Season 25 of Dancing with the Stars premieres Sept. 18 on ABC

By Patrick Gomez
September 06, 2017 10:39 AM


PEOPLE is celebrating the Sept. 18 premiere of Dancing with the Stars‘ 25th season with 25 days of exclusive interviews, fun retrospectives, and new details about what fans can expect from the milestone season.

The new cast of Dancing with the Stars was announced Wednesday morning on Good Morning America — and now the world gets to size up the competition.

One star taking to the ballroom floor is violin-playing YouTube sensation Lindsey Stirling, who will be partnered with pro dancer Mark Ballas for season 25 of the ABC dance competition.

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Reality TV fans may recognize Stirling from her time as a contestant on America’s Got Talent in 2010, while others may have watched her viral YouTube music videos or seen her perform with Celine Dion at the Billboard Music Awards in May.

Stirling is also a well-reviewed author of her memoir The Only Pirate at the Party. She has been very open about her struggles with anorexia and depression, as well as the pain she felt when her father died in January after battling cancer.

PEOPLE’s special issue 25 Seasons of Dancing with The Stars is out Sept. 15

The violinist spoke to PEOPLE in 2016 about her mental health struggles.

Stirling had always considered her sister to be her best friend. But one day, when she was 23, YouTube’s dancing violinist realized the two college roommates had become “complete strangers.”

“I saw my relationships deteriorating with my sister Brooke,” Stirling told PEOPLE. “I’d become miserable and self-absorbed about my body. That’s when it hit me that I had a problem.”

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It was then that Stirling first admitted to herself that she was anorexic and – due to the lack of nutrients – depressed.

“Once I admitted that to myself, I was able to start the process of change,” said Stirling, who relied on group therapy and her Mormon faith as she found her way back to a healthy body weight.

“I believe anyone can find happiness. It just takes a lot of work,” she said.

Denise Truscello/Getty

And now the violinist – who is one of the highest paid content creators on YouTube —is not only close with her sister again, but they also worked together on Stirling’s memoir.

“Getting to write this book with my sister was amazing. She’s an incredible writer and getting to do this with her … we were so sad when it was over,” Stirling said of collaborating on the New York Times bestseller. “My favorite thing about the success I’ve found is that I get to share it with my family and the ones that I love.”

Season 25 of Dancing with the Stars premieres Sept. 18 on ABC.