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Dancing Pros: LIVE” Going On Tour, Features Karina Smirnoff, Edyta Sliwinska and Chelsie Hightower

Do you remember when we told you about a new “Dancing Pros: LIVE” show a month ago or so? Well, it’s now going on tour. Below is more information from Broadway World. For additional information on the show, tour dates, tickets and casting, visit

Dancing Pros: Live!is thrilled to announce its 2014-2015 national tour. Hosted by Alan Thicke, star of the hit TV show “Growing Pains,” and featuring Karina Smirnoff, Edyta Sliwinska and Chelsie Hightower from “Dancing with the Stars,”and Benji Schwimmer and Ryan Di Lello, from “So You Think You Can Dance,” the best dancers from around the world will thrill and dazzle audiences coast to coast!

The national tour will launch in Chicago, Illinois on Saturday, November 1, 2014 at the Cadillac Palace Theatre. The tour will play over 50 cities nationwide through April 2015, including Indianapolis, Indiana; Flint, Michigan; Providence, Rhode Island; Schenectady, New York; Virginia Beach, Virginia; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Fort Myers, Florida; Dallas, Texas; and San Diego, California. For a complete list of tour cities, visit

The 2014-2015 Tour will star Alan Thicke, Edyta Sliwinksa and Chelsie Hightower. Joining them on stage will be actor and dancer, Oscar Orosco, and vocalists Joanna Pacitti, from “American Idol” Season 8, and Angel Taylor, from “The Voice” Season 2.

Karina Smirnoff will join the tour for the January and February engagements with Benji Schwimmer. Ryan Di Lello will perform during the Fall and Spring engagements. The remaining competitors on the tour are dance champions Artur Adamski, Paul Barris, Tess Buchatsky, Sasha Chernositov, Dmitry Demidov, Denys Drozdyuk, Arina Grishanina, Regina Maziarz, Antonina Skobina and Anastasia Trutneva.

September 17, 2014 I Written By

I'm a fashion and music fan....and I have always loved dancing too of any kind. Dancing With The Stars seems to have this way of bringing all of those things together. One of my favorite dancing quotes at the moment: "No matter what, nobody can take away the dance you've already had...." ~Gleb Savchenko . For fun music and dance mixes, visit WilUnleashed Soundcloud.

DWTS 15, Week 2 – The Cheesecake Awards!!!!

Heidi: I’m on a roll…or a tear, depending on your POV, this week. I’m feeling mean. You’ve been warned. Don’t come crying to me later for my sense of humor having a mean streak this week.

Courtney: But everyone out to be thankful that Heidi’s on a streak, because I myself am feeling a bit…sedate.  Apparently I am allergic to either Cajun seasoning or lump crabmeat, as I broke out into hives about 15 minutes after sampling a hot seafood dip Mama Spence made for the Colts game.  A few hours, a trip to the urgent care, and a shot of dexamethasone later, I’m feeling less itchy…but a little blaaaahhhh.  But hey, at least the Colts beat the Packers! :-D

The C U Next Tuesday Award, Redux: Carrie Ann Inaba, for rather heavy-handedly chastising Bristol Palin for breaking hold in her quickstep

Courtney: Let’s get one thing straight: I fully acknowledge that Bristol & Mark broke hold in their dance (if you haven’t yet, see my post about it) and I agree that the judges were right in pointing it out.  HOWEVER – I don’t endorse CAI for going all Regina George on Bristol for it, claiming she was going to “slam back” because Bristol “slammed them in the face” by breaking the staying in hold rule. First of all, I have to laugh at how egocentric CA must be to think that all the couples break rules with the intention of somehow dissing the judges – I’ve heard her make the same ridiculous assumption about couples doing lifts, as if every single choreographic decision the couples make that doesn’t fit into her her specific (and ever-changing) rule book is a personal insult to her.  My god, woman, IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT YOU!!! Second of all, at least direct your unwarranted indignance at the real guilty party – Mark.  Have you somehow forgotten that the pros ultimately make the choreographic decisions??? I don’t care how much influence you may think a celeb has over their pro partner – the pro gets the final say in the choreography, and if it really was Bristol insisting they break hold (and I’m not sure it was), then Mark should have had the cojones to put his foot down and tell her no.  But that’s neither here nor there – CA is a grown woman, not a teenage girl slamming another girl against a locker for stealing her boyfriend/copying her outfit/whatever.  Grow up, ya diva…before they have to pull an extra chair up to the judges’ table for your ever-growing ego.

Heidi: She’s just a nutbar. As you said she’s done this before – taken it as a personal insult to her that someone broke the rules.  Like Derek or Mark or Maks sit in a room with their partner saying, “What can we do to REALLY get CAI’s goat and piss her off?” But see, that’s the difference between CAI and the pros on this show. The pros are actual choreographers…it’s an art form, and sometimes they make creative decisions to put together the most exciting, memorable dance and that means a rule gets broken.  I doubt CAI was considered until they looked at the final routine and figured that they better warn their partner they might get in trouble because CAI is a self centered biotch who thinks it’s all about HER.

The “Making out is the new black!” Award: Helio & Chelsie and Apolo & Karina, for finding ways to smooch in their routine; honorable mention – Val Chmerkovskiy, for finding any excuse he could to kiss Kelly on the head/hand/arm/etc.

Courtney: This seemed to be one week where the makeup department was discouraged from using the long-wearing lipsticks that we’re used to seeing – as both Helio & Apolo proudly sported lipstick kisses on their faces from their female partners.  Love certainly seemed to be in the air this week…maybe they were inspired by Kirstie’s enthusiastic congratulatory smooch to Tom last week? :-P

Heidi: Well, I think Val and Karina have crushes. Don’t know what the hell the deal is with Chelsie. :-D

The “STFU Already” Award for Beating of a Dead Horse…AGAIN: Len Goodman for YET AGAIN reminding us of how shocking Sabrina’s elimination was in Season 6

Heidi: OMFG…how many times do we have to hear about this!!! Are they going to give her top of the leaderboard every week just to get the story they want at the end of the season?? “The most shocking elimination EVER finally wins!!! All is right with the fucking world.” :::rolls eyes:::  I think I actually freaking screamed when he said it yet again.

Courtney: Wait…Sabrina’s elimination was shocking? Hold the phone. MIND…BLOWN.  8-O Read more..

October 7, 2012 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, and crazy cat lady peppered in to make things REALLY interesting ;-) I might pee my pants in happiness if Donnie Wahlberg ever does DWTS - or if they ever use "Sunglasses at Night" as a paso doble. Check out some of my other work at!

DWTS Season 12 Gossip and Innuendo – LeAnn Rimes

I saw this the other day and ignored it because I thought it was likely just more crap. LeAnn is a bit too big for the show – or she was. LeAnn says she was asked three times, including (or in addition to) this season. I don’t think I believe LeAnn here. For one thing, she implies that Benji Schwimmer is on the show and that she would only do it if he did it. Really?? I hope like hell they don’t hire Benji to get LeAnn. A DWTS sans Derek I can deal with. A DWTS WITH Benji? Not so much. I didn’t think he was a ballroom dancer, in any case.

February 14, 2011 I Written By

I'm a nerd and proud of it. Two degrees in geology also means I love BEER. :-) I'm also a Derek lover - proud of that too. So don't scream at those of us on this site and call us a bunch of "biased Derek-lovers" - it's just ME. :-) It may sound like I hate DWTS at times, but really, I'm just a snarky nitpicker from way back. And I'm cynical and jaded too. But I do love DWTS. :-)

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. :-)

February 20, 2010 I Written By

I'm a nerd and proud of it. Two degrees in geology also means I love BEER. :-) I'm also a Derek lover - proud of that too. So don't scream at those of us on this site and call us a bunch of "biased Derek-lovers" - it's just ME. :-) It may sound like I hate DWTS at times, but really, I'm just a snarky nitpicker from way back. And I'm cynical and jaded too. But I do love DWTS. :-)

DWTS Season 10: Possible Female Contenders :)

Alright, I’ve debated on whether or not to put my choices for next season out there since this season is still going on, but I’m just going to do it since I’ve been working on my pairing for quite sometime! Who knew it was going to be SO difficult to put a decent cast together to represent multiple cultures (i.e. athletes, singers, actors, etc.)

I read Heidi’s post on things she’s heard/seen around the internet and I would bet that someone from the Jackson family might be on, but I didn’t put them in my pairings because I don’t care to see them next season! So here is what I’d like to see go down :)

Miley Cyrus (17, Pop Singer/Actress), she has been getting a lot of heat lately and I don’t think she deserves it! I think she is a genuine teen at heart who is trying to grow up and America won’t let her!

Partner: Mark Ballas…I think he’d have the patience with her and he’d be a great role model for her to have!  And he’s dating someone in her industry which would be a nice balance for her!

Mary-Kate Olsen (23, Actress), It is time for Mary-Kate to put those hideous outfits away and put on a sparkling ballroom gown :)

Partner: Benji Schwimmer…season 2 SYTYCD contestant and brother of Lacey…I think he’s just what MK needs, spunk!  AND I think it’s time we get some new pro dancers :)

Nicole Richie (28, Reality TV Star), she was the bad girl and notoriously funny girl from the ‘Simple Life’!  She’s now mellowed down and has two children with Joel Madden.

Partner: Derek Hough…I think these two would be hilarious together!  Both goofballs!

Malia Jones (33, Surfer), I don’t know much about her except that she is a kick ass surfer from Hawaii!

Partner Dmitry Chaplin:  This would be the hottest couple, hands down, on the girls end :)

Tyra Banks (36, Model/Talk Show Host), she’s done everything else so why not put her on DWTS :)  I think she’d take the experience to heart and find someway to put it on her show!

Partner: Maksim Chmerkovskiy…he needs someone to keep him in check and Tyra would do just that!

Nadia Comaneci (48, Olympic Gymnast) To have the first gymnast to ever recieve a perfect 10 on DWTS would be such an honor for ABC!   She’d be AMAZING to watch!

Partner: Louis Van Amstel…I think she’ll need someone to make her laugh and not get stressed over taking the competition to seriously and we’ve seen what he’s done with Kelly this season!

Ellen DeGeneres (52, Talk Show Host) We all know that Ellen loves to dance and she does not qualify for her favorite show So You Think You Can Dance, so why not give her a spot on an equally amazing dancing show :)  I think she’d be hilarious and jump right into the experience!

Partner: Tony Dovolani…I think these two have very similar personalities and Tony would be able to bring out Ellen’s passion for dance in brilliant choreography!

Anna Wintour (60, Vogue Editor-in-Chief), she is widely famous for being chic and always in style and I would love to get her out of her comfort zone and be equally chic in some ballroom gear :)

Partner: Jonathan Roberts….he always seems to bring out the best in his partners and I think he’d be the only person to keep up with her busy schedule!

Let me know your opinions and look for the male contenders next week :)

October 30, 2009 I Written By

Dancing with the Stars Season 9 – The Siblings Cast?

According to Pop Crunch, not only is LaToya Jackson in talks to appear, but so is her brother Jermaine Jackson!!

While her rep has refused to confirm the report, on Tuesday, Us Weekly learned that La Toya has been approached to compete on the talent show. And in related news, La Toya’s brother, singer-turned-reality TV star Jermaine Jackson, has also been tapped for a spot on the ninth season of DWTS, premiering next month.

The reason why I say “siblings” cast is because I’ve heard “chatter” in several places about Brandy and HER brother. Someone in the comments on a previous post mentioned it, and I saw it in three other places including Twitter and the ABC Boards. Who knows if it’s true, and this could certainly be a giant game of telephone (possibly confusing siblings). Throw in that Mark/Derek/Julianne are family (even though Julianne won’t be back – or so we’re told), and all we need to hear is that Benji Schwimmer will be joining the pros (please, no – love Lacey, but no Benji please). Anybody wanna bet? :-)

How about Jack Osborne and Chelsie against Kelly Osborne and Mark? LaToya and Maks versus Jermaine and Kym?? Brandy and Derek versus Brandy’s brother and Lacey? Egads!! Or is that Gadzooks!! :-)  Hey David, does Beth Horn have a brother?? You keep telling me about the campaign to get her on the show (Check Beth Horn’s facebook).


August 12, 2009 I Written By

I'm a nerd and proud of it. Two degrees in geology also means I love BEER. :-) I'm also a Derek lover - proud of that too. So don't scream at those of us on this site and call us a bunch of "biased Derek-lovers" - it's just ME. :-) It may sound like I hate DWTS at times, but really, I'm just a snarky nitpicker from way back. And I'm cynical and jaded too. But I do love DWTS. :-)

Julianne Hough Returns to Dancing with the Stars Alongside Benji Schwimmer and Brad Paisley

Brad Paisley did indeed rejoin Julianne Hough on Dancing with the Stars tonight. Along with a cool appearance of Benji Schwimmer with his sister Lacey. Check out the music from the results show:

Lacey Schwimmer & Benji Schwimmer danced to Brad Paisley singing “Ticks”
Brad Paisley, Kelley Lovelace & Tim Owens - Ticks - Single - Ticks
Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Karina Smirnoff, Alec Mazo, Edyta Śliwińska, Genya Mazo & Kym Johnson danced to Brad Paisley singing “Let the Good Times Roll”
Brad Paisley - Play - Let the Good Times Roll
Design-A-Dance by Derek Hough & Julianne Hough dancing a Jive to the song “Great Balls of Fire”
Jerry Lee Lewis - Jerry Lee's Greatest - Great Balls of Fire

I’m also very glad to say that I was right about Derek and Julianne being the design a dance couple. I love when I’m right. This does show that Derek and Julianne are the most popular professional dancers too. I wonder how the other professionals feel about that.

November 11, 2008 I Written By

Better known as Charlie.

Lacey Schwimmer and Benji Schwimmer to Perform on Dancing with the Stars

I just heard them say that Lacey will be performing with her brother Benji on tomorrow’s Dancing with the Stars results show. That will be really cool. I always love watching Benji perform. Here’s a little video look at Lacey and Benji dancing together a few years back in Reno:

(Lacey joins about half way into the video)

I love watching Benji and his sister dance, but I wish Dancing with the Stars would have invited Benji and his cousin Heidi (also of So You Think You Can Dance fame) to perform on the show instead of Lacey. Benji and Heidi were just meant to dance together. If you don’t believe me, then check out Benji and Heidi’s Black Mambo performance on So You Think You Can Dance or even Benji and Heidi’s US Open Swing Dance Championship dance. Now that’s what I call dancing.

November 10, 2008 I Written By

Better known as Charlie.