Andrew Eccles/abc Jordin Sparks and Brandon Armstrong
The 32-year-old singer made and former American Idol winner her debut on the beloved dancing series during Monday night's season 31 premiere. And though Sparks has found success competing on reality TV, she told reporters including PEOPLE afterwards that this show feels different.
"I want to do this because it scares me," she said about DWTS. "It scares me, terrified is the word. I'm terrified and excited!"
Though the two emotions might be enough to sway another person from the ballroom, Sparks went on to say that her 4-year-old son Dana Isaiah Jr. inspired her to step outside her comfort zone, and that joining the series comes in an effort to set an example for her son.
"I want to show him that you can be brave and scared at the same time," Sparks said. "So I really am doing this for him."
Sparks wasn't sure if her boy got the chance to watch the premiere, but shared that he's been excited as she's embarked on this new journey. "'Where are you going, Mommy?' He asks me every morning," she recalled, explaining that she tells him, "'I got to go to work. I got to go to rehearsal.' "
This fall has been a time of extra adjustment for the family, Sparks noted, with husband Dana Isaiah also starting a new job and their son starting school. "There's a lot of new chapters and new beginnings happening and it feels a little frantic a little bit," Sparks said. "But at the same time, when I come home and I'm able to just sit with him and bond with him, we have that reconnection moment, it makes it all worth it."
The "Battlefield" singer made sure to shout out her husband, too, saying he was the one who pushed her to join the show and do something new. "My family really is everything to me," she said.
Eric McCandless/abc Brandon Armstrong and Jordin Sparks
Sparks and her partner Brandon Armstrong opened the DWTS premiere episode on Monday night with Whitney Houston's "I Wanna Dance with Somebody," her party song of choice. Sparks recalled the experience of working with Houston on the set of 2012's Sparkle, who she called "so supportive."
"We were sitting and we were just waiting for [the] camera to turn around, and she started playing some amazing music and somebody did this amazing run and I was like, 'Wow, I wish I could do that,' " Sparks recounted to reporters afterwards. "And she looked at me and was like, 'You can do that. You can do that. Don't ever tell yourself that you can't. Don't let anybody tell you you can't. Don't let anybody else tell you you can't.' And I've carried that with me through a lot of my performances."
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Dancing with the Stars airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on Disney+.