Why Cheer’s Monica Aldama Feels Pressure to Win ‘DWTS’ — Plus, What Dance She Is ‘Terrified’ to Perform?

Feeling the pressure. Monica Aldama knows Cheer fans are expecting big things from her on Dancing With the Stars due to her competitive nature and cheerleading background.

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“There is kind of this insinuation that since I’ve won so many times, I would automatically win this competition,” the 50-year-old Navarro College cheer coach told Us Weekly exclusively while promoting her partnership with Robitussin Naturals. “I think there are things that I can bring as far as how to prepare for competition, physically and mentally, and my work ethic. … Those are things that I can bring that are going to be to my advantage, but because the bigger part of this is actually the dancing, and I have zero experience.”

Aldama and partner Val Chmerkovskiy received a 19 out of 30 for their Foxtrot to “My Wish” by Rascal Flatts during the Monday, September 14, premiere of the ABC competition series.

Cheer's Monica Aldama Feels Pressure to Win DWTS Val Chmerkovskiy
Monica Aldama and Val Chmerkovskiy ABC/Eric McCandless

“It’s so different than cheerleading … the muscles that I use the way, that I carry my shoulders, all of that, I mean, I’ve gotten told at least 1,000 times to keep my shoulders down,” she told Us. “And so, it’s been a challenge to really retrain my body to do things differently and to be in certain positions that feel very unnatural to me. I think there’s a ton of pressure because people do expect me to come out here and bring it and I do plan on doing that. I just it’s been very difficult to learn something that I don’t know how to do.”

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As the dancing duo prepares for week two, they are working on a Jive number. And while Aldama feels comfortable with the faster paced dance, she isn’t looking forward to taking on a Salsa or Rumba.

“The Latin dances with all of the hip action I’m a little bit terrified to learn all of those,” she admitted. “We’re doing the Jive next week. So it’s really fast — really, really fast. But it’s a little bit more of my comfort zone because I’m more free to move different ways with my body than being in such an awkward frame that feels very unnatural. But, it is fast, so we’ll see how it goes. Those Latin dances are a little scary.”

Cheer's Monica Aldama Feels Pressure to Win DWTS
Monica Aldama ABC/Kelsey McNeal

For now, Aldama is soaking in the “neat” experience with new friends Chrishell Stause and Anne Heche. “My trailer is right next to Chrishell, so I get to talk to her a lot. She’s super sweet. And Anne Heche is hilarious,” she gushed. “And she really is so funny. Everybody is great.”

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She’s also finding time to help Robitussin launch their new cough relief and immune health gummies and syrups.

“I’ve been a user of Robitussin for as long as I can remember. I’ve got two children so, you know, you always have that on hand,” she told Us. “I’m really excited that they’re coming out with these are all-natural products to help with cough relief, because obviously with my job, you know, I have to use my voice a lot. I have to talk a lot. … The gummies are so easy to just keep in your pocket and pop one in!”

Dancing With the Stars airs on ABC Mondays at 8 p.m. ET.

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