Credit: Jason Merritt/Getty Images; Bryan Bedder/Getty Images

Jennifer Grey can count on at least one vote following her Dancing With the Stars debut Monday: Lisa Niemi, wife of the late Patrick Swayze.

"She actually sent me an e-mail last week saying that she's rooting for me and thinking about me," Grey, 50, said on Ryan Seacrest's KIIS-FM radio show Monday. "I was very moved by that and very happy that she sent that to me."

The former Dirty Dancing star said that although she misses her costar -- who lost his battle with pancreatic cancer last year at age 57 -- his spirit remains with her.

"I feel his presence right now very strongly," she said. "This week especially, because it's the anniversary of his death. [Patrick] is the only person I've ever actually [danced with] with before Derek [Hough], so it's a pretty intense sense memory."

Though fellow competitors Bristol Palin and Audrina Patridge have pegged Grey as the show's frontrunner, she said she isn't that good on the dance floor.

"If I fall on my butt, then it'll probably be really good for ratings," she joked. "It'll make the entertainment value go up. When I try to be perfect, it makes me not have fun. So what I'm trying to do is just be real, be in the struggle and let the struggle be pleasurable."