How Debbie Gibson's Lyme Disease Affects Her 'DWTS' Rehearsals: 'We Take It Day by Day,' Partner Alan Bersten Says

Dancing with the Stars airs Mondays (at 8 p.m. ET) on ABC

Debbie Gibson and her Dancing with the Stars partner Alan Bersten are doing their best to go with the flow.

The pop icon suffers from Lyme disease (a potentially debilitating infection caused by bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi and transmitted through the bite of an infected blacklegged tick), which can leave her energy level zapped without any notice.

“We take it day by day,” Bersten told PEOPLE after Monday’s premiere episode of the the ABC reality dance competition’s 25th season. “We gauge it off of how Debbie is feeling. Most days we can get a lot done in a little bit of time.”

PEOPLE’s special issue, 25 Seasons of Dancing with the Stars, is available now.


“I’ve asked a lot of Alan. I had to take a day off this past week because I needed the rest. But I’ve realized if I don’t take care of myself, I may be out of commission for three days instead of one,” added Gibson, who scored a 17/30 from the judges for her dance with Bersten on Monday. “There are days where I’ve been feeling not so well and dealing with ankle pain and knee pain or something’s not working right, but in pushing through it safely, that’s when some of the best progress [is] made.”

Gibson said she refuses to let her Lyme disease keep her from competing on DWTS.

“I don’t want to stay home and rest. I’ve done enough of that,” she said. “I’m ready to move!”

Dancing with the Stars airs Mondays (at 8 p.m. ET) on ABC.

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