Winning "Dancing With the Stars" season 29 is a full-circle moment for Kaitlyn Bristowe.
Being the daughter of a ballerina and growing up with dance most of her life, she has wanted to compete on "DWTS" for years, finally getting the chance to do so and walking away with the Mirrorball trophy with pro partner Artem Chigvintsev.
"If you want a dream to come true, you have to be willing to work for it and go through all of the challenges and appreciate all the hard times to really feel the success," Bristowe told "Good Morning America" Tuesday after their big win.
The "Bachelorette" star certainly faced ups and downs, with one of the highest moments being an Argentine tango set to Britney Spears' "Toxic" and one of the lowest moments being an ankle injury that threatened her spot on the show.
Bristowe, now 35, told "GMA" she recently found a photo of herself when she was about 5 years old sitting cross-legged in a dance studio wearing ballet slippers.
"I would tell her to never give up on her dreams, as cheesy as that is," the reality star replied when asked what she would tell her younger self.
While Bristowe is thinking about her own childhood, Chigvintsev's son Matteo is at the top of his mind. He credits the little guy, whom he welcomed with fiancée Nikki Bella on July 31, for helping him win his first-ever Mirrorball Trophy.
"I think my mindset was very different [this season] -- especially because I am a dad now and I have a newborn son," the Russian-born dancer, who has competed on "DWTS" for nine seasons, said. "I just felt like this was for him."
Chigvintsev, 38, explained that winning is "only worth it when you have someone special you really want to share it with." With his family sending love and support -- and Bristowe's boyfriend, Jason Tartick, cheering on his girlfriend from home -- Chigvintsev noted that "it means so much more" and "it's a moment to definitely be proud of."
This season marks back-to-back wins by "Bachelorette" stars, with Hannah Brown reigning supreme last year. As for who she would like to see try and make it three in a row, Bristowe passed the baton to current "Bachelorette" lead Tayshia Adams.
"I was in Napa with her a couple of years back and we had a dance party all night long," she recalled with a laugh. "So I would vote for her to be next."
This was a unique season of "DWTS" to say the least. There were no live audiences and safety precautions were implemented both on and off the set due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite this reality, Bristowe declared the whole experience "was everything I thought it would be -- and then some."
"I was just grateful that the season even happened," she continued, adding that she would return for an all-star season "in a heartbeat."