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Jane Seymour: 'Dancing with the Stars' family lent big support


By Christopher Rocchio, 10/15/2007 

When Jane Seymour learned of her 92-year-old mother Mieke Frankenberg's death she "completely fell apart, but was able to get by with a little help from her Dancing with the Stars fifth-season friends.

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"I was crying uncontrollably and everyone around me at Dancing with the Stars couldn't have been kinder. They were hugging and holding me and handing me tissues," Seymour wrote recently on her personal blog.  "It's like being in a giant family. It's as if I've known these people all my life."

Seymour wasn't in attendance at Dancing with the Stars' live October 2 result show because she learned of her mother's death -- which was due to complications from a stroke she suffered earlier this year -- following the previous night's performance episode. 

"I went home and cried a whole lot more and then went into a trance like state where I didn't know what I was supposed to do," wrote Seymour.  "I kept losing things, I kept not knowing what to do next."

Seymour said she was comforted by her husband James, who in addition to booking them flights to London for the funeral also helped her professional partner Tony Dovolani procure a visa to travel across the Atlantic and keep practicing.

"We got on the airplane and I just kept thinking to myself, 'How am I going to do this. How is this going to work? This is insane. We're going all the way to England, eleven hour flight, I have to sleep. If I can sleep then maybe I can cope with this, maybe I can handle this,'" wrote Seymour.

Seymour said preparations for her mom's funeral were done "fast forward" to accommodate the Dancing with the Stars celebrity participant, a fact she was grateful for because it still allowed her and Dovolani time to rehearse their tango routine for last Monday night's performance episode broadcast.

"Tony, bless him, took me off the airplane straight into a dance studio in London," she wrote.  "I felt like I was in a time warp. I didn't know where I was or what I was doing. He did everything he could to get a tango into me in two and half days. It is impossible to learn a tango in two and a half days, it's a twenty year experience to learn how to do a tango. Tony was relentless, he just kept moving my head and moving my body and he just said, 'Do this, do this, do this, you can do it, I know you can do it.'"

By helping her "focus on the dance, rather than focusing on anything else," Seymour said she remembered her initial reason for signing on as a Dancing with the Stars contestant.

"I realized that I needed to do this. I also realized that I made the commitment to my mother that I was going to do this and if I was going to dance for her and if I was going to come back and manage to do all of this in the one week, that I had to focus on what it was I was doing at the time," she wrote.  "I became very teary, I kept losing my focus. Tony was just amazing. He had the patience of a saint and at the same time he was really strict with me and made sure that I focused on what I was doing then."

With Dovolani's help in refocusing her on the competition, Seymour said she was able to spend quality time with her family and friends before attending funeral services for her mother last Saturday.

"The service was the most beautiful service I've ever experienced in my life," she wrote.  "We talked about my mother's whole life and it was interspersed with people who would get up and speak from their recollection of that moment in her life. It was just beautiful, it was seamless. It was not a mourning experience, it was more a celebration of Mieke's life."

Seymour is still celebrating her mother's life by competing on Dancing with the Stars, as she and Dovolani found themselves atop the judges leader board following last Monday night's performance episode with a 27 out of 30 possible points. They are one of nine couples remaining in the competition.

(Photo credit ABC)


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