Bindi Irwin was almost brought to tears as she took her first turn on the Dancing With the Stars dance floor on Monday, Sept. 14 — and the 17-year-old reveals her late dad Steve Irwin is her inspiration for this new chapter in her life.
Talking exclusively to Us Weekly, the Australian wildlife conservationist admitted the excitement and emotion of the night nearly got the better of her as she took to the dance floor with partner Derek Hough for the show’s Season 21 premiere, and showed off her amazing new dance skills.
“It was all I could do not to cry!” Irwin told Us after her show-stopping jive performance. “We came off stage and I couldn’t stop shaking,” she added. “I couldn’t believe it. First of all I couldn’t believe we made it through and that my legs didn’t fly off with the jive!” she said, laughing. “But it was really huge. The audience, the support and love was overwhelming. I’m just blessed beyond words. My family was here watching.”
The support of Irwin’s famous family (she was watched in the audience by mom Terri and brother, Bob, 11) even gave dance partner Hough a lift.
“Her brother is equally as awesome as she is!” the handsome 30-year-old dancer told Us. “I saw him and he was like, ‘Oh my gosh I’m so proud of Bindi! She’s so amazing!’ I’m like, ‘Y’all are like the coolest human beings and I’m so thankful you’re in my life right now!'”
Hough says Irwin’s come a long way already — especially since she was terrified of even wearing high heels to start with.
“Honestly, from day one to now, people wouldn’t even believe how far she’s come,” her dance instructor revealed. “The transformation is miraculous, literally. We’ve got her in little training heels right now.”
“I’m working my way up!” Irwin added, eagerly.
But while the audience support and praise from Hough makes Irwin feel totally “privileged,” she revealed her true inspiration is her dad, Steve, who was featured in the show during a video montage of Irwin’s life.
“I’m trying to carry on my dad’s legacy, and it is tough,” she admitted. “I think that people always say when people pass away that time heals all wounds. And that’s probably the biggest lie, it’s not true. I think we all need to remember that it is always still tough and it’s like losing a piece of your heart.
“But even though the sun will never shine as brightly, it will shine again. And that’s a part of life, and it’s why I wanted to be here and do this, because we’re all faced with these challenges and tragedies. It’s important to pick yourself up and to remember everything they lived and died for, and carry that message forward.”
You’re certainly doing that, Bindi!
For access to all our exclusive celebrity videos and interviews – Subscribe on YouTube!