But on ballroom night Monday, Bella, 33, wanted to prove that she has a softer side amidst the powerful moves she pulls off in the ring.
“I’m not just muscles and headlocks,” she said in rehearsal with partner Artem Chigvintsev. “I need to prove to people that there is this elegant woman in here.”
Bella, who is engaged to fellow wrestler John Cena, credits her nana for bringing out her more feminine side. “If I didn’t have her as a big influence in my life I wouldn’t be like a bigger tomboy than I already am,” the E! star said. “My nana’s elegant, classy and the most amazing woman that’s ever walked this earth.”
Ahead of dancing to Norah Jones’ “Come Away With Me,” Bella said the song reminded her of her nana, who wasn’t in the audience Monday, but watched from home. After receiving a score of 21 out 30 from judges Carrie Ann Inaba, Lenn Goodman and Bruno Tonioli, the wrestling pro reflected on showing her softer side.
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“I mean, I miss the throwing down on the floor, but I like seeing this side,” Bella told co-host Erin Andrews. “It felt great. I felt like I was just on Broadway, like I was living this movie.”
Dancing With the Stars airs Mondays on ABC at 8 p.m. ET.