"I'm so proud of us for so many different reasons," the 'So You Think You Can Dance' judge tells PEOPLE in a new interview
"I feel like this is such a moment for me and my family to be able to share something for all of those people that have been supporting us and loving on us and praying for us," Holker, 35, tells PEOPLE about their new children's book, Keep Dancing Through: A Boss Family Groove, which she began writing with her late husband in 2021.
In late December, the So You Think You Can Dance judge shared a sweet video of her kids — Weslie, 15, Maddox, 7, and Zaia, 3 — seeing the finished book for the first time.
The moment was emotional for Holker, who says it was "beautiful and magical" to open the box of books with her children.
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"Seeing their reactions and their faces in something that they're able to hold, and seeing their dad's face, was just such a moment that I will forever be grateful [for]," she says. "They were so happy."
While working on the project, Holker's kids got to pick out the colors of their clothes, their hairstyles and more. "[The book has] such a good message, and it's something my kids can look back on and treasure and look at all these beautiful things that my family was able to do together and be a part of," she says.
As they continue healing, Holker says she and her children are leaning into their passions and looking ahead to the future.
"Weslie is a sophomore in high school, but she's also in beauty school," she says of her oldest. "She's certified in hair and makeup already, and she's just crushing it and starting to carve her own path in life."
Maddox is "starting football" and Zaia is going to begin dance lessons this year. "She's been in gymnastics now for a year and wanted to start into the dance world," says Holker.
While it may seem natural for mom to lead the lessons, Holker says she's taking a more supportive role. "I'm very involved with my kids and whatever it is that they want to do, I'm always at all the practices and games and performances," she says. "But I let them really grow on their own and get their own confidence. I just want them to grow to be the humans they are supposed to be."
Reflecting on 2023, Holker says the year was "very challenging, confusing and conflicting" as she processed her "grief and trauma."
Now in a new year — and a new home — the star is facing the year with confidence and strength.
"[Last year] I was really being tested in a lot of different places. I'm looking forward to this year and forging a new path for myself. I'm feeling this forward motion and I'm feeling my purpose from God has really been delivered to me," she says. "I hope that people can see that you have to find love and joy again. It's not easy and it's a day-by-day challenge, but I do choose to live a big, vast life and keep finding who I am and finding that growth."
She's also finding new purpose in her role as a judge on So You Think You Can Dance, which she first joined as a contestant at just 18 years old.
"It's a lot of the same crew and the same team, and I feel safe there," she says. "People watched me grow up on that show as a contestant, then watched me become a mother, then watched me fall in love. Then they watched my family grow. To be supporting someone else's journey feels like a dream."
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Read the original article on People.