ABC’s “DANCING WITH THE STARS” ANNOUNCES THE PRO DANCERS
BATTLING TO WIN THE MIRRORBALL TROPHY
BRAND NEW CELEBRITY CAST TO BE REVEALED ON TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 24,
EXCLUSIVELY ON “GOOD MORNING AMERICA”
“Dancing with the Stars” 10TH Anniversary Premieres Live on Monday, March 16
8:00–10:01 p.m., ET on ABC
The competition is just beginning for what’s sure to be one of the most exciting seasons of “Dancing with the Stars” yet. It all kicked off this morning when 10 pro dancers were revealed exclusively on “Good Morning America” in anticipation of the 10th Anniversary season premiere on MONDAY, MARCH 16 (8:00-10:01 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.
This season’s set of professional dancers includes a beloved returning pro, the reigning Mirrorball champ, and show favorites who will each teach their celebrity partner how to bring heat to the dance floor. Fans will have to wait to find out who the two remaining pros are when they’re announced in the coming weeks, completing the cast of twelve dancers. Additionally, the celebrity cast for Season 20 will be announced live on “Good Morning America” on TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 24 (7:00–9:00 a.m., ET).
This season of “Dancing with the Stars” will not only be a celebration of the last 10 years, it will also continue to innovate and surprise with both new and returning theme nights including Disney Night, Latin Night and introducing Spring Break night. Viewers will also have more access to the show than ever before. #DWTSAllAccess will expand to offer viewers a look behind the scenes with six live streams from key positions in the ballroom, as well as never before seen live streams from the DWTS rehearsal studio available for viewers to watch throughout the week on ABC.com.
As announced this morning on “Good Morning America,” the 10 pros returning to the dance floor (in alphabetical order) are:
MARK BALLAS – Mark is an Emmy®-nominated choreographer, actor and musician. As part of the professional cast of “Dancing with the Stars” for the past 14 seasons, Mark has proven to not only be a fan favorite, but is also no stranger to the coveted Mirrorball trophy. He is a two-time champion and a seven-time finalist – winning season six with Kristi Yamaguchi and season eight with Shawn Johnson.
Born in Houston, Texas, Mark moved to London with his family as a child and joined the Italia Conti Academy of Dramatic Arts Associate School where his training in acting, singing, dancing and music began.
When not dancing, Mark focuses on his other passion — music. Mark is an accomplished guitarist specializing in Flamenco, Funk, Blues and Rock. In May 2014, Mark released his debut single “Get My Name” produced by Wizz Dumb, which Ballas co-wrote with writer Jo’zzy. “Get My Name” broke Top 40 in release week on the iTunes pop chart landing #24 and the music video debuted #1 on multiple MTV platforms. On August 3, 2014, Mark released his second single, “Miss Incredible,” again produced by Wizz Dumb and written by Ballas and Jo’zzy. The breath taking cinematic-style “Miss Incredible” video features Miss Incredibles from all walks of life and is set for release August 25, 2014. Mark’s first full production solo EP, “Kicking Clouds,” debuted last fall, 2014. Both “Get My Name” and “Miss Incredible” are available on iTunes now. Last season, Mark was partnered with Sadie Robertson.
SHARNA BURGESS – Sharna Burgess grew up in Australia and has always had a love for dance and entertainment. At the age of 5, Sharna began training in ballet, jazz and gymnastics. When she turned 8 her study of ballroom began and went on to win many local and national titles. At age 15, Sharna was chosen to represent Australia at the World Championships in both the Standard and Latin styles, and performed in the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games closing ceremony. This was an honor and a memory she will never forget.
Following Sharna’s competitive career, she moved to London and continued to collect numerous titles around the globe and appeared in a UK tour with the theatre show, Simply Ballroom. Shortly after, she was scooped up to dance on the hit dance sensation, Burn The Floor. She was in the cast for 6 years and traveled to over 30 countries and 160 cities worldwide. Sharna had the opportunity to fulfill her childhood dream of dancing on Broadway, and to top it off she was a lead dancer.
Upon her departure from the theater, Sharna quickly made the transition to film and television. She has made guest appearances on Dancing with the Stars Australia, and So You Think You Can Dance Holland. She has worked with A-list choreographers to fuse the hip hop and Latin to create a whole new style and even choreographed on the feature film, Street Dance 2 – 3D. Last season Sharna was partnered with Tavis Smiley.
WITNEY CARSON – Reigning Mirrorball Champion with celebrity partner, Alfonso Ribeiro, Witney was born and raised in a small town called American Fork, Utah. She started her dancing career at the age of three. Being trained in many different dance styles including Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary, Hip Hop, Lyrical, Tap, Latin and Standard Ballroom, she has competed and performed all over the world.
At the age of 18, Witney made top six (top three girls) on “So You Think You Can Dance” season nine. She then joined ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” Pro Troupe Team, where she performed and choreographed every week for two seasons. In 2014, Witney was promoted to a Pro dancer and was paired with partner Cody Simpson.
Follow Witney @WitneyCarson
ARTEM CHIGVINTSEV — Originally from Russia, dancing has taken Artem all over the world. In 2010, Artem made his professional dancing debut on the original UK version of DWTS, “Strictly Come Dancing.” Paired with Kara Tointon, they went on to win the coveted Mirrorball Trophy, making Artem one of the first professionals to win the series as a first-time Pro.
Additionally, Artem was one of the choreographers on the British second series of “So You Think You Can Dance” and a finalist on SYTCD in the US. In 2014, Artem joined the troupe on “Dancing with the Stars” and last season, partnered with Lea Thompson.
Follow Artem @artemchigvintse
VALENTIN CHMERKOVSKIY — Valentin Chmerkovskiy joined the cast of professional dancers on “Dancing with the Stars” in 2011. The 14-time US National Champion and two-time World Dance Champion quickly rose to stardom becoming one of the show’s fan-favorites for impeccable performances that showcased not only immense talent and creativity, but an undeniable charisma to match.
Since his TV debut, the Ukrainian-born dance champion continues to steal the hearts of fans—both on and off the dance floor. Val has expanded upon his talents as a dancer, choreographer and instructor to create an empire that inspires others through the art of dance. Valentin co-founded Dance With Me Studios, one of the nation’s leading Latin and Ballroom dance studios, where he also lends his expertise as the venue’s Art Director. The success of the first studio ignited a passion for teaching his craft, leading him to pursue his latest endeavor Dance With Me Juniors, a program he proudly designed to keep kids healthy, focused and active. Val is also a classically trained Violinist, having performed in Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center as a concertmaster of the ISO Youth Orchestra. Last season, Val was partnered with Janel Parrish.
Follow Val @iamValC
TONY DOVOLANI — Tony Dovolani is balancing fitness, dance and family while capturing the hearts of millions each season on “Dancing with the Stars.” Born in Prishtina, Kosova, Tony was proficient in Albanian folk dancing by age three and was inspired by watching Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly films. After immigrating to the United States as a political refugee from his native Kosovo, Tony trained at a Connecticut Fred Astaire dance studio and eventually became one of the most dominant competitive dancers in the country.
A two-time dance champion and certified world judge, Tony brought his expertise to Hollywood when he coached Jennifer Lopez and Richard Gere for the 2004 film “Shall We Dance,” in which he also had a small role. He then joined “Dancing with the Stars” for its second season and captured our attention with partner Stacy Keibler, when the two placed third in the finals. During the “Dancing with the Stars: All-Star Season,” season 15, Tony and dance partner Melissa Rycroft won the show and took home the Mirrorball Trophy. Tony co-founded Dance With Me USA Dance Studios in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
Follow Tony @TonyDovolani
ALLISON HOLKER — Allison Holker is an Emmy® nominated dancer and choreographer. Holker was nominated with Derek Hough for a 2013 Outstanding Choreography Emmy® award for their work on “Dancing with the Stars.” She was also a featured dancer in two of the other nominated pieces that year. Along with her fellow Emmy®-nominated choreographers, Holker prepared a piece that was performed to rave reviews at this year’s Primetime Emmy® Awards with Neil Patrick Harris.
Holker began her dance training at the age of nine when she enrolled as a student at The Dance Club in Orem, UT. While there, she specialized in Contemporary, Ballet, Jazz and Tap, and performed in the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2002 Winter Olympics. She has won numerous dance titles including her first National competition in Co DANCE in 2004 and as the National Senior Outstanding Dancer at the New York City Dance Alliance in 2005.
Holker first burst onto the scene when she competed in season two of “So You Think You Can Dance.” Her skill & popularity led to an invitation to return as an All-Star in season seven, where she met fellow dancer Stephen “tWitch” Boss. They were married in December 2013.
When not filming or traveling around the country teaching dance, she is working on her new dancewear line, Creative Kin. Holker makes her home in Los Angeles with her five-year-old daughter and husband. They most recently collaborated as choreographers for Ellen DeGeneres’ Oscars® promo directed by Bridesmaids’ Paul Feig, featuring 250 dancers. Last season, Allison was partnered with Jonathan Bennett.
Follow Allison @AllisonHolker
KYM JOHNSON –Aussie Native, Kym Johnson certainly knows a thing or two about taking to the “Dancing with the Stars” stage. Kym first appeared on the show during its debut series in 2004 in Australia, winning the Mirrorball in her second season with her celebrity partner Tom Williams. In 2006 Kym jetted to Hollywood to compete on the US version of “Dancing with the Stars” where she has since appeared in 14 series, winning twice with celebrity partners Hines Ward and Donny Osmond. Kym is the only professional dancer in the world to hold trophies on two different continents.
Kym began dance at the age of three, training in all aspects of the performing arts including singing, Ballet, Tap, Jazz and acrobatics. At 13, she was inspired to concentrate her talent in the field of competitive Ballroom dance. She then went on to become the Australian Ballroom Champion and represented Australia in the ‘World 10’ dance championships for two years running. Before appearing on “Dancing with the Stars” in Australia, Kym appeared in the hit show ‘Burn The Floor’.
Follow Kym @kym_johnson
PETA MURGATROYD — Peta was born in Auckland, New Zealand and raised in Perth, Western Australia. She studied classical ballet from the age of four and trained for 12 years under former principal dancer of the Kirov Ballet, Madame Lubov Nikonorenko.
In 2004, Peta was chosen to be a cast member of “Burn the Floor,” where she toured the world for six years. “Burn the Floor” then landed on Broadway in August 2009, where Peta was the lead female dancer.
Peta joined “Dancing with the Stars” in season 13, where she was eliminated in the first round, but she returned with a vengeance as she and Donald Driver won the Mirrorball trophy in season 14. Last season, Peta was partnered with Tommy Chong.
Follow Peta @PetaMurgatroyd
EMMA SLATER — Emma started dancing at the age of five when she joined a local stage school in her hometown of Tamworth, England. In 2005, at age 16, Emma joined the cast of “Simply Ballroom,” touring the UK (Including London’s West End) United Arab Emirates and South Africa, where she also appeared on “Strictly Come Dancing.” Emma won both the UK & British Youth Latin American Championships with her then partner, she then went onto perform in four other West End Theatre shows including “Dirty Dancing.”
In 2007, Emma played one of Sophie’s (Amanda Seyfried) friends in the film “Mamma Mia” and also sang on the Grammy nominated soundtrack for the movie. She went on to join Tony® nominated “Burn The Floor” for the shows debut on Broadway and continued on for the 2010 world tour.
In early 2012 Emma joined “Dancing with the Stars” as a Troupe dancer and choreographer and later went on to become a Pro dancer taking her partner, Bill Engvall, to the finals. Last season, Emma was partnered with Michael Waltrip.
Follow Emma @EmmaSlaterDance
Hosted by Emmy® Award-winning Tom Bergeron (“America’s Funniest Home Videos”) and Erin Andrews (sports host & “Dancing with the Stars” Season 10 finalist), “Dancing with the Stars” is the hit series in which celebrities perform choreographed dance routines which are judged by renowned ballroom judge Len Goodman, two-time Mirrorball champ and actress Julianne Hough, and dancer/choreographers Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba.
“Dancing with the Stars” is produced by BBC Worldwide Productions. Rob Wade, Ashley Edens-Shaffer and Joe Sungkur are executive producers. Alex Rudzinski directs. “Dancing with the Stars” is broadcast in 720 Progressive (720P), ABC’s selected HDTV format, with 5.1 channel surround sound. This program carries a TV-PG, L parental guideline.
About BBC Worldwide Productions
BBC Worldwide Productions is a key business under BBC Worldwide North America, the U.S. division of the main commercial arm and wholly-owned subsidiary of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), BBC Worldwide. Led by Jane Tranter, BBC Worldwide Productions is based in Los Angeles and develops and produces scripted and non-scripted projects for U.S. cable and broadcast networks, as well as digital platforms. The production company is responsible for various titles including the upcoming limited series, “Crime” (HBO), as well as “Getting On” (HBO), “Top Gear” (HISTORY), “Mud, Sweat and Gears” (BBC America) and the cultural phenomenon, “Dancing with the Stars” (ABC).
About “Good Morning America”
Emmy Award-winning “Good Morning America” is a two-hour, live program anchored by Robin Roberts and George Stephanopoulos. Amy Robach is the news anchor, Lara Spencer is lifestyle anchor and Ginger Zee is senior meteorologist. Tom Cibrowski is the senior executive producer. The morning news program airs MONDAY-FRIDAY (7:00-9:00 a.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network.