'DWTS' Is Sparking A Journey Of Self-Exploration For Hannah Brown

by Jessica Wang
Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

A former Bachelorette star is ready to trade her rose for dancing shoes. Bachelorette alum Hannah Brown explained how Dancing with the Stars has been a form of self-exploration for her. Ahead of DWTS’ Season 28 premiere on Monday, Sept. 16, Brown chatted with Entertainment Tonight about how her journey on ABC’s revered dance competition has been rooted in a lot of discovery and confidence. "These dances can make me feel confident and make me feel sexy and desirable," Brown told ET a few days before her DWTS debut. "I'm not really focused on my love life right now at all. I’m not really thinking about that when it comes to confidence and feeling sexy. I think that’s more for myself to know that I’m all those things."

She added, "It's a lot more than just dancing, this whole journey. I definitely learned that it’s really about the journey of self-exploration and discovery and becoming a more full, whole woman." While Brown is slated to perform against a slew of notable stars (such as James Van Der Beek, Lamar Odom, Karamo Brown, Kate Flannery, and more) this season, she said that she doesn’t "look at everyone as competition" because "this whole thing is a competition against myself." She told ET, "I am my toughest critic and I’m going to be my toughest competition."

Brown’s tenure on DWTS comes on the heels of the end of her The Bachelorette season in July. While she had accepted a proposal from Jed Wyatt, Brown ultimately broke it off upon learning that Wyatt hadn't been transparent about another relationship he had been in at the time of their coupling. Brown left the series a single woman. Still, if her tenure on DWTS is any inclination, the Bachelorette alum is doing just fine without a romantic partner despite the heartbreak she endured at the end of the dating series.

While fans will have to wait for DWTS’ Sept. 16 premiere to learn who Brown has been partnered with for the competition, ET shared an exclusive clip of the pair’s first meeting on Sept. 10. In the ultimate full-circle moment, Brown met her dancing partner at none other than the Bachelor mansion. Touché, ABC. Prior to the unveiling, Bachelor host Chris Harrison even made an appearance for some words of advice to the former Bachelorette star. "You know how I always say, 'Break a leg?' Don't do that this time," Harrison said. "Let the journey begin."

In a previous interview with ET, Brown revealed that keeping her dancing partner’s identity a secret was a lot easier than staying quiet about the Bachelorette finale. "Keeping the ending of The Bachelorette a secret [was harder than keeping my partner a secret]," Brown told ET. "Especially with how it ended, when I just wanted to... cry, scream, hit someone."

Now, Brown’s focus is on one thing: DWTS’ Mirrorball Trophy. "I really am just focused on moving forward. I think I need to just focus on dancing," she told ET at the time. "I need to focus on the sparkles right now and me. I need to fill my cup back up, I think."

DWTS returns to ABC on Monday, Sept. 16 at 8 p.m. Here's to hoping that Brown's tenure ends on a much more positive note than that of Bachelorette.