DWTS: Gabby Windey Says Being Cheerleader Doesn’t Give Her Advantage

Gabby Windey, who is currently co-starring in The Bachelorette season 19 alongside Rachel Recchia, has been cast on Dancing With The Stars season 31, and she explained why being a professional cheerleader will not give her an advantage in the dancing competition. DWTS fans have complained for years about celebrities with dance backgrounds competing on the show because they feel that it gives them an unfair advantage over others who have never danced before. This happened last season when dancer and singer JoJo Siwa, who appeared in two seasons of Dance Moms with her mother, emerged as the frontrunner alongside her professional dance partner Jenna Johnson. In the end, fans were satisfied when she came in second to NBA star Iman Shumpert and his partner, Daniella Karagach, who won the Mirrorball Trophy even though Iman had no prior dance experience. Fans felt that Iman’s journey captured the spirit of DWTS, which is about celebrities learning how to dance.


When Gabby was cast in DWTS season 31, fans of the dance competition series wondered if she would have an unfair advantage due to her past career as a professional cheerleader for the Denver Broncos. Before Gabby joined Clayton Echard’s season of The Bachelor, the 31-year-old worked simultaneously as an intensive care unit (ICU) nurse and as a professional cheerleader. Gabby was an NFL cheerleader from 2016 until her retirement in April 2021.

In an interview with People, The Bachelorette star Gabby explained why her cheerleading career will not actually give her an advantage during DWTS season 31. Because the reality TV star is paired with professional dancer and two-time DWTS champion Val Chmerkovskiy, fans already think they might be the frontrunners to win the Mirrorball Trophy. However, Gabby explained that her cheerleading experience “just doesn’t translate.” She added, “Don’t think that I have a leg up because I’m here to tell you I don’t.” The new DWTS contestant also shared how her journeys on The Bachelor and The Bachelorette prepared her for DWTS. She said that this competition will be “different in a good way” from her time with the Bachelor franchise, and she feels “like I’m lucky enough to have momentum,” as she moves from one reality TV show to the other. Gabby explained, “I think I grew so much the last two seasons that now I get to really challenge myself in a different way. I think there is a lot of actual vulnerability that comes with this position because nobody knows what you’re doing.” She added that because DWTS will be live, everything she’s done up to this point has been “good building blocks” for what she’s about to take part in.

Gabby is not the first star from Bachelor Nation to dance on DWTS. Trista Sutter, Jake Pavelka, Sean Lowe, Chris Soules, Nick Viall, Joe Amabile and Matt James have all appeared on DWTS, and fan-favorites Melissa Rycroft, Hannah Brown and Kaitlyn Bristowe even won their respective seasons of DWTS. Gabby shared that she had not yet reached out to Hannah or Kaitlyn to talk about being on the show but said, “I definitely should. I need whatever tips I can!” She added that the change to DWTS from The Bachelorette will be good for her. She said that the Bachelor shows are “really emotional,” so now “going into something that’s more physical, a little more fun and a challenge in a different way I think will be a good shift of gears a little bit to kind of balance out the high emotion of my last experience.”

Gabby has made herself very vulnerable during her time with the Bachelor franchise, which is something that will be important as she competes on DWTS as well. Although she has a background in cheerleading, she will still have to learn many new dances in a short period of time, which will be challenging yet rewarding. Gabby is sure to gain even more fans as she competes for the coveted Mirrorball Trophy.

Dancing With The Stars season 31 premieres Monday, September 19 on Disney+.

Source: People

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