Dancing with the Stars judge Carrie Ann Inaba has good news for fans - she never considered leaving the hit dancing show, despite a devastating health battle this past year.
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Carrie was diagnosed with Lupus, Sjögren’s syndrome, Fibromaylgia, and chronic pain, and made the sad decision to step back from her role as a host of CBS show The Talk.
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But she told HELLO! that Dancing with the Stars is her "home base" and she always knew that she had to be "well" enough to be able to appear on season 30.
"How many shows make it to Season 30? I knew I wanted to be healthy and strong for this season," the 53-year-old shared.
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"I never considered stepping back from DWTS. Although I will share that the only way I could do that was to leave The Talk. I was scared. And that fear turned to motivation and I worked so hard in these last six months to get well again."
Carrie also caught COVID-19 in December 2020 and she says it was a "gentle reminder from the universe that I needed to change how I prioritized myself and my health".
Carrie knew she wanted to be a part of season 30
"It’s funny because part of my healing process included bringing back movement into my life. When you are in the kind of pain I have been experiencing all day everyday for such an extended amount of time, movement is the last thing you want to do," she said.
"You don’t think it’s possible. And that is depressing for someone who moved her whole life. It’s debilitating for your mind, body and spirit.
"But I started to find what worked for me and I took baby steps back to being able to exercise again with the help of my doctors and my trainer Michelle Lovitt. And now I’m feeling healthier than I have in years."
She is a judge along with Derek Hough, Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli
Her workouts now include dance again, along with weights and yoga, and for that Carrie says she is "so grateful".
"Dance is part of my soul," she admits, adding: "My morning playlist has salsa on it and I swear, nothing lifts the soul like a good salsa!"
Carrie has incorporated dance into her life again
Carrie has since launched Carrie Ann Conversations, where she talks to experts and shares her own tips for wellness, including talking about her own personal "intense journey" the past year.
"I’m excited that I can speak from experience of how I found my way back to wellness and help other people who are suffering the way I was," she revealed.
"I just want to help other people who are in pain both physically and mentally."
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