage after her performance, Morris was all smiles.
“I think once we got on stage and did it, it felt so much more powerful and specific to what we were doing,” she said.
“The key was really just focusing on each other as opposed to everything that was happening in the ballroom and really harnessing the power of the tango as opposed to Britney,” added Alan Bernsten, Morris’ temporary partner while Maksim Chmerkovskiy recovers from a calf injury. “Yeah, we used Britney’s essence, but it was all about the dancing and making Heather shine.”
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Making Morris feel even more confident was having her former Glee costar Naya Rivera supporting her in the audience.
“She was, like, so fangirling before this whole thing happened. She was, like, ‘Oh my God! I’m obsessed! This is my favorite! I love it!'” said Morris. “We come from a completely different world with Naya and Kevin [McHale] and all of them, but they are so supportive and Kevin is so stoked to come watch the show. It’s fun to bring them into this world.”
Dancing with the Stars airs Mondays (at 8 p.m. ET) on ABC.