Monday, November 01, 2010

All The Pros Over The Years!

To celebrate the 200th episode of Dancing With The Stars today, let’s take a look at all the professional dancers who have participated throughout the years on this hit show. What does it take to earn a spot as an instructor to the stars?

(Some of these names you’ll recognize but others you may not…)

Louis Van Amstel
Appearing in seven seasons of DWTS, Louis Van Amstel is an accomplished, Dutch-born ballroom dancer. He has also appeared as a choreographer on So You Think You Can Dance. His dancing achievements include US Professional Latin American champion, 7-time Dutch National Amateur Champion, World Professional Showdance Champion, Professional World Latin Finalist.
His best showing on DWTS was on season 9 with partner Kelly Osbourne; they came in 3rd.

Corky Ballas
Corky is a retired professional ballroom dancer who has been on DWTS for two seasons. He is also the father of two-time DWTS champion Mark Ballas and has trained many other DWTS professionals, including Karina Smirnoff, Julianne & Derek Hough, Tony Dovolani, Edyta Sliwinska, Alec Mazo, Brian Fortuna, Jonathan Roberts, Anna Trebunskaya, and Jesse DeSoto. He holds several Latin dance championship titles, including Open To The World International Champion, Open to the World British Champion, and eight-time undefeated US International Latin Champion (along with famed partner Shirley Ballas). Corky and Shirley were known as one of professional competitive Latin Dance's most successful couples ever.

Mark Ballas
Mark Ballas has won Dancing With The Stars two times (with Kristi Yamaguchi and Shawn Johnson) and appeared in 6 seasons. He is the son of Corky and Shirley Ballas. His achievements include becoming the British Juvenile Ballroom and Latin American Dance Champion, US Open To The World, British Open To The World, and International Open To The World Junior Latin American Champion, and Junior Olympics Gold Medal winner. He is also a signer and songwriter for the Ballas Hough band.

Inna Brayer
Inna Brayer was paired with actor Ted McGinley on the seventh season of DWTS. She was born in Russia and made the rounds of the international dance competition circuits. She has represented America in several competitions, including the World Championships. With former partner Pavel Pashikov, Inna was recognized as the National Amateur 10-Dance Champion. She also competed in 6 world championships.

Cheryl Burke
Cheryl is a Latin Champion dancer and two-time Emmy nominated choreographer who has been on Dancing With The Stars for 10 seasons. She won back-to-back disco ball trophies with partner Drew Lachey in Season 2, and then with Emmitt Smith in Season 3. Her dancing achievements include becoming the World Cup Professional Rising Star Latin Champion and Ohio Star Ball Rising Star Champion. She was also fourth in the US in the Under 21s division.

Dmitry Chaplin
Dmitry is an International Latin dancer and Emmy-nominated choreographer who was also a TOP 10 finalist in Season 2 of So You Think You Can Dance. He has starred on DWTS twice before and finished in second place with his partner Mya in Season 9. His dancing achievements include becoming a World Class Latin Finalist and US National Amateur Latin Champion Finalist.

Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Maks is a Ukrainian-born Latin Ballroom dance champion, choreographer, and instructor. He owns four dance studios in the New York City area and is one of the creators of Dance Team USA, a non-profit organization dedicated to training dance sport participants. Participating in 9 seasons of DWTS, Maks has come close to getting that shiny disco ball three times. He made it to the finals with boxing champ Laila Ali in Season 4, finished in second place in Season 5 with Mel B, and last season a close third with Erin Andrews.

Ashly Costa
Ashly is a professional Latin dancer from Highland, Utah who starred on the ABC television series Dancing with the Stars for the first three seasons and returned for Season 10 to partner with famed astronaut Buzz Aldrin. With partner Jonathan Gulledge, Costa has won several Amateur Ten Dance titles. She also partnered professionally with Rick Robinson on the professional Latin circuit before retiring.

Anna Demidova
Anna won the professional dancer competition on DWTS and went on to partner with Michael Irvin on the following season. Michael and Anna were eliminated in the seventh week of that show. She is a Russian-American ballroom dancer who was an Under 21 Ballroom Finalist at Blackpool and placed second in the Rising Star International Standard Division with partner Andrei Begunov.

Jesse DeSoto
Jesse DeSoto competed on only one season of Dancing With The Stars, Season 3 with model Shanna Moakler. They finished in tenth place. Jesse's list of accomplishments include: Nevada Star Ball Rising Star American Rhythm Champion, Ohio Star Ball Rising Star American Rhythm Champion, U.S. Dancesport Championships World Mambo Finalist, Cleveland Dancesport Champion, Crystal Ball American Rhythm Champion, St Louis Star Ball American Rhythm Champion, Indiana Challenge Open American Rhythm Champion, California Open American Rhythm Champion. He also owns two Fred Astaire Dance Studios in the Chicago area.

Tony Dovolani
One of the most recognizable faces in the professional dancing world today, Tony is a professional dancer and actor. Getting his start at a Fred Astaire Dance Studio, he went on to become the World and US Rhythm champion. He also coached Jennifer Lopez and had a small part in the hit dance movie, Shall We Dance. On Dancing With The Stars, he has made it to third place three times with Stacey Keibler and Melissa Rycroft.

Brian Fortuna
Brian is a professional Ballroom and Latin dancer, specializing in street-style Salsa. In addition to choreography and instruction, he is adept at choreographing and teaching wheelchair ballroom dancing. Brian danced with Shandi Finnessey on season 4 of DWTS. He has also starred on the UK version of DWTS, Strictly Come Dancing. In 2004 and 2005, Brian won the North American Top Teacher competition and was the Imperial Dance Sport Champion. Brian is a certified judge by the United States Terpsichore Association. Brian appeared as a featured dancer in the film The Aviator.

Elena Grinenko
Elena was the undefeated U.S. and World Rhythm Champion with Tony Dovolani. On the third season of DWTS, she was eliminated in the first week with partner Tucker Carlson. She returned the next season to dance with Clyde Drexler. They were the fourth couple to be eliminated. In 2010, Grinenko represented the U.S.A. in the Second Dance World Championship (celebrated in Mexico) with Paul Barris.

Andrea Hale
Andrea only participated in the second season of DWTS with partner Kenny Mayne. They were voted off during the first week. She competes in both standard and Latin styles of dance. Her list of accomplishments include: North American Champion, 2 time U.S. National Champion, 4 time U.S. Representative to the World Dancesport Championships, highest ranking couple in International Championships - United Kingdom Championships - and British Open Championships.

Chelsie Hightower
Chelsie, an Emmy-nominated Latin ballroom dancer, is an alumnae of So You Think You Can Dance. She was the US Worlds Finalist and represented Team USA in the Latin Style at Blackpool (coming in third with her team). On Dancing With The Stars, she has gone as high as 4th place with partner Ty Murray in Season 8.

Derek Hough
Derek is a former world Youth Latin Champion dancer and a current member of the Ballas Hough band. A multi-talented entertainer, Derek also performed on London's West End and played the lead in Footloose. He has been on 7 seasons of DWTS and has won the competition twice, with partners Brooke Burke and Nicole Scherzinger.

Julianne Hough
Julianne, Derek Hough’s sister, has also won the DWTS mirror trophy ball two times with partners Apolo Anton Ohno and Helio Castroneves. She is a professional dancer, having won the Latin Youth Championship at Blackpool, and is also a professional country music singer.

Kym Johnson
Kym is an Australian dancer, model, and TV celebrity. She was the Australian Ballroom Champion and represented Australia in the world 10 Dance Championships for 2 years. She also was part of the world tour of the Burn The Floor Production and appeared in the hit dance movie Strictly Ballroom. She won season 9 of DWTS with partner Donny Osmond.

Charlotte Jorgensen
A Danish dancer, Charlotte has only participated in the first season of DWTS. Her partner was John Hurley and John and Charlotte eventually won the championship in a controversial “dance off” with Kelly Monaco. She was the World Amateur Champion and won the Professional Rising Star Championships at Blackpool. She was also Richard Gere’s dance instructor for the hit dance movie Shall We Dance.

Nick Kosovich
Nick is a professional ballroom dancer and Emmy-nominated choreographer who specializes in American Smooth and International Ten Dance. An internationally respected figure in the ballroom world, Nick competed for 36 years having represented in seven Professional World Championship events. He won the United States American Smooth Championships and finished second in the 2004/5 World Classic Showdance Championships. He partnered with Tatum O’Neal and Vivica Fox on DWTS.

Alec Mazo
Alex won the first season of DWTS with partner Kelly Monaco. He is married to fellow dancer Edyta Sliwinska. He was the 5-time US National Finalist. Alec has been in the movies Dance With Me and The Curious Case of Benjamin Buttons.

Jonathan Roberts
Jonathan was the World and US Smooth champion with partner Valentina Kostenko and US Rising Star Latin Champion with his partner and wife Anna Trebunskaya. He has competed on all the seasons except for 3, 7, 10, and 11 of DWTS, getting as far as 3rd place with Marie Osmond in season 5.

Fabian Sanchez
Dancing with the Stars professional dancer Fabian Sanchez is a highly accomplished professional ballroom dancer. He started dancing and competing in 1992 and has since then gained several recognitions from different championships. Among his titles are the United States Rising Star Champion and the United States Open American Rhythm Finalist. He was also a four-time Fred Astaire National Champion. In 2006, he won the United States World Mambo. Sanchez and wife Jacqueline own and run the Fred Astaire Dance Studio located in Hoover, Alabama. Sanchez is also active in his career as a choreographer and a coach. On DWTS, Fabian partnered with Marlee Matlin on season 6.

Lacey Schwimmer
Lacey was the winner of multiple youth championships and one of the top 4 finalists on the hit dance TV show So You Think You Can Dance. She danced at the MTV Movie Awards 2008 alongside Adam Sandler and was cast to dance in Adam Shankman's film Bedtime Stories starring Adam Sandler. On Season 7 of DWTS, Lacey was partnered with Lance Bass and they finished in third place.

Edyta Sliwinska
Edyta was a four-time US finalist in Latin dancing. She competed in the first 10 seasons of DWTS, getting as far as second place with partner Jason Taylor in Season 6. Her professional awards include becoming the Emerald Ball Latin Amateur Champion and winning first place in the International Grand Ball and the Holiday Ball. She is married to fellow dancer Alec Mazo.

Karina Smirnoff
Karina is an acclaimed dancer. Her achievements include becoming five-time US National Champion, World Trophy Champion, and Asian Open Champion. She is the first woman to ever make the British Professional Final with three different partners. The highest score she’s gotten in DWTS was on season 3 with partner Mario Lopez; they finished in second place.

Anna Trebunskaya
Anna’s many achievements on the dance floor include becoming the International Grand Ball Champion, US Rising Star Latin Champion, and Blackpool Rising Star Latin Finalist. She is married to fellow dancer Jonathan Robers and has made it to the finals twice during her time with DWTS, with Jerry Rice and Evan Lysacek.

Damian Whitewood
Damian is an Australian champion dancer who has performed on DWTS in the U.S. and So You Think You Can Dance in Australia and Holland. He also is a cast member of the ever popular Burn The Floor stage production. He partnered with Pamela Anderson in Season 10; they were the 6th couple to be eliminated.

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