With Dancing with the Stars in full swing, the “Low Key” singer says she’s more confident than ever before. PEOPLE caught up with the Fifth Harmony alumna at T.J. Martell Foundation’s 10th Annual LA Family Day on Saturday to talk all things DWTS.
“Being on Dancing with the Stars has been so transformative for me,” she tells PEOPLE exclusively. “You’ve seen me since the beginning, and I’m such a different person now. Even just in this past month, I already feel like my confidence is just booming.”
“I’ve had a really hard time believing in my dancing because those mean comments online were so bad and affected me really badly,” the 26-year-old continues. “But the more and more I can progress on the show is a blessing. All I can do is do my best.”
Throughout the show, Brooke has opened up about the bullying she faced as a member of the “Work From Home” girl group. Now, she’s excited to inspire others and adds that one of the best rewards of being on the show is seeing her own family watch proudly from the stands.
“It’s a really special feeling,” she says. “And for them to cry tears of joy because they see a different person — you can’t put a price on that.”
After wowing judges with her rumba performance of Selena’s “Dreaming of You” last Monday, she says “the best compliment” is hearing viewers compare her to Jennifer Lopez, who played Selena Quintanilla in the film about the late star’s life.
“I look up to her so much,” she says of J. Lo. “She has broken barriers for a lot of Latinas. She’s her own boss. She’s such a hard worker, she does not stop and she goes after what she wants.”
“Tonight was for you Selena 💜💜💜My #1 inspiration,” Brooke wrote in a heartfelt caption on Instagram. “I hope I made Selena’s family & fans proud. This was so beautiful for me to do. The Rumba to Dreaming of You ! I love you forever.”
While the spotlight continues to shine bright as she competes on the show, Brooke is focusing on the positive.
“I’m at this place in my life where I’m just living my best life,” she says. “I’m living in the moment and honestly just trying to be the best person I can be. Whatever happens, happens. I feel like I’m getting so much love right now and positivity that I’m really soaking it all in and I’m very, very thankful.”
“Mary, you are so incredible and I’m so happy I was able to meet you throughout the show,” she told Wilson onstage. “It’s such an honor to know you. I love you, you’re supreme! She’s my queen Mary.”
Wilson and Brooke then embraced, and the “You Can’t Hurry Love” singer called Brooke “my princess” inviting attendees to vote for Brooke.
As she competes for the mirrorball trophy with some of the people she’s built incredible connections with — including her “basically BFF” Lauren Alaina — Brooke says she’s still finding time to make music.
“In between my crazy schedule, I’m also in and out of the studio,” she says. “I’m working on my next single and there are some fun collabs coming. I always have something up my sleeve.”
Brooke is competing on DWTS alongside a star-studded cast, including The Bachelorette‘s Hannah Brown, Sailor Brinkley-Cook (who replaced her mom, supermodel Christie Brinkley, after she got injured), Karamo Brown and The Office’s Kate Flannery.
Dancing with the Stars airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.