'Dancing With the Stars' pro Alan Bersten has a 'new lease on life' following health scare (Exclusive)
Alan Bersten is opening up about his recent health scare.
Ahead of Monday's all-athlete season premiere of Dancing With the Stars, ET caught up with the 23-year-old dancer inside his rehearsals with Mirai Nagasu, where he recalled what it was like undergoing surgery after discovering he had developed a benign tumor in his neck from a potentially fatal condition called hyperparathyroidism.
Bersten says he is fully recovered and ready to rock this season of DWTS. It's been a few weeks since the procedure and he couldn't have been in happier spirits during our interview.
"I feel great, honestly," he told ET's Lauren Zima. "It's like a brand new lease on life. It sounds cliché, but it's a lot of fun."
"I don't even feel any side effects from it or anything," he continued, jokingly adding that he looks in the mirror a lot "but I think that was before the surgery."
Recalling his visit to the surgeon, however, he admits it was "really scary." He said thinking about DWTS helped him get through it all.
"I wanted recovery as fast as possible, so I could be back here for this season -- I didn't want to miss a season," he shared. "Honestly, dancing is my passion and that's what really makes me happy at the end of the day. So, I just wanted to be back as soon as possible, dancing."
Bersten first shared his story with People, telling the outlet that he was on tour with DWTS: Live! when he started experiencing sharp stomach pains. He felt fine after visiting urgent care, but his mother encouraged him to go back to the doctor for a blood test, which is when they found the tumor that luckily turned out to be non-cancerous. The doctors then told Bersten, according to the outlet, that it's extremely rare for this to occur again.
Dancing With the Stars: Athletes kicks off Monday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. This will mark Bersten's second season as a pro, as he made his debut with Debbie Gibson during season 25.
Back when Bersten was still a member of the troupe, he stopped by ET's Los Angeles studio for a Facebook Live interview, where he shared his dreams of making pro status.