Reality TV

Being bullied online made Pia Miranda decide to compete on Dancing With The Stars

‘The threats were shocking'.
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When Pia Miranda started rehearsing for Dancing With The Stars, there was one time that her dance partner Declan Taylor apologised for pushing her too hard.

“I went, ‘Wait, wait, I’ve got something to show you,'” Pia tells TV WEEK. “I showed him our final challenge on Australian Survivor and he went, ‘OK, you’re going to be fine!'”

Pia cracked a rib while rehersing!

(Image: Supplied)

And Pia was fine, continuing with rehearsals even when she cracked a rib while practising a lift.

“We just ignored it, because I didn’t want anyone to know,” she explains. “I didn’t want to get pulled.”

The actress proved her physical and mental toughness in 2019 when she won Australian Survivor: Champions V Contenders, but also made enemies among some of the show’s fans when she voted out the popular Luke Toki.

Pia went through a brief but intense period of being bullied online.

“I didn’t want to get pulled.”

(Image: Supplied)

“I found the threats of violence really shocking,” she admits. “I didn’t expect that.”

People would direct message her, saying they wanted to “punch me in the face or something”.

“The most shocking thing was that I’d go and check out who was doing it, and many were parents of young children.”

Pia, who has two children, Lily and James, with musician husband Luke Hanigan, started to think about the importance of education in changing people’s behaviour online. One of the reasons she decided to go on DWTS was to support anti-bullying charity Dolly’s Dream.

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“I’ve been wanting to do something for Dolly’s Dream for a really long time,” she says.

Another reason Pia decided to go on the show was to celebrate her 50th birthday by doing something new.

“I feel pretty good about turning 50,” she says. “I have a lot of friends who never got the opportunity to turn 50, so for me, I look at it as a positive.”

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