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Executive Producer Deena Katz Talks On The Casting Of Dancing With The Stars Season 25

Executive Producer Deena Katz talked to CNN about casting the new season of Dancing With The Stars. Note that she has a couple of slots still open for Season 25, but, she’s not wanting to offend anyone with political figures. Read on….

“I really don’t want to offend anyone and right now, it’s a pretty volatile atmosphere out there,” she said. “I kind of feel like right now, I want everyone to be able to just enjoy themselves.”

She admits the publicity and buzz garnered from high-profile castings is “appealing.” She would never sacrifice the show’s bottom line for it, though.

“I’m not gonna lie, those kind of names don’t hurt. That kind of press does not hurt, as long as it’s genuine and good for the show then I think it’s great,” she said.
Katz also keeps in mind her desire to have a tight-knit cast, who often becomes “like a family,” she said.

“Part of the reason the show works so well is that everybody is rooting for everybody else,” she said of the cast. “And there shouldn’t be any tension and there hasn’t been. That’s not the kind of environment I’m going to make.”

Katz sees her job as “putting together the best dinner party you’ve ever seen,” filled with unexpected characters from varying backgrounds. This year will be no different.
“We do draw from everywhere,” she said. “It’s not me. It’s not my politics. It’s really a cross section of America.”

I really hope she doesn’t choose someone politically. I’m so over it. More at CNN

August 7, 2017 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 . To view my photography site, see Lisa Kay Photography.

Dancing With The Stars Co-Executive Producer Deena Katz Teases On New Cast For Season 24

Kristyn Burtt of Dance Network spoke to Dancing With The Stars co-executive producer Deena Katz on the Women’s March In LA scheduled for Saturday. She also asked her on the new season of Dancing With The Stars. Note how Deena is hoping to ask Jane Fonda to dance and some other celebs. Let’s wish Deena luck as she puts the new cast together….

With Season 24 just around the corner and about half of the show already cast for the spring, Katz promised she would be wearing her casting hat on Saturday.

“I have my casting hat on 24 hours a day. This show is like my baby. I was the first person in America hired and there is not a day that goes by that I’m not working on it and searching people out,” she says. “So trust me, I might be asking Jane Fonda that day.”

So be on the lookout on social media for those big stars who emerge from the Women’s March LA.

“I would bet someone who is there ends up dancing on this next season,” Katz teases. “I don’t know who, but I’ll look at the list and see what happens.”

More at Dance Network. Thanks Kristyn!

January 19, 2017 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 . To view my photography site, see Lisa Kay Photography.

Entertainment Tonight Reveals More Of The Cast For DWTS Season 23 – Jana Kramer and More

Entertainment Tonight just published these pro and celebrities as dancing in Dancing With The Stars Season 23. Note the new name of JANA KRAMER…

Burke and Hough join returning pros Maksim and Val Chmerkovskiy, Emma Slater, Witney Carson, Sharna Burgess, Artem Chigvintsev, Lindsay Arnold, Sasha Farber, Gleb Savchenko and Allison Holker. Former troupe member Jenna Johnson will make a her debut as a pro.

ET can exclusively confirm that Jana Kramer, Marilu Henner, former Texas Governor Rick Perry and Vanilla Ice are the latest celebrities headed to DWTS. Retired football star Calvin Johnson and Indy race car driver James Hinchcliffe are also on tap for the fall season, ET has learned.

They join a celebrity cast that includes Olympians Laurie Hernandez and Ryan Lochte, Brady Bunch star Maureen McCormick, Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, Amber Rose, Jake T. Austin and Little Woman: LA star Terra Jole.

More at Entertainment Tonight.

August 29, 2016 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 . To view my photography site, see Lisa Kay Photography.

DWTS Rob Wade, Deena Katz, And More Talk Of How They Put The Cast Together

Dancing With The Stars co-executive producer Rob Wade, fellow executive producer Deena Katz, ABC’s Rob Mills, and Joey Tague talked to PEOPLE about what it’s really like putting the cast together for Dancing With The Stars. Below are 4 secrets. Be sure to read the link for more.

1. “It’s like planning a dinner party.”
“We obviously have a list of people that we begin to reach out to months in advance,” says Wade. “We’ll get one or two people locked in and start to build around it. It’s like planning a dinner party. Once you’ve invited some friends, you start to work out which other friends to invite that will balance out the table.”

2. They’ve gone after some big names since the very first season.
Katz recently revealed that she has reached out to Bill Clinton almost every season, and Wade admits there are some stars they had to ask multiple times before they said yes.

“There are jewels that everyone has heard of – Jennifer Grey, Kirstie Alley, Paula Deen, Patti LaBelle – those are the people we asked almost every season until the timing was right,” he says. “Suzanne Somers was a work in progress for 20 seasons.”

3. The pro dancers are not picked to match the stars.
“Normally, we just have our pros and then once the cast is booked, we decide the pairings,” says Wade. “I personally get bored with seeing the pros with the same types of people season after season. It is fun to tell a different type of story when you pair them with different people.”

4. Current events play heavily into the casting process.
PEOPLE has confirmed that Olympian Ryan Lochte will compete on season 23 and it has been reported he will be joined by his fellow Olympian Laurie Hernandez.

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 . To view my photography site, see Lisa Kay Photography.

DWTS Rob Wade, Deena Katz, And Mark Ballas Weigh In On How The Pairs Are Selected

How does Dancing With The Stars decide on the 12 couples prior to each season? E Online talked with Executive Producer Rob Wade, casting director Deena Katz, and pro Mark Ballas about it. Read on….

“It’s based on height, build and personality and compatibility,” Wade tells E! News. “We don’t pair people who aren’t going to get on. It’s too intense. It’s not like The Bachelor or something, we couldn’t do that. That would just be miserable experience for the celebrity, for us and the viewer. You don’t want to see two people who don’t like each other and, quite frankly, we have made that mistake pairing people up who didn’t get on so well.”

Mark Ballas, who says the dancers “don’t get a say in their partners,” echoes Wade’s sentiment, telling us, “They pair us on height and size, so it feels comfortable for the women and vice versa for the women when they’re dancing. They also try and make us compatible based on personality, and what they think will work well. Each one of the pro dancers has a different way of teaching, choreographing, and also just different personalities, as well as time-stamps on patience. They kind of try to pair us accordingly.”

And just because the pairs get along, it doesn’t mean DWTS there won’t be clashes, with Katz explaining, “There’s still the drama. There’s still the fights about their cha-chas that are silly.”

Now that many of the professional dancers have become household names, with some of them more famous than their star, Wade likes to find celebrities that will show a different side of longtime cast members. “You also want to give the viewer something different, there’s some things that you just want the viewer to see a different side,” he says. “So when we put Peta [Murgatroyd] with Tommy Chong, it was really the best thing for her because we saw a whole new side to her. So you want to see the different dynamics of the dancers.”

Some viewers have noticed a trend in pairings, with Tony Dovolani often getting the older female celebs (he was recently paired with Suzanne Somers and Betsy Johnson), Ballas getting the youngest (think Sadie Robertson and Willow Shields) and so on. But Wade says it’s not intentional, saying, “Every dancer gets a different range of type of people…and then they say they only get those people.” Wade acknowledges that some of the dancers may have picked up on some pairing trends, saying, “The hindsight is always very 20/20 for the dancers, but actually, they get a variety of different people!”

More at E Online. This is getting me even more excited. Here’s to the Good Morning America Pro and Celeb announcement tomorrow.

September 1, 2015 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 . To view my photography site, see Lisa Kay Photography.

Dancing With The Stars Season 19 Cast Announcement Sept. 4, 2014

GCN Live interviewed Deena Katz, the casting director and co-executive producer of Dancing With The Stars. The interview starts at the 36:00 mark. Note that they mention that the cast announcement for Dancing With The Stars Season 19 takes place on September 4th!! Interesting interview too. Thanks to @DWTSgossip for the find!

July 30, 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 . To view my photography site, see Lisa Kay Photography.

DWTS Season 13 Campaign – Ellen Kay and…Derek Hough?

One of PureDerekHough’s readers, Jane, sent me the following transcription of a conversation between Deena Katz (DWTS Casting), Ryan Seacrest, and Ryan’s cohort, Ellen Kay from Ryan’s show today:

You probably already have this info, but if not, Ryan Seacrest and Ellen Kay spoke to Deena Katz this morning trying to pitch Ellen for the show. She asked who Ellen wanted to dance with and she started to say Louis but then said Derek Hough. Ellen asked if Derek would be back on the show and Deena said yes. Also said that Regis called dibs on Derek. Ellen again said she wanted to dance with Derek or Louis. Deena will be sending out invite letters after July 4th.

As we previously reported, Ellen (with Ryan’s help) has been waging a campaign to get herself on Dancing with the Stars for the upcoming season. It appears the campaign continues and she’s lobbying for Derek – or Louis, I guess if Derek’s not back.

But there are other interesting tidbits in this conversation, if everything Deena is saying is true. First, “Derek will be back” – that sounds like a pretty solid statement. I take it to mean they are definitely planning on him being on the show. However, unless Derek is an indentured servant and I don’t know about it, I’m not calling it a sure thing just yet. I think we will see him this season, but it’s always possible something else (more fun and/or more lucrative) could come up and he decides to sit it out.

Interesting tid bit number 2 – they are sending out “invite letters” after July 4th. So, all you bozos claiming to know the cast? I don’t think so. 🙂 That said – we’ve not seen too many claims by people that they are on the cast yet, and only one person claiming to know some of the cast. I do find this information more helpful though – it means I don’t have to spend a lot of time every day scouring for tidbits…until after the 4th of July. 🙂

ETALISTEN FOR YOURSELVES. I haven’t listened to it yet, but Lori tells me that when Ellen says something about Derek, Ryan says “he’s not there”. Deena then insists that Derek will be back, to which Ryan replies, “What do I know about the Houghs?” Which can be taken sarcastically…you judge for yourselves and tell me what you think. 🙂

June 24, 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. :-)