‘Dancing with the Stars’ Selma Blair Calls Ballroom Journey ‘Healing’ Ahead of Season 31 Premiere

Dancing with the Stars celebrity contestant Selma Blair has been open about her struggle with Multiple Sclerosis over the past four years. She is tackling one of her most challenging roles, ballroom dancer, as part of the series new celebrity cast. However, she calls the difficult experience “healing” as the show readies its season 31 debut on Disney+.

Selma Blair photographed Hollywood Reporter's Women in Entertainment Gala at the Fairmont Century Plaza, in Los Angeles, California, December 8, 2021.
Selma Blair | Getty Images/ Valerie Macon

Selma Blair was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in Aug. 2018

Blair said to Town & Country that her initial diagnosis came as a shock. The actor was walking in a New York Fashion Week show for Christian Siriano in Feb. 2018 when she noticed a loss of sensation in her leg. However, she dismissed the feeling.

“It was on that runway, with the thrill of walking in the show, that I suddenly lost feeling in my left leg,” she says. “But I was on a runway thinking, What do I do?” Eight months later, the actor revealed via Instagram that she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

“I am disabled. I fall sometimes, and I drop things. My memory is foggy. And my left side is asking for directions from a broken GPS,” she said in a caption describing her symptoms.

A documentary, Introducing Selma Blair, streaming on discovery+, gives fans a deeper look into her life, including all of its ups and downs and the uncertainty of her future.

Selma Blair calls her ‘Dancing with the Stars’ experience ‘healing’

In an interview for People Magazine, Blair called this new chapter of her life “healing.”

“I’m so excited. I’m so happy, so invigorated by this,” the actor said of performing on Dancing with the Stars. “This is a new chapter of growing my stamina and really healing. Not just healing, but finding huge strength and support.

“It is for the viewer because that has given me support. In dark times in my life, some people have come forward — strangers on the street or Instagram, my original fans. I’m doing it for them.”

Blair also said she is excited to cheer on her fellow competitors as they challenge themselves to learn complicated ballroom dances.

“I’m going to cheer people so much,” she said. “I think I’m going to have to remember to save my energy for everything I want to do.”

‘DWTS’ co-host Alfonso Ribeiro calls the actor’s journey ‘groundbreaking’

Tyra Banks and Alfonso Ribeiro pose among the headshots of the 'Dancing with the Stars' Season 31 cast who will perform for the first time in week 1 on Sept. 19
Tyra Banks and Alfonso Ribeiro pose among the headshots of the ‘Dancing with the Stars’ Season 31 cast | Disney+

Dancing with the Stars co-host Alfonso Ribeiro shared his opinion about Blair’s ballroom journey with People Magazine.

 “I will say that I am so interested to see Selma Blair’s journey. It’s such a groundbreaking moment for the show to have someone [with Multiple sclerosis] be able to come and do the show. I think it’s going to be a wonderful story this season. How well she can do physically is yet to be seen, but I can’t wait to see that story,” the host said.

Blair will compete against a who’s who of celebrities from all walks of the entertainment business as she tries to win a mirrorball trophy during season 31. These include Joseph Baena, Wayne Brady, Sam Champion, Charli D’Amelio, Heidi D’Amelio, Jessie James Decker, Trevor Donovan, Daniel Durant, Teresa Guidice, Vinny Guadagnino, Cheryl Ladd, Jason Lewis, Shangela, Jordin Sparks, and Gabby Windey.

Dancing with the Stars season, 31 begins at 8 p.m. on Sept. 19 on Disney+.

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