Debbie Gibson: I Feel 'Empowered' by Dancing as I Overcome Lyme Disease
Pop icon Debbie Gibson is currently competing on season 25 of Dancing with the Stars and blogging about her experience on the ABC reality dance competition exclusively for PEOPLE. Follow Gibson, 47, and her partner Alan Bersten.
The first live show of Season 25 of Dancing with the Stars was so fun but also really intense!
The schedule started picking up momentum towards the end of the week and the weekend and, even though I have appeared on stage and live television throughout my career, this was unlike anything I had ever experienced! The energy in the room was electric, and the challenge was to calm down enough to be IN the mood of the dance, especially since Alan and I were second up to dance during the live show.
The performers on the show don’t get to see the video montage that runs before the performance until the live show, so I was watching along with all of America, which was quite emotional since I was speaking on my personal reasons for doing the show as well as celebrating milestones in my career.
Alan and I decided to take a minute to connect with each other and block everything else out. The moment before we started our dance, which was a foxtrot to my song “Lost in Your Eyes,” my adrenaline was going crazy! Using it in the right way to channel it into the subtlety of the dance was my challenge.
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Once we got a few seconds in, I started to relax and enjoy the moment. I swear it didn’t fully hit me I was on DWTS until moments before I started to dance. It was surreal, and still is, as it is such an iconic show!
I was so happy to go second and to be able to just relax and enjoy watching the cast perform. When I saw it back later on, I was really pleased with how we did. Of course I am super critical and saw all the nuances I could have done better, but I saw the joy and all the hard work come through.
It was hard to know what the judges’ scores were going to be throughout the night, but I felt our scores were pretty fair, and I am not one to place that much emphasis on things like that, anyway. If we do our best, nothing else matters! I personally would have scored some of the other pairs even higher, but I get that they need some headroom as the season continues!
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This show has SUCH a wide reach! Several former cast members like Maria Menounos, Danica McKellar, Leeza Gibbons, Marilu Henner, Marissa Winokur, and Lisa Rinna all were watching and offered me support and guidance. I am not sure I have ever received so many texts, so if anyone has not gotten a reply please forgive me … I’m in the zone! [’80s pop icon] Tiffany also was watching. I love that most to all of the support came from the girls, proving there is a powerful sisterhood out there!
This week we have two dances to learn. When I first heard this I was like, “Okay! I’ve learned entire Broadway shows in two weeks … I can do this!” But, this is so different! With all the staging and choreography I have learned, nothing compares to the detail of these partner dances. Alan is a stickler for the finer points, which I appreciate. I am hearing “shoulders down” in my sleep!
This week there are two episodes, so we have to learn two dances. We are doing a quickstep on Monday and an Argentine tango on Tuesday. I love the energy of the quickstep and the Argentinian tango is sultry, controlled, and was more challenging to learn, but SO much fun to do!
In my moments of frustration, I remind myself how astounded I am by what my body can do after virtually reacquainting with it on this show.
The first song we are performing to is “This is My Time” by an artist named Amy Stroup. I had not known of her before, but now I’m a fan thanks to this song, which encapsulates my current life journey. The other is “Havana” by Camilla Cabello, and the song is HOT. I have been a longtime fan of Camilla’s voice and music.
I am still dealing with some specific health related issues, but overall I feel more like an athlete who is pushing her body.
I have “normal” soreness, tightness, aches and pains, but I have finally embraced the virtues of the foam roller and Epsom salt baths! I have to be careful not to compare what my body can do now to what it could do before the past few years, as it has been through a lot and is now delivering for me in a way that it hadn’t until this show. It is so inspirational and motivational and joyful to feel my body is able to work in this way, and it leaves me feeling empowered once again.
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There is a double elimination this week, which is no fun. But my focus remains on the dancing! When Alan and I prepare for each dance, it is in the context of a performance, not a competition. The competition is within us to present a clean and inspired dance that is true to the authentic style. I am rooting for everyone to do the same and was so impressed by ALL the performances last week.
The best part is the whole cast is sweet and supportive … not one bad apple in the bunch. Life has become most about the people I meet and that energy exchange. If that is the criteria for winning the Mirrorball, then I am blinded by the light coming off of this group of people I am now connected to by this very unique adventure.
Can’t wait to show you all what we have been working on and #TeamSonberst once again thanks you for your support!
Dancing with the Stars airs Mondays (at 8 p.m. ET) on ABC.