Christine Chiu shared with NextShark her thoughts on her “Dancing With the Stars” journey and on moving toward greater Asian representation on television.
From “Bling Empire” to “Dancing With the Stars”: Christine Chiu, who produced and starred in Netflix's hit series "Bling Empire," fulfilled her lifelong dream of being able to dance on “Dancing With the Stars” (DWTS) by competing in the show’s 30th season.
Although Chiu was eliminated on Week 3, she expressed her gratitude and shared her most memorable moments on the show with NextShark.
“I had been a superfan of DWTS since the beginning of the show!” Chiu admitted. “Fifteen years ago, I would stand in line to wait for my chance to watch the show as an audience member. I must have sat in every seat of that ballroom studio, admiring the talent and magic that was unveiled before me with each dance.”
Chiu immersed herself in ballet, jazz, tap, lyrical and Chinese folk dancing when she was a child. In school, she also became a cheerleader and joined her college’s dance team.
“My excitement superseded my nerves and before I could rationalize my candidacy for the show, I had already started practicing with my partner,” Chiu recalled.
The producer was also grateful for the friendships she built while being a part of the show. She appreciated her peers’ encouragement during dress rehearsals as well as the behind the scenes of the competition.
She recalled being heartbroken after landing in the bottom two for her performance. While in the restroom, Mel C was quick to embrace her and give her “the kindest words of encouragement and pep talk,” Chiu shared. “The goodness in the hearts of people and the kindness that surrounds us is truly incredible. Although it is a competition, the camaraderie on DWTS 30 is second to none.”
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Dance as a magical journey: While Chiu appears to be a wealthy Asian American socialite on “Bling Empire,” she proves that happiness does not always come from money. Chiu’s journey in DWTS helped her see the creative arts as a vital component of the overall well-being of humans.
“It’s in the choreography that my mind is stimulated and creativity stretched,” Chiu told NextShark. “It’s in the challenge of difficult technical moves that I find excitement and tap into a child-like innocence of fearlessness. It’s the magical journey that the art of dance takes me on where I find myself to be most joyous and authentically me.”
Chiu, who is also a mother to son Gabriel, expressed her devotion to ensuring that communities of children receive equal access to enjoy the arts and music. “My personal journey with dance, most recently with DWTS, reaffirms this notion that creative arts is an essential component of our overall mental, physical and emotional well-being,” Chiu said.
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Forwarding Asian American representation: Following her popularity on “Bling Empire,” Chiu views her platform as a way to shift the narrative and highlight Asians in a positive light in the face of the rise of Asian discrimination in the U.S.
“When I was a child, I can hardly recall Asian or Asian Americans on mainstream television and oftentimes felt ugly or like an outcast,” Chiu shared. “In the rare occasions I would see faces like my own in either the big or small screens, they were highly stereotyped and usually not celebrated in a positive light.”
“To be able to help shift the narrative about Asians in a positive direction – highlighting successful Asians, showcasing Asian Americans as beautiful and even normalizing the everyday lives of the AAPI community is a tremendous honor,” she added.
Chiu also expressed her relief and gratitude that the new generation, including her child, are now able to grow up in a time where there is more interest in diversity and inclusion.
She is proud to contribute to and increase the percentage of AAPI representation on TV.
“With its core viewers being middle America, DWTS was an incredible platform to share personal stories and journeys that are rooted in Asian tradition and heritage,” Chiu stated. “What better chance is there to speak to the hearts of America, to share authentic stories and my journey, and also to entertain families through dance?”
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