Meet Rylee Arnold, the new pro on 'Dancing With the Stars': 'I have dreamt about this moment'

Rylee Arnold is the sister of "DWTS" pro and Mirror Ball champ Lindsay Arnold.

Meet Rylee Arnold, the new pro on 'Dancing With the Stars': 'I have dreamt about this moment'
Andrew Eccles/ABC
September 13, 2023, 8:22 AM

"Dancing with the Stars" has a new dance pro.

On Wednesday, it was announced that Rylee Arnold, 18, the youngest sister of "DWTS" pro and Mirrorball champion Lindsay Arnold, will be the new pro dancer on the reality competition show.

"I have dreamt about this moment for my entire life," Rylee Arnold shared in an interview with "Good Morning America" ahead of the reveal.

"Following in my sister's footsteps"

Rylee Arnold, who is 11 years younger than her big sister, grew up watching Lindsay Arnold perform on "DWTS."

"Watching Lindsay on the show was such a fun experience and made me want to do the show even more," said Rylee Arnold, who said she would go to the live tapings of "DWTS." "I loved watching her perform."

"I just remember when I was like 8 or 9, after a show one time, I was trying to choreograph a dance for Lindsay because I just literally wanted to be on the show so bad," she added.

Rylee Arnold said that by experiencing the show behind-the-scenes at an early age, she was able to get a glimpse of some of the challenges that come with the competition.

"It's really helpful to me that I got to experience that because I'm not just coming from not knowing anything about the show or not knowing how things work," she said, adding that she considers the other dance pros on the show family.

"All the people on the show already are like big sisters and brothers to me," she said.

The recent high school graduate said having this connection to the show has made her "comfortable" ahead of the competition.

The biggest advice sister Lindsay Arnold has given her

When Lindsay Arnold found out her younger sister was going to be on "DWTS," Rylee Arnold said the duo had a two-week boot camp of sorts.

While training for the competition, Rylee Arnold said her big sister would share the lessons she'd learned from competing on the show.

"Every day she just talked to me about things you might face and things you might do, but one of her biggest things was always be yourself," Rylee Arnold said. "Because people want you to be yourself and it's OK to be yourself. You don't want to have to be somebody else."

Ahead of the new season, Lindsay Arnold also shared her excitement for her sister joining the competition.

"I am so beyond proud of my sister and cannot wait to watch her this season!" the Mirror Ball winner said in a statement to "GMA." "It's such a full circle moment for me as this show absolutely changed my life and now it's my baby sister's time to shine and live out her dreams!"

"I will be her biggest cheerleader all season long," she added.

Preparing for "DWTS"

Rylee Arnold may be a new pro this season, but she is no stranger to the ballroom.

In 2018, when she was 13, she participated in "DWTS: Juniors," a spin-off of "DWTS," with her sister, who served as a coach.

Rylee Arnold was paired with "Black-ish" actor Miles Brown for the show, and the team placed as runners-up in the competition.

"That was the best experience ever," Rylee Arnold recalled.

In addition to competing in "DWTS: Juniors," Rylee Arnold said she has spent her " whole dance career" in preparation for this opportunity.

"I was on a competitive team, I did ballroom dancing, so I competed all over the nation," she said about preparing for the moment.

"It's happening"

With just two weeks until the season premiere, Rylee Arnold said she "can't believe it's happening."

"Its such a dream for dancers to be on the show, which is just so crazy that I get that opportunity," she said.

As someone who religiously watched the show growing up, she said she can't wait for the experiences to come, like meeting her dance partner, choreographing routines and participating in the show's iconic themed-weeks, including Disney week and Halloween.

But most of all, she said can't wait to live out her dream.

"I just found a lot of joy throughout my dance career, just performing and being in front of a camera, which is what I'm going to be doing," she said. "So, I am just so excited to do that."