Dancing With the Stars had a bigger impact on James Van Der Beek and his family than he could have ever imagined, the Dawson's Creek actor's former dance partner Emma Slater told Us Weekly in a new interview published Tuesday. Slater revealed that Van Der Beek's five children — Olivia, 9, Joshua, 7, Annabel, 5, Emilia, 3, and Gwendolyn, 18 months — whom he shares with wife Kimberly Van Der Beek, are still enthralled by what happened in their dad's season.
"James sends me videos of his kids dancing to our songs that we performed on the show, and he just sent me one yesterday actually of Annabel, his middle daughter," the pro dancer told the outlet. "She was dancing to our Viennese waltz song, 'I Put a Spell on You.' She had a costume on. I feel like the show was really good for James and I know that this is what he wanted."
Slater continued, "He was able to show his kids that life is so creative and so beautiful and you've got to put yourself out there and open doors and not be afraid to try something that you're not necessarily used to. I think that rather than him just telling his kids that they have to do that, he was able to show them by doing the show."
The dancer added she knew how much watching their dad compete meant to the Van Der Beek kids, who were "ignited" and "so excited" by it. "I really feel like doing the show meant something so much bigger than dancing to James," she noted.
Van Der Beek and Slater made it to the top five in their season before being eliminated last month after learning Kimberly had experienced a miscarriage of their sixth child.
"The little soul that we had expected to welcome into our family took a shortcut to whatever lies beyond," he revealed on the Nov. 18 episode of the ABC series. "You never know why these things happen. That's what I've been telling my kids."
Slater revealed that while Van Der Beek was devastated to be sent home, it was a "silver lining" that he got to spend so much time with his wife in the wake of such a tragic turn.
"Kimberly, his wife, who is still recovering, even now, really did need to have some family time," Slater added. "She would have liked to have seen her husband in the finale, she wanted him to do the samba. I think the silver lining was that getting him to be at home was so healing for her."
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