What I Did on My Christmas Vacation – The Women, Part I

I always try to give people an update on what the pros have been up to in the off season – some of these kids stay very, very busy and often with each other! This time, because my job is killing me, I thought it would be fun to ask the fans of a given pro to help me out. I will be posting these in a series, and in no particular order – the order is only dictated by how much info people have given me. I will edit if I leave out something important, so let me know. First up – some of the ladies.

ETA: Updated both Lacey and Cheryl with more info!!

Chelsie Hightower

Status: She confirmed via twitter that she was on Season 10, but then deleted the tweets.

All info from Chelsie Hightower Dance. I did Chelsie, because I had a pretty good idea what she’s been up to, thanks to this awesome website. If I’ve left out anything important, let me know!

You might not know this, but Chelsie has a clothing line!! Love the purple tee. The things you learn when you work on this site. :-) Anyways,
Chelsie also took part in the Louis Van Amstel choreographed and directed stage show Ballroom with a Twist. This was, I think, a one week deal in New Jersey.

The DuPont Theatre proudly announces the signing of 2009 Dancing With the Stars first runner-up Dmitry Chaplin, the blonde & beautiful Chelsie Hightower, and the strikingly magnetic husband and wife team of Jonathan Roberts and Anna Trebunskaya to headline this extraordinary lineup of talent. Louis van Amstel, a four-time Dancing With the Stars pro, brings ballroom to the stage as he directs and choreographs an entire ensemble of fabulous young dancers from shows such as Dancing With the Stars, So You Think You Can Dance, and High School Musical. American Idol alumni David Hernandez and Trenyce provide stylish and exciting vocal accompaniment and interludes.

Chelsie, Mark Ballas and, to a lesser extent Derek all took part in a local Utah dance production called Move. This was comprised of area dancers of all ages and was a one week event in Provo, Utah.

She also performed in a dance event in Toronto with Mark and Dmitry which I can’t seem to find any information on right at the moment, other than the name 2 Some Dance. In addition, her website reports that she’s been teaching some of her former students.

Finally, as I’m sure most people know by now, Chelsie was in the swimsuit issue of Sports Illustrated with former partner Ty Murray – looking fantastic! For the launch, Chelsie was in NYC and then in Vegas for a variety of launch parties. Well done – quite the coup.

Cheryl Burke

Status: Confirmed for Season 10

The wonderful Cheryl Burke Fans helped me out and provided me with all the info below.

Cheryl’s been a very busy lady, as her fans well know. In addition to having several dance studios that she owns and where she often teaches or has parties, Cheryl did some important charity work this break. Dancing and Giving from the Heart:

And by reaching out, Cheryl is using her talents to help the typhoon victims in the Philippines through Dance for a Cause on Sunday, December 20 at her San Francisco studio, Cheryl Burke Dance.

“Losing almost 1,000 lives and seeing almost half a million people get displaced by flooding caused by a series of typhoons that is worse than Hurricane Katrina, is a horrific devastation,” Cheryl said. “What’s more heartbreaking is that not too many people in the US has heard about the magnitude of this disaster in the Philippines. It is my hope that by organizing Dance for a Cause, I could raise awareness and encourage not only the Asian population, but also the mainstream community in helping our less fortunate fellow Filipinos.”

The evening program will include dance lessons with Cheryl Burke, and group dance instructions, a performance by the Cheryl Burke Dance Studio professional dancers, and finally a special dance number by Cheryl and Mark Ballas. A professional ballroom dancer, singer and actor, Mark was a back to back winner of Dancing with the Stars with Olympians Kristi Yamaguchi and Shawn Johnson in Season 7 and 8 respectively.

Cheryl also took part in the Disney Christmas Day Parade

Anika Noni Rose – The Tony Award-winner voice of Princess Tiana from the new Walt Disney Pictures animated feature film “The Princess and the Frog,” performs a musical production inspired by “Tiana’s Showboat Jubilee.” During the number, she will be accompanied by Tony Dovolani and Cheryl Burke, two of the dancers from ABC’s hit show “Dancing with the Stars.” The musical, Mardi Gras-style celebration takes place in New Orleans Square at Disneyland.

Possibly one of the biggest coups the female pros have gotten thus far, outside of Broadway or Movie roles, is the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue. Say what you want about the whole deal, but it is pretty high profile and, once again, makes my point about these men and women being bigger stars than some of the celebs who come on the show. I chose one of Cheryl’s pics which is just too cute and shows a ton of personality.

Along with Shawn Johnson and Joey Fatone, Cheryl hosted the Citrus Parade

ORLANDO, FL, Nov. 30, 2009 — The on-air personalities for the 2009 Spherion Orlando Citrus Parade will be familiar to fans of ABC’s hit show Dancing with the Stars. Entertainer Joey Fatone, dancer Cheryl Burke and Olympic gold medalist Shawn Johnson, all of whom have appeared on Dancing with the Stars, will be a part of the parade’s nationally syndicated broadcast.

For the sake of brevity, I’m just going to list the rest of Cheryl’s activities – she’s just been THAT busy:
- Cover of Dance Teacher Magazine
- Cover of Spirit of Women Magazine
- Received Hollywood Style Award
- ET Hot List for 2009

Belski, a big Cheryl fan, sent me this additional information on Cheryl Burke. Thanks!

-Cheryl became the spokeswoman for Kiwi before the year ended last year.
-Choreographed a group of 25 people and was the spokeswoman for Hoover in Detroit Thanksgiving Parade.
-Together with Derek,Lacey,Gilles and along other Dwts alumini, was one of the major performers participated for the Dizzy Feet foundation.
-Performed and was a guest of honor with Genya Mazo for the Mohegan Sun.
-Launched her own sporting clothing line by fit couture.
-Did a photoshoot for the upcoming issues of MAXIM and SHAPE Magazines to be released this spring.
-Was a special guest for Jim Carry and Jenny Mccarthy’s Generation Rescue fundraising held in Miami during the Superbowl weekend.
-Also busy promoting and campaigning as a spokewoman for the Jazzercise Inc.

Lacey Schwimmer

Status: No for Season 10

ETA: Rebecca sent me a bunch of information on Lacey that I had accidentally left out! Thanks, Rebecca!

Lacey is a good deal tougher to figure out than Chelsie and Cheryl. I know Lacey has her own clothing line as well, but other than that, details on her time off (in terms of work) are somewhat sketchy.

Lacey participated in the DizzyFeet Foundation Gala with Lance Bass – great cause! She also opened up on Access Hollywood about a battle with anorexia, which I thought was rather brave.

She worked with Safe Passage which, if I have the right one, is a charity that provides school enrollment and after-school support for poor children whose families scavenge the Guatemala City Garbage Dump in Guatemala City. She did a bit of choreography with Benji, got a tattoo and seemed to be on Vacay – which makes me officially jealous of her. I know she was working on a music CD and it is supposed to drop in February – which is NOW, btw. :-)

Lacey and her brother Benji performed at an iHollywood Dance function.

Lacey had a photoshoot around the first of February – and at least one of the photos is stunningly gorgeous. Visit her Twitter page to see it.

Edyta Sliwinska and Alec Mazo

Status: Unknown

Big shout out to Rebecca who helped me catch me up with what Edyta and Alec have been doing. :-) I did a two-in-one here, because they are married and their activities largely coincided.

In December, Alec and Edyta traveled and taught classes in both Boston and Florida – and Rebecca was fortunate enough to attend the Boston MIT event! Here are a few pictures:


Alec and Edyta then danced at a fashion show/gala.

Edyta attended the AMA’s in late November 2009.

Now, about Alec and Edyta’s status on DWTS…they appeared on Dr. Phil and mentioned that at some point they would want to take a break to have a baby. And oh, what a beautiful child that will be.

In order to raise money for Haiti, Alec and Edyta sold autographed pictures of themselves – they raised $15,000. [Heidi's Note: I think I saw where one of the other pros met up with Edyta to give her pictures to sell also - was it Cheryl???]

Finally, right after DWTS Season 9 ended, the couple took a vacation to St. Lucia. Jealous. :-)