Melissa Rycroft: My Daughter Has No Idea I’m on ‘Dancing With the Stars’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Melissa Rycroft is one of the most recognizable faces on Dancing With the Stars: All-Stars — to everyone, that is, except her 20-month-old daughter, Ava Grace.

“I think when she sees me in the costumes with the makeup, it kind of weirds her out a little bit,” Rycroft, 29, revealed to Celebuzz last week. “She recognizes my voice, but she doesn’t recognize me in the sparkles and the outfits.”

“My only wish is that she was a little older,” she continued. “But I am making her a collection of the bracelets that I wear on Monday nights. So, hopefully it’ll be something I can show her one day and she’ll be proud of.”

In the meantime, Rycroft says that while Ava is totally clueless to Dancing With the Stars, she’s already showing signs of becoming a dancer herself. In fact, Ava will often march around the house whenever there is music playing.

“When the music ends, she claps and says, ‘Yay!'” Rycroft said.

“She can be whatever she wants, but my heart would burst if she were a dancer.”

On Monday night, Rycroft and her Dancing partner, Tony Dovolani, enter week three of Dancing With the Stars: All-Stars. So far, she says the reunited pair are “hanging in there” amid the heavy competition.

“The competition came out so strong, and I don’t think anyone was prepared for what we saw week 1 and then definitely in week 2,” she said. “There’s some phenomenal talent out there. There are some great personalities. We are working to find our footing and find out our own ways to stand out amongst the powerhouses of this season.”

“Our biggest challenge has been getting me back in shape — not physically but in dancing terms,” she continued. “My body is not quite moving in the same way that it used to, and it’s not moving as easily as it used to. I guess that’s because it’s been through a lot in the last three years.”

“It’s also been difficult to reinvent ourselves. Being [one of] the few couples that has been paired again, we have to make each of our dances so much different than they were in season 8 to keep the audience interested and keep it fresh.”

Rycroft welcomed Ava Grace in February 2011 with her husband, Tye Strickland.

Dancing With the Stars airs Monday night at 8PM on ABC.

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