Jana Kramer Strives to Follow in Kellie Pickler’s Dancing Footsteps

ABCTonight as season 23 of Dancing with the Stars kicks off on ABC, a country artist will once again have a shot at taking home the mirror-ball trophy, just like Kellie Pickler did back in 2013. This time, it’s “I Got the Boy” hitmaker Jana Kramer who’s showing off her fancy footwork. So far, she says it’s been every bit as much hard work as she expected -- especially since she has a little one at home.

“Expectations and the reality… they've matched up, because I knew it was going to be tough and it is tough,” Jana tells ABC Radio. “I knew it was going to be challenging, I knew it was going to be a time commitment, but that's something that I really wanted to do, because I want to just show moms out there that we can kick butt, we can have a career, we can raise beautiful children and we can kick butt doing all of it.”

So far, Jana says balancing motherhood and competitive dancing is going well, even though she just gave birth on the last day of January this year.

“She's amazing,” she says of her daughter. “She's seven-months-old and she's learning to crawl and her first tooth is coming in, so she's a little person. I feel like when I come back from dancing, I come back to Jolie and I'm even more excited to see her.”  

Jana and partner Gleb Savchenko are set to tackle the Viennese Waltz when Dancing with the Stars premieres at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. Gleb hints he’d like to eventually do a routine that starts with Jana performing her latest single “Circles,” before she takes to the dance floor.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. 

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Watch now: Dan + Shay’s hearts are overflowing, and so is their liquor cabinet

Watch now: Dan + Shay's hearts are overflowing, and so is their liquor cabinetABC/Image Group LADan + Shay are nominated for four CMA Awards on Wednesday's ABC telecast, and Dan Smyers says it's all down to one specific song: "Tequila," which was a massive hit for the duo.

"It's changed our lives," Dan Smyers tells ABC Radio. "This is the moment where we're actually feeling it all sink in. 'Cause it's been such a busy year, we've been on the road non-stop. Being able to come back here [to Nashville] and have people say, 'You guys are nominated for all these awards!' -- it's like, 'Maybe this is real life!'" 

"It's felt like a dream up 'til now. It's felt surreal but we're trying to soak it in," he adds. "It goes by fast, so we're trying to appreciate the moment."

In addition to being nominated for Single, Song and Music Video of the Year for "Tequila," Dan + Shay are also up for Vocal Duo of the Year.  Shay Mooney says that's the category he'd most like to win.

"I feel like that's a really [competitive] category, so that would definitely mean a lot," he tells ABC Radio. "We love all the guys -- and ladies -- in that category."

Win or lose, though, Dan + Shay will definitely have enough booze on hand to either celebrate or drown their sorrows.  As Dan explains, fans have been giving them bottles of tequila all year long.

"Dude, my liquor cabinet -- it overflowed!" he laughs. "I had to go to the upstairs closet.  It's filled with tequila -- it's incredible! It's a great problem. Whenever friends come over, we go through it but the supply is ample, if you will, right now. It's good!"  

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