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EXCLUSIVE: Dancing With The Stars’ Bridie Carter describes the “catastrophic” floods in her farming community

Bridie Carter views the experience of competing on Dancing With The Stars: All-Stars as “extremely different” than when she originally performed on the competition in 2007.

“When I did that series way back when, for me, it was absolutely about high-quality dancing, entertainment at the highest level, and we had the time to create that. And I had so much creative input. And this series was very different to that for me,” she tells New Idea.

“I am a high achiever, I don’t compete with anyone else, I compete with myself. And if I’m going to entertain you, I’m going to do it in the best way I can. And I tried to do that. But I think the benchmarks were quite different in this series and there were different things at play,” she continued, adding that she wasn’t criticizing the format.

Bridie, 51, goes on to say that she felt like she was “performing other people’s dances,” and that the thing that made her “most unhappy” was not getting to do her favorite dance.

“I was actually rehearsing five dances at once. The one where it was actually Bridie dancing, which was bare feet, contemporary, with amazing music that I connected to and a piece that I actually chose myself with my dance partner, I never got to do.”

The dance in question was reminiscent of her time in the first season when she danced with a frame and entered the floor barefoot.

“I was just sh*tty that I didn’t get to do that. It had nothing to do with winning or mirror balls. I just knew people would hopefully love that.”

According to New Idea, the actress’s “schedule was ridiculous” and didn’t mesh with her work ethic.

“I work as if I’m doing an opening night every dance. I’ve got to master every dance. I’m not very good at cutting corners. And the schedule was not very accommodating to my work ethic,” she says. “I was dancing seven hours a day, seven days a week. And maybe I actually did too much, but I just don’t know how to do it any other way. I don’t go halfway.”

Bridie admits that she struggled to “blend in” to the reality TV culture throughout her time on the show.

“I’m not a celebrity, I’m an actor, and I felt far more absolutely this series that I was in the world of reality television, and I find that very uncomfortable because I don’t want to be a reality television star.

“I’m Bridie Carter the actor who wants to tell stories and connect with people at home, that’s my world. I think a lot of people there were more familiar with that world and, for me, I didn’t feel like I fitted in at all; I felt really uncomfortable actually a lot of the time.”

Despite this, the 51-year-old says she is “grateful” that she was offered the job by Channel Seven in the midst of the pandemic.

“I’m a realist,” she says. “I live in Australia and our industry is really small and there’s not as much drama as reality television now. So when I get a job offer, I say ‘thank you so much and yes I’m coming’. We don’t live in a country where actors might go ‘oh, I don’t know, it’s not really my cup of tea’. Most of us say yes to everything and anything because we’ve got to pay our mortgage and we’ve got children to feed.”

The pandemic put a terrible burden on many people’s finances. The floods in Northern NSW are now having an equally devastating effect on residents of afflicted localities, including Bridie’s farming hamlet of Lismore.

The actress has witnessed firsthand the ongoing devastation and is hoping to raise awareness and donations for the crisis.

“Catastrophic, unbelievable, and devastating. I suppose they’re three words,” Bridie tells New Idea when describing the situation, adding that she’s “very unsure of what the way forward is”.

The actress and her family live on a farm, but she says she is “very fortunate” that her home is on higher ground.

“Because my land is elevated, not a single part of it flooded,” she explains. “Devastation abounds outside my borders. “I’m just extremely fortunate and grateful.”

Bridie says she’s been “inspired by the people around (her)” as towns continue to come together to provide a helping hand throughout the natural disaster.

“When tragedy strikes, you learn a lot about your friends and your community. And it’s not uncommon for people’s greatest qualities to shine through “ponders the 51-year-old.

The McLeod’s Daughters actress goes on to share touching stories of the “spirit in action” she’s witnessed during the disaster, speaking of a man who traveled from Sydney to deliver a generator and another townsperson who gave out free coffees for people cleaning up.

But it’s the story about her optometrist that really gets to Bridie, who gets upset as she describes how “trauma affects in different ways.”

“When we had the floods in 2017, everyone put hearts up in their window in Lismore when people were up and running again,” the Home & Away star tells us. “I drove past my optometrist and they had a string of hearts in the window. No shop or business, total devastation right up to the awning, but there were these hearts.

“I have great faith in human beings.”

Bridie agrees that being so far away from the disaster makes it easy to feel detached from the tragedies, but she emphasizes that the neighborhood is “far from out of the problem yet.”

“Everyone’s still in crisis, and everyone’s still in shock. But don’t go away because that help will be needed. It’s just that everyone’s trying to get out of crisis and rescue right now. A lot of communities are by no means in that state of recovery, they’re still reacting to an emergency. A little further south down from us communities like Broadwater and Woodburn and Coraki, they’re still being rescued.

“I don’t believe the fatalities are over either,” the actor adds.

At this time, the most important sort of aid we can provide is financial.

“Donate whatever you can,” the DWTS star says. “If you haven’t got it, please don’t, because we’ve all been through a pretty hellish two years as well. Trauma, upon trauma, upon trauma.

“If you’ve got it, please give it. the Lismore City Council has direct donations and the Mullumbimby Neighbourhood Centre is taking direct donations both on their website.”

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