Teresa Giudice joins the season 31 cast of 'DWTS' one month after her wedding to Luis Ruelas, and she's determined to make him proud.
The Dancing With the Stars ballroom might be known for its packed crowds, but Teresa Giudice only has her sights set on one pair of watchful eyes. The Real Housewives of New Jersey star joins the season 31 cast of DWTS just one month after her glamorous wedding to Luis Ruelas, and now she says she's determined to make him proud.
"Right after my wedding, I feel bad because it takes up a lot of time," Giudice told ET of the long rehearsal days ahead. "But Luis is really supporting me a million percent, he's so happy for me and he's going to be cheering me on." She added, "He's Latino so he knows how to move so I've got to make him proud."
Giudice said DWTS first invited her to compete almost a decade ago when she was released from prison in 2015 following her fraud conviction. "It just didn’t work out because I had to film Housewives," she explained, "and then it came back around years later so I guess it was really meant to be."
Though she has no formal dance training, Giudice stays active with yoga and hopes that the strength it brings will work to her advantage on the dance floor. She and her partner, veteran pro Pasha Pakhov, haven’t been able to start rehearsals yet in the aftermath of her wedding. Other contestants -- including Selma Blair, who impressed fans for competing amid her MS diagnosis -- told ET they've been underway with practice for a while now.
"I kind of had a little month honeymoon, and now I’m back and I’m getting down," Giudice said. "It's getting serious and I'm going to give it my all a million percent."
The pair was headed to their first four-hour rehearsal shortly after they spoke to ET on Thursday morning, and Giudice remained determined to impress on night one of competition. Her youngest daughter, 13-year-old Audriana, is a competitive dancer and will have to miss her mother's debut because of her own rehearsals, but Giudice isn’t worried. Audriana and her sister Gabriella both have plans to attend week two. "I'm definitely going to be on the first two weeks," Giudice said.
Family remains at the forefront of Giudice's inspiration for rehearsals and performances. Her DWTS casting announcement came on the day of her late father's birthday, a correlation she did not view as a coincidence. "My dad and I always watched Dancing With the Stars together," she said. She'll be thinking of him as she prepares for the coming weeks.
Dancing With the Stars streams live on Disney+ starting Monday, Sept. 19 at 8 p.m. ET.