“I don’t know if one can ever be 100 percent ready to take on something this big; I didn’t realize what a commitment it is, but it definitely is. I’m ready to challenge myself,” Spears, 32, said on the Tuesday, September 12, episode of Good Morning America.
The Nickelodeon alum is partnered with pro dancer Alan Bersten, who was most recently paired with country star Jessie James Decker on DWTS season 31. “He’s been wonderful,” Spears told GMA’s Lara Spencer. “My family got to meet him. He’s been great and wouldn’t rather do it with anyone else.”
Spears added that she will be donating her weekly salary from the competition show to the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) and the Writers Guild of America (WGA) amid the ongoing Hollywood strikes.
“While everybody else in my community is on strike, I have this unique opportunity where I was offered a chance to work when my community cannot work,” she explained. “So I figured I’ll do this and I will donate my weekly salary to SAG, WGA, and just give back to them at a time where they can’t give back to themselves.”
Although she grew up taking tap, jazz and ballet and performed as a cheerleader, Spears noted that ballroom dancing is completely different from her previous experiences. “Every little thing matters, and I think you just have to fully commit from the top of your head to the tip of your toes,” she shared.
Spears also revealed her daughter Maddie, 15, encouraged her to compete on the ABC series. “I think she kind of wanted to see me push myself,” the Sweet Magnolias star said. “And typically, I’d be working on different ventures, but I think it’s just important that I have this opportunity.” (Spears shares Maddie with her ex Casey Aldridge, and daughter Ivey, 5, with her husband, Jamie Watson.)
While Spears and Bersten, 29, are the first pair to be announced, the actress is the third overall contestant to be revealed for season 32 along with Vanderpump Rules star Ariana Madix and The Bachelorette’s Charity Lawson. The full cast will be revealed on GMA on Wednesday, September 13.
After making her onscreen debut playing a younger version of her sister, Britney Spears, in 2002’s Crossroads, Jamie Lynn went on to star in the hit Nickelodeon series Zoey 101 from 2005 to 2008. She recently reprised her role as Zoey Brooks in Paramount+’s Zoey 102 film, which premiered in July.
Last month, she supported Britney, 41 — with whom she’s had a complicated relationship over the years — following her split from estranged husband Sam Asghari by “liking” an Instagram post about the breakup.
Dancing With the Stars premieres on ABC and Disney+ Tuesday, September 26, at 8 p.m. ET.