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Amanda Kloots Says ‘DWTS’ Pro Alan Bersten ‘Is More Than a Dancing Partner,’ Helped Her ‘Move Forward’ After Loss (Exclusive)

Learning to cope. Dancing With the Stars contestant Amanda Kloots has been honest about the long process of grieving her late husband, Nick Cordero, and she explained exclusively to Us Weekly how ballroom partner Alan Bersten actually helped her cope in a surprising way.

Related: The Heartfelt Ways Amanda Kloots Honors Late Husband Nick Cordero

“This was an unexpected thing for me, but I lost Nick, and when you lose that person in your life, you become very independent again,” the AK! Fitness founder, 39, told Us.

Cordero died at age 41 in July 2020 after being hospitalized with COVID-19 for more than three months. He is survived by Kloots, who he married in 2017, and their son, Elvis, now 2.

Amanda Kloots Says DWTS Pro Alan Bersten Is More Than a Dancing Partner Helped Her Move Forward After Loss
Amanda Kloots and Alan Bersten. ABC/Maarten de Boer

Kloots’ return to independence made her have a lot of questions about her future. “‘When will I be able to trust somebody again?'” the Talk cohost recalled wondering. “‘When will I have, like, a great connection with somebody, again? When will I feel comfortable with somebody hugging me again?’ Or, you know, just all of the things that come with getting close to somebody, especially a male, after losing her husband.”

Dancing with Bersten, 27, on DWTS helped the author — whose memoir Live Your Life: My Story of Loving and Losing Nick Cordero was released in June — feel at ease. “I told him the other day, I said, ‘You know, this experience … how wonderful you’ve been has really helped me like bridge that gap. It’s been so nice getting to know you and feeling comfortable with you and seeing you every day and trusting you and crying with you and going for goals with you.’ … I said, ‘It’s really helped me move forward in my life and that I did not expect to happen.'”

Related: Trophy Time! See 'DWTS' Season 30 Finale Rehearsal Photos

Kloots continued, “He’s become a lot more than a dancing partner to me. He’s become a best friend.”

Amanda Kloots Says DWTS Pro Alan Bersten Is More Than a Dancing Partner Helped Her Move Forward After Loss
Amanda Kloots and Alan Bersten on ‘Dancing With the Stars.’ ABC/Christopher Willard

The Broadway alum explained that their “close bond” was formed “crazy” fast because they went “through so much together over 10 weeks” on season 30 of Dancing With the Stars. However, there were still some intense moments as Bersten taught her the choreography.

“Alan is a tough teacher. He has been tough on me, but he’s really good at reading people and reading my personality. … [But he was] able to push me hard. I like tough,” she admitted.

Related: Dancing With the Stars' Hottest Hookups

Bersten and Kloots will compete on the season 30 finale of Dancing With the Stars on ABC Monday, November 22, at 8 p.m. ET. Those who want to keep up with Kloots after the mirrorball trophy is awarded can check out her AK! Fitness brand, which recently partnered with Equinox, for at-home workouts.

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