Teresa Giudice Reveals Why She Turned Down ‘DWTS’ The First Time They Asked After Prison Stint

Teresa Giudice explained why she finally decided to do 'Dancing with the Stars' after declining the opportunity in the past because of her commitments to 'RHONJ' and her family.

Teresa Giudice
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Image Credit: Image Press Agency/NurPhoto/Shutterstock

Teresa Giudice, 50, is ready to cha cha her way to the Mirror Ball Trophy on Dancing with the Stars! Teresa has joined the season 31 cast of the competition series, though it turns out that this wasn’t the first time she’s been asked to participate. “It’s better now because I remember years ago I got asked when I came home from — I hate to say the word — prison, I got asked to be on Dancing with the Stars as soon as I came home,” the Real Housewives of New Jersey star revealed at a virtual press junket that HollywoodLife attended on Sept. 8.

Teresa Giudice
Teresa Giudice (Photo: Image Press Agency/NurPhoto/Shutterstock)

Teresa, who served 11 months in prison until December 2015 for fraud, explained that she was “struggling” with deciding whether or not she should do DWTS at the time. “The kids were still young and I just got home and I didn’t want to leave them,” she said at the junket. “I was very torn, but then I couldn’t do it anyway because I had to be on Bravo first. So it worked out and then, look, years later, it came back around. So it was meant to be for me to be on Dancing with the Stars.”

The mom-of-four, who is partnered with pro dancer Pasha Pashkov this season, said that joining DWTS is “dream come true,” since she used to watch the show with her dad Giacinto Gorga, who passed away in April 2020. “I watched when my dad was living with me, and today’s my dad’s birthday. So it really was meant to be so. He’s looking down on me, and I know he’s really proud. We used to watch it together. He used to love watching the girl dancers.”

Teresa’s youngest child, 13-year-old daughter Audriana, is a competitive dancer, so naturally the Bravo star has gotten some advice now that she’s agreed to join the show. “[Audriana] said, ‘Make sure you have fun. Enjoy every moment. Feel your partner’s energy, and don’t be scared.’ And I’m like, “That’s easy for you to say,’ ” Teresa joked. ‘ “Dance like it’s your last time dancing, make the best of it,’ which I thought she was so cute. I have it in writing, so [that’s] something that I’m always going to share with her. I want all my daughters to be proud of me, and I want my husband [Luis Ruelas] to be proud of me.”

The new DWTS cast also includes Jordin SparksWayne BradySelma BlairVinny Guadagnino, Charli D’Amelio, and more. Season 31 premieres Monday, September 19 on Disney+.

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