Entertainment TV Amanda Kloots Says 'DWTS' Is a 'Way to Find Myself Again' After Nick Cordero's Death in Season 30 Debut Amanda Kloots' DWTS debut comes days after what would've been her late husband Nick Cordero's 43rd birthday By Karen Mizoguchi Published on September 20, 2021 09:21 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Amanda Kloots has made her ballroom debut. On Monday, during the season 30 premiere of Dancing with the Stars, Kloots and her pro partner Alan Bersten performed the tango for their first dance, scoring a 28 out of 40. In their first meeting, Kloots, 39, got emotional as she explained why she chose to join the show this year. "I grew up dancing, I did Broadway for 17 years and then everything that happened to me, the pandemic and losing my husband, this opportunity is kind of a way to find myself again and to feel his presence every day," she tearfully told Bersten. For more on the season 30 premiere of Dancing with the Stars and other top stories, listen below to our daily podcast PEOPLE Every Day. "On July 5, 2020, I lost my husband from repercussions of COVID. I miss him every single day. I miss every single part of him," she said. "If Nick could've said anything to me before he passed, he would've looked at me right in the eye and said you better not stop living. You better keep going." Maarten de Boer/abc DWTS Season 30 Celebrity and Pro Pairings Revealed — Who's Dancing Together? After the routine, The Talk co-host was praised by her former colleague Carrie Ann Inaba, who has been a DWTS judge since season 1 in 2005. Inaba, 53, left The Talk in August after three seasons. "Hi my friend, you brought tears to my eyes because I know how much you've been through and I know Nick is watching down on you and smiling, he's so proud of you. You were nothing but elegance, beauty and finesse. Just like an angel dancing, it was wonderful," Inaba told Kloots and Bersten. After her first dance, Kloots told host Tyra Banks, "My good girlfriend said she had a dream that [Nick] was in the second balcony so that's where I put him." Kloots' DWTS debut comes days after what would've been her late husband's 43rd birthday. Cordero, 41, died last July at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles after a months-long battle with COVID-19, during which he was put on a ventilator and had to have his leg amputated. Amanda Kloots Is Ready to 'Honor' Late Husband Nick Cordero by Competing on DWTS Amanda Kloots/Instagram On Friday, the mother of one wrote a heartfelt Instagram tribute to Cordero along with a carousel of photos of the couple. "It's really hard to not think about what we would be doing today to celebrate you. I'd probably take you for a really nice steak dinner and have some red velvet cake for dessert with Elvis!" she wrote of their 2-year-old son. "I hope you are up in heaven having a big party with your Dad and because I'm wishing the best for you, Prince. I'm hoping you're singing with Prince today!!! Elvis and I will be missing you today as we sing to you from Earth. If you were here I know what you'd say… 'I'm the luckiest man on the planet. I live a blessed life.' ❤️ I love you forever," Kloots concluded. ABC/Maarten de Boer The former Broadway performer previously opened up about her decision to participate in DWTS this year. "I think the best way to honor somebody's life is to keep living your life, and I know Nick would want me to do that," Kloots said. "And I feel like being back dancing — I haven't danced like this in seven years — so it's kind of like finding that part of myself again." The star continued, "So much has changed and I'm excited. I'm excited to find that part of myself again and I know that in doing this, I'll feel him with me every single day. I already have started [to feel him with me again] in rehearsals. I'm having the best time ever." Further explaining why now "was the right time" to join the show, Kloots said, "I've been through a really tough part of my life. I'm a mom. Through those two things, you kind of lose yourself a little bit. You lose how you used to be. Dancing and performing was such a huge part of my life. I left it and started my fitness company and so much has changed since then that when DWTS called, I was like, 'Yes.' I want to find that part of me again," adding, "It's going to feel so good. It'll be so cathartic and therapeutic for me. I'm looking at it like that. I want to find myself again." Dancing with the Stars airs Monday on ABC.