Shawn Johnson East Explains Why 'Dancing With the Stars' Season 30 Is 'Dear' to Her (Exclusive)

Dancing with the Stars Season 30 is underway, and Shawn Johnson East is enjoying the action. While she is a fan of the ABC competition series since she won Season 8, the new season is very special for her. In an exclusive interview with PopCulture.com, East reveals why Season 30 of Dancing with the Stars is special. 

"It's a very near and dear season for me because I actually know quite a few of the people on it. So Suni Lee, obviously she's amazing. And I'm rooting for her," Johnson East told PopCulture. "JoJo Siwa is a very close friend of ours. I adore that girl and will fight for her the full time. And then Jimmie Allen is also a good friend here from Nashville. So we've got a lot of people we're rooting for."

Lee, who won three medals at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, is an early favorite to win Season 30. In the first two episodes, Lee and her pro dancer partner Sasha Farber totaled 56 points which put them in fourth place. East believes that Lee's athletic ability gives her a shot to take home the Mirrorball Trophy when it's all said and done. 

"I think the hardest thing for Suni is similar to what the hardest thing for me was, was just because of her age and her experience in life and her experience in gymnastics," East explained. "You're taught at such a young age to just bottle it all in you're are not expressive. You don't know, gymnastics is such a stoic event and with gymnastics and being so young or, and with dance and being so young, it's hard for her to come out of her shell. You still have that shyness and she still has that shyness to her. So I think if she just kind of opens up and shows us her person and kind of gets comfortable on a dance floor, for sure she could win at all."

Gymnasts have had a strong track record on Dancing with the Stars. Along with East winning it all, Laurie Hernandez won Season 23, and Simone Biles finished fourth in Season 24. East explained why gymnasts who compete on Dancing with the Stars are able to make an easy transition. 

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"Gymnastics is such a stoic event," she said. "It's so rigid and it's so professional and you're dealing with teenage girls who are hyper and crazy and love glitter and dresses. And so when you put us on a dance floor that, partnered with like our drive and our severe competitiveness, I think it just gives us an outlet to have fun."