Charli D'Amelio Says Dancing with the Stars Is Reconnecting Her to a Part of Herself She 'Lost'

Charli D'Amelio finally feels excited about dancing again as she competes in the 31st season of Dancing with the Stars.

D'Amelio, 18, has spoken previously about the pressures of social media stardom as a teenager in her and her sister Dixie's Hulu reality series The D'Amelio Show. And on Wednesday, Charli (who, along with Dixie, spoke to host Janine Rubenstein on the PEOPLE Every Day podcast), that starring in DWTS' current season has helped renew her excitement for performing.

"You know, dance wasn't something that I found fun anymore," Charli says. "It was something that was more just, I did to do it and, you know, it was over when it was over and I didn't look forward to it anymore. And I think with Dancing With the Stars every week, it's like, you know, I'm hearing from other people that I finally look like I'm having fun."

Charli explains in the podcast that her DWTS performances have helped her find the enthusiasm for dance that "I kind of lost" as she and Dixie, 21, first grew into TikTok sensations in 2019 and 2020.

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"I look happy and I'm feeling, kind of, those same things that I used to feel when I was younger, dancing, that I kind of lost and thought that I wouldn't find again," Charli says. "Just because it had been so long without being that excited for performance. To be able to do that again is really a full circle moment for me and just makes me really happy."


ABC/Eric McCandless

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Last Wednesday, Charli told PEOPLE she is "figuring out now who I am and where I stand" after moving out of her parents Heidi and Marc's home in Los Angeles and into a place "two minutes away" with older sister Dixie in March.

"Alongside this work schedule and award shows and all of that, I'm trying to figure out how to be an adult," she explained.

Marc, 53, told PEOPLE last Wednesday that he at first doubted whether The D'Amelio Show would strike a nerve when the family filmed season 1.

"When we did the first season, we were like, 'Is this really going to be interesting? We're a pretty normal family,'" recalled Marc. "But then we realized that what's happening to Dixie and Charli is what 95 percent of the kids in the United States want to happen to them."

Dixie D'Amelio
Dixie D'Amelio

FitOn The D'Amelios

"By showing this process you get to see some incredibly positive things, but opening your family up to public scrutiny is really hard to prepare for," he added.

On top of The D'Amelio Show's season 2 premiere, Heidi, 50, joins Charli in DWTS competition as the show's first mother and daughter facing off to claim the coveted Mirrorball Trophy.

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"I think we're going into it both of us, going to do our best," Heidi told PEOPLE on Sept. 8. "We're not going to hold back. We're going to do everything that we can to learn and grow and learn all the dances and perform. So I would do that either way and I think she would too."

Season 2 of The D'Amelio Show premieres on Hulu Sept. 28, while Dancing with the Stars airs Mondays on Disney+ at 8 p.m. Eastern time.

Check out more episodes of PEOPLE Every Day, airing on Apple podcastsiHeartMedia, SpotifyStitcherAmazon Music or wherever you listen to your podcasts.