What Willow Shields Heard From Bruno Tonioli That Fascinated Her On ‘Dancing With The Stars’

Willow Shields has had an impressive run on Dancing with the Stars. As the show’s youngest competitor, aged 14, Shields and partner Mark Ballas have had to prove they can dance on the same level as the other celebrity teams. Shields has brought home some very high scores and finished Week 5 in third place with a total score of 34 out of 40.

But for Shields, some words from judge Bruno Tonioli are what have affected her most. The Hunger Games star revealed in her Access Hollywood blog that she has a great love of reading and storytelling. When Bruno connected dancing to words, her interest was piqued.

“[A]fter one of my dances on ‘Dancing with the Stars,’ when Bruno expressed that I was beginning to ‘Express through your body as you would with your words,’ I was fascinated.

“I had never really thought of dancing as words. Dancing is a type of expression, and I knew I was already connecting with the dances emotionally. Add a great song, like Coldplay’s ‘Atlas’ and I want to be emotionally involved, as much as I want to learn the actual dance.

“But when Bruno mentioned expressing through dance as I would with words, I was instantly excited! Stories and more stories! I have spent my life loving them.”

Shields went on to describe how being cast as Prim in The Hunger Games at age 10 allowed her to become a part of a story she loved.

Bruno Tonioli gave Willow and Mark a score of 9 out of 10 last week. Julianne likewise gave them a 9, while Carrie Ann and Len each gave the couple 8s.

Willow had revealed in an earlier blog that she bonded early in the Dancing with the Stars season with Patti LaBelle, since she is the oldest competitor and Willow is the youngest. Patti sent Willow some love over Twitter this week and used a telling hashtag.

This week is Spring Break week, and Willow and Mark will perform an individual and group dance. They will be on team YOLO with Nastia Liukin, Noah Galloway, and Robert Herjavec. Willow’s friend Patti LaBelle will be on team Trouble.

Dancing with the Stars gets underway at 8 p.m. Monday on ABC.

[Willow Shields main image courtesy of Getty]