How ‘DWTS’ Helped Me Step Out of My Parents’ Shadow

Learn some important lessons from your departure. Joseph BaenaHe talked about how he wanted to be himself during his time on the planet Dancing With the StarsHe was soon accompanied by his partner when he was expelled. Daniella KaragachDuring Tuesday, October 18, Episode

“It’s hard for any kid to have high-achieving parents. It doesn’t have to be a star. It doesn’t have to be a pro athlete. It could be any parent who is highly successful. It’s difficult,” Baena, 25, who is the son of Arnold Schwarzenegger Mildred BaenaExclusively told Us WeeklyFollowing his performance. “There’s a lot of pressure [and]There is a lot of comparison. So, the main thing wasn’t just stepping out of anyone’s shadows — it was more so me just trying to please myself and trying to chase my own dreams.”


Joseph Baena.
Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

The fitness model is highly praised DWTS for helping him build up his confidence, adding, “This show for sure is the icing on the cake for this year of doing that — chasing my own passions [and]My own dreams. I’ve found a new passion. Like, I love dancing, it’s been so fun.”

Joseph also spoke highly of his experience working with Karagach (29), during season 31. “Daniella has made this experience that much better the way that she’s coached me, the way that she’s been such a great teammate, partner [and] friend,” he continued. “It means the world to me. It’s crazy.”

During the second part of Stars’ Stories Week, the duo performed the cha-cha to Walk the Moon’s “Shut Up and Dance” before being eliminated with a score of 32. According to the bodybuilder’s mother, it made the experience more meaningful.

“My mom was there in the crowd tonight and it was really extremely nice that she was there because she wasn’t supposed to be there,” he shared with Use. “I was supposed to have some friends, just a group of friends that were here. … Everything happens for a reason. She got to see my last ballet, which was amazing for me. She’s super proud and it’s a crazy night.”

Ahead of his exit, the California native previously opened up about his father’s reaction to his time on DWTS. “He’s so happy, he’s so proud [of me],” Joseph told reporters on October 10 after performing a dance inspired by Hercules, which doubled as a subtle shout-out to Schwarzenegger. “I love my father. He’s the smartest, best man I can think of. So, you know, to be compared to him — to be in the same character, Hercules — it’s amazing. It’s awesome. And, you know, who doesn’t want to be like their father, right? It’s great.”

Dancing With the StarsAirs Mondays at 8 p.m. on Disney+ ET.

Christina Garibaldi reporting