16:01, September 26 27 0 usmagazine.com

2018-09-26 16:01:04

 

DWTS’ Alan Bersten Opens Up About Embracing His Scar After Tumor Removal

Dancing With the Stars pro Alan Bersten has learned to embrace the scar that he got after undergoing surgery to have a tumor removed from his neck.

“I’ve had a little bit of self-consciousness about the scar,” the 24-year-old tells Us Weekly exclusively. “On the show, we are always presenting our bodies in a way to make the dance better. And I have this scar now, but it has made me grow stronger.”

The health scare came in the midst of the Dancing With the Stars: Live! tour earlier this year. After taking a blood test, Bersten learned that he had a tumor on one of his parathyroid glands, a condition known as hyperparathyroidism.

“I was very in tune with my body,” he says. “I was lucky because I felt something was off. So I went in.”

Luckily, the tumor was benign and the recovery process was quick. Within days, the dancer began rehearsals for the first-ever athletes season of the ABC competition with his partner, Olympic figure skater Mirai Nagasu.

Over time, Bersten’s self-conscious feelings went away. “I don’t care what people think, and I want to preach that to everyone,” he tells Us. “As long as you’re having a good time, as long as you’re doing your best, that’s all that matters. So, I mean, it really opened up my eyes a little bit in a way that people don’t really care that much, you know? You should stop caring about what other people think.”

The choreographer is currently competing on season 27 of DWTS with model Alexis Ren. He will also mentor Sky Brown and JT Church on the upcoming spinoff Dancing With the Stars: Juniors.

“He taught me how to just be confident and just don’t care,” skateboarder Brown, 10, tells Us. So You Think You Can Dance alum Church, 12, echoes, “Alan’s taught me to be a good partner and to always be there.”

Dancing With the Stars airs on ABC Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET. The Juniors edition premieres on Sunday, October 7, at 8 p.m. ET.

With reporting by Emily Marcus

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