'DWTS' ' Sailor Brinkley-Cook Says Dancing Has Helped Overcome Insecurity: 'I Feel Like a Machine'

The 21-year-old model is competing with pro Val Chmerkovskiy

Sailor Brinkley-Cook didn’t expect to be competing on this season of Dancing with the Stars, but needless to say, the experience has been a formative one so far.

Just days before the season premiere last month, the 21-year-old model stepped in to take her mom Christie Brinkley‘s place in the competition after Brinkley, 65, fell and broke her arm in two places during rehearsals.

Speaking to reporters after her performance Monday night with pro partner Val Chmerkovskiy — a tango that earned 23/30 from the judges — Brinkley-Cook, who said she “grew up very insecure,” opened up about how dancing has helped her build confidence.

“I grew up very doubtful of myself in a lot of ways and I went into modeling, which is … the most challenging think to take on as someone who is quite insecure,” she began. “But you know, you find your way in it, you find your groove in it, and I ended up loving it.”

Sailor Brinkley-Cook
Allen Berezovsky/Getty

“But doing dancing, oh my gosh,” she continued. ‘Showing up to rehearsal every day and being able to really work my body to the bone, to really try and improve in a physical and athletic way is so rewarding.”

“It also makes me feel a lot better about myself because I feel like a machine,” she added.

Of course, being the daughter of a supermodel “definitely” adds some pressure, Brinkley-Cook acknowledged.

“Anyone who does something that their parents did before them feels that pressure,” she said. “But you know, I always say that someone can open a door for you, but it’s you who has to keep it open and at the end of the day, no one cares who your parents are.”

“No one cares who where you come from — it’s about the work that you put in and the attitude that you bring forward,” she added.

"Dancing With The Stars" Season 28 - September 16, 2019 - Arrivals
Valentin Chmerkovskiy, Christie Brinkley, and Sailor Brinkley-Cook. Allen Berezovsky/Getty

And while the experience of dancing in front of millions of viewers is still “very new,” Brinkley-Cook said she’s proud of herself for doing her best.

“Getting in front of a crowd and being active and everyone just sitting there and watching you is so nerve-wracking to me, but all you’ve got to do is realize they’re just people and you’re just a person and we’re all just doing our thing,” she said. “You just go out and you do your best and get rolling.”

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

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