Selma Blair talks about overcoming MS to join 'Dancing with the Stars'

ByZohreen Shah via ABCNews logo
Monday, September 26, 2022
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Actress Selma Blair left the audience in tears after her powerful debut performance on the dance competition show.

Actress Selma Blair is back in the ballroom after her inspirational debut on "Dancing with the Stars."

It was a Viennese waltz that brought the whole ballroom to tears.

"It burst my heart open," Blair said. "It just was a whole opening of hope."

Selma Blair and partner Sasha's powerful dance reminded the actress to never stop living.

"I've come through so much, and I've been really vulnerable, and I see how it affects people," Blair said. And so part of it really was to go, "Okay, I can build some strength and maybe I can even change some of the remnants of the M.S."

Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2018, Selma's balance played a factor in if she'd be able to ever dance.

SEE ALSO | Selma Blair says 'Dancing with the Stars' marks new chapter for her: 'This is a gift of a lifetime'

"I do use a cane often," Blair said. "I can-- I do have mobility, but it's not that precise, or out and about with things, or on show days when there's lights and things. You know, I need the bal-- the balance, things shift. And so I was just always really scared to do it."

Her body was challenged during rehearsals.

"I'll freeze as I'm being taught something. 'cause I just have no idea, like, where the leg could be in moments of stress, proprioception," Blair said. "But I realized the more I'll get it down, and learn, and feel the feeling of my foot on the ground, my leg'll be finding it."

Selma relied on Sasha to guide her through.

"I realized that he can choreograph things to help me, to hold me, to make sure there's a shoulder or a hand," she said.

And it was the moment Selma stepped away from her cane that showed the world what she is capable of.

"It just felt so real and right once I could kind of settle into the music and realize, "You know, Sasha-- Sasha never let me go yet,"' she said. "And it was just symbolic. Let me step out of that comfort zone security into this one, and have some fluidity in my movement."

Selma has received an outpouring of support on social media. Others say they have MS too, and maybe they don't have to give up dancing.

Selma's hope is that they don't stop moving either.

Up next, Selma is doing a jive to "Jailhouse Rock" for Elvis Night. An all new episode of "Dancing with the Stars" is on Disney+ Monday night at 8pm ET/ 5 pm PT.