Are you interested in seeing “Ballroom With A Twist” this summer? If so, be sure you check out the new schedule at this link. The first show begins on May 7th and they run until August 16th. So far a combination of Dmitry Chaplin, Tristan MacManaus, Lacey Schwimmer, Chelsie Hightower, Oksana Dmytrenko, and Anna Trebunskaya are dancing at different shows. Again, see this link for new details and ticket information. It’s a great show. Be sure to see it!!
Or sort a live anyway. Everything hinges on how they decide to do this. Not to mention that it’s 6am here and “Live” isn’t a word that describes me at this hour. I will do my best to put all the info that comes out into this post. They keep hyping that it’s going to be “BIG” and all other kinds of adjectives that probably won’t live up to the hype – but we will see soon enough. Scroll to the bottom of the post for the live updates that aren’t actual Pro names.
And here are your Pros – supposedly this is IT:
Val – IN
Tony – IN
Mark – IN
Artem – IN
Sharna – IN
Peta – IN
Emma – IN
Witney – IN
Allison – IN
Kym – IN
ETA: Teasing the announcement at 7:20ish. :::sigh:::
ETA2: I’ve done a great job on my eyebrows while waiting for this announcement…. 😉
ETA3: Definitely Kym Johnson in silhouette!! Damn, missed the baby pix. Court is saying one is Mark and there’s a little blonde boy. And Emma.
ETA4: I’ve gotten used to the far superior CBS This Morning which doesn’t have nearly the commercials and a lot more actual news. GMA is….not good.
ETA5: I don’t think those fans are that good – might be right on Val, but the other one looked like Artem to me. Love Melissa’s haircut.
ETA 6: Lost my stream, relying on Court. Val is for sure. They are claiming this is Len’s last “year”.
ETA 7: Still with the bigger and better tag line. Yeah. Sure. Switch up week is back.
ETA8: Hmmmm…..said there were four in studio and they have six more. ONLY TEN???
ETA9: If this is it, there’s going to be trouble on twitter.
ETA10: Questions to the pros. Val’s dream partner. Answer: His season 20 partner. Question to Sharna: How do you prepare for the season? Answer: Picking music, etc.
Well everyone, discuss!! Is this it for the pro dancers this season? Are they holding a few back because Celebs haven’t signed yet? What do you think of this cast?
ETA11: Vogue here. According to US Weekly, TWO more pros will be announced at a later date!
ETA12: The Official Site has announced there will be two more pros announced later. There is a great write up on the ten pros announced today at the link too.
ETA13: ABC Media Net released an official announcement of the 10 pros. They also release info on the theme nights one of which includes “Spring Break” night. WHA?? 😯
LIVE BLOG is happening here, which is where all the pros will be added as it happens.
Well, a lot has happened since I last wrote one of these posts. In fact, I normally post pro watch for the spring season in early February – yet here we are. Why? Well, Derek is taking a season off to star at Radio City (looks so happy he may never come back), Cheryl appears to have retired from DWTS and is moving on to a different (reality-based?) show, and Val and Sharna are both blabbing about the next season.
And as of last night, Karina is OUT. Hell, I had this post scheduled for tomorrow and here I am posting it today – ya’ll gotta have somewhere to be sad about Karina. (ETA: Vogue was at last night’s show and came away with different and new info re: Karina. Stay tuned.)
In Sharna’s case, I think her hint means she’s definitely IN – after last season I don’t think she would be coy if there were any doubt. And if there is doubt? Bad move, girl. As for Val – I don’t think there’s any way in hell he won’t be on, with Maks and Derek gone and Mark making noise. No way. And he’s saying yes, he is back. Read more..
Hi all!! Decided to start a new post because the other one was getting cluttered and would be hard to read for anyone coming back for the first time in a while. Click to read the old post.
I was watching GMA at the beginning and they teased nothing – which means I have to wait until they go to the first commercial. Boo.
ETA: Vogue here! GMA just said the announcement was soon coming. Will Derek Hough be back, they ask? We will soon find out!!
ETA: I’m back! They just teased it again, not mentioning any single pro, but showing Cheryl and Drew.
ETA: They just showed their play room with all the screens with big question marks and asked “Maks? Derek? Who will be back and what will their role be??”
ETA4: Okay, there are four pros in studio. I’m guessing Cheryl and Mark. Not sure of the other two. And then they show a child photo of Karina – I take it as she’s IN. They showed Maks/Meryl, Derek’s Ameska Macy’s and Cheryl/Drew – clues.
ETA5: Latest tease shows Derek and Jennie Garth and says 8:22 is the time for the reveal. Ask again about Derek and Maks’ role. Asked if they would be going “head to head”. Um, yeah, Derek is super competitive. :::rolls eyes:::
ETA6: Cheryl is in Studio and competing. Tony is in studio. Karina also in studio, along with Val. Switch up is back. Results show the first two weeks. Len gone for part of season. There will be some “guest judges”. COMMERCIAL/Local News Break.
ETA7: Next…Mark Ballas. See below for the rest. Can’t say I’m happy Derek is back. No vacay for Heidi. I was typing as I went and just realized no Sharna. Kinda devastated about that. Also, no Gleb in the pro lineup despite his wife’s tweet. He must be back in the troupe.
The starting positions below are based on the individual pro’s status last season. Troupe is still unknown. Read more..
It’s that time of year once again, boys and girls – time for Pro Watch. It will be very interesting to see what happens this year, after they let go of the band. That was a huge cost savings to them. The question is: are they looking to save even more money (say goodbye to Derek and possibly Cheryl) or have they saved so much that they can afford the popular, long term pros that have kept people coming back to this show season after season? I personally think that they will do what they can to hold on to Derek – he’s an Emmy winner and that’s very helpful to the show’s cache. I think they will also do their best to hold on to Cheryl, Karina and Mark. I’m GUESSING that Val and Tristan are still locked into contracts that are beneficial to ABC so they aren’t in question as long as they find a partner for them. As always, I could be wrong. Read more..
Hey All! Below is the schedule for “Ballroom With A Twist 2″ which is currently on tour with rotating pros from Dancing With The Stars. You can find the city and dates below with links for “buying tickets” as well. Note: if you are able to go, be sure to let us know in comments or send us your review and pictures to our “Contact Us” link. We’d love to feature your story. I was able to see the show in Cheyenne, Wyoming on February 1, 2014. You can read my review and see some photos I took of Sharna Burgess and Gleb Savchenko (and some of the cast) at this link. They were magical to say the least!! It’s one thing to see the pros on TV on Dancing With The Stars and quite another experience to see them up close and personal. So, be sure to see Ballroom With A Twist! It’s a lively and fun night of entertainment!
Exclusive Interview: Producer Scott Stander talks with us about the show. See this link to read about it.
For all the latest news, reviews, interviews, photos, and more, see this link.
ETA: The new 2015 Spring and Summer schedule is starting to take shape….
ETA2: More dates have been added to the Spring and Summer Schedule. A couple of dates have the Pros listed as well for those interested….
ETA3: The Bemidji show has been rescheduled to Nov. 12th.
For the schedule, ticket links, etc…
Shippensburg,PA Luhrs Performing Arts Center June 13 (Anna Trebunskaya & Dmitry Chaplin)
Brooks, CA Cache Creek Casino June 27, 2015 (Chelsie Hightower & Tristan MacManus)
Bethesda MD Strathmore July 11
Newark, New Jersey New Jersey Performing Arts Center July 18, 2015 (Anna Trebunskaya, Dmitry Chaplin, and Lacey Schwimmer)
Beverly MA North Shore Music Theatre Thu-Sat July 23, 24, 25 (Chelsie Hightower, Lacey Schwimmer)
Greenville, TX Texan Theatre Wed, Aug 5
Westbury, NY NYCB Theatre at Westbury August, 9, 2015
Patchogue, NY Gateway Theatre Wed-Sun, August 12-16th (Dmitry Chaplin, Chelsie Hightower)
Bemidji, Minnesota George W. Neilson Convention Center Nov. 12, 2015
It’s that time of year once again, boys and girls – time for Pro Watch. I’m starting it a bit earlier than normal because we’ve gotten confirmation about Derek and a maybe about Maks earlier than ever before, as I recall. While Derek often knows very early, he’s not usually big on sharing – that seems a bit different this year. He’s confirmed he’s back with both the LA Times and Access Hollywood when they asked him. Now, it’s possible that this could just mean he’s open to it, not that he has a partner, but I suspect if he wants to do it, he gets to do it.
Also, at the TCA Summer Tour, Paul Lee, the ABC President of Entertainment, was asked about Maks and he gave an answer that was interpreted by differently by different outlets. No shock there. Access Hollywood said he said Maks “may well be back” and TV Guide said he said “likely” be back – now, call me crazy, but those are actually different interpretations. So, I am going with “maybe likely” as a happy medium. Particularly after last season, when Maks himself was saying he was back and then he wasn’t. And sorry Maks fans – it’s not a sure thing because, contrary to your world view, the ratings didn’t actually go down because Maks wasn’t there – they have been on a constant downward trend for a few seasons now, including those when Maks was present. We’ve been writing about it for a few seasons now, including after All Stars which was down 20% from season 14 – Maks was on both seasons. Sixteen was lower again = downward TREND.
As for the rest?? Well, Lizzie was asking who we wanted Val to dance with this season, but that could well be a “if we talk like it’s true it will become true” PR style. I suspect he’ll be back though. I wouldn’t count on Gleb or Louis…and maybe not even Tony. I really think they need to give Henry a shot, and I expect that both Mark and Tristan will have spots. As for the ladies, I suspect that Cheryl and Karina, and possibly Sharna, are the only sure things. Everyone else seems like they could go either way.
The big question mark for me?? Will there be a troupe?? I suspect there will be, although we won’t see them nearly as much early in the season. Don’t worry, Troupe fans – if what Paul Lee says about a possible return to two shows a week in the spring is true, then all may not be lost.
ETA1 Vogue here with an UPDATE: According to Enstarz, Val Chmerkovskiy will be dancing in Dancing With The Stars Season 17. He not only told them he will be dancing, he also told them his dream partners as well as saying, “I just want a partner who is willing to work and has a strong work ethic” and “You can be a supermodel, an actress, an athlete… but to be a good partner, you have to be willing to put in the work.” Be sure to read the link for more!
ETA2: Chelsie could be “possibly in”. See this post for more details!!
ETA3 Vogue here again: Due to this tweet by Sharna, we suspect she might be “possibly in”.
ETA4 Vogue again: After discussing this with Court and the way she read Sharna’s tweet, we’ve decided together to take out “Possibly In” for Sharna. The pros may be posting optimistically looking forward to season 17 (or the craziness of it, etc), but, that doesn’t mean they are “in” or are “possibly in”.
ETA4: This is sad. I hate to even report this, but, according to US Weekly, Kym Johnson won’t be dancing this season. She tells the magazine, that she has an “amazing work opportunity back home in Australia.” More here. Thanks to Lori for the heads up. Also, Chelsie tweeted of receiving “good and bad news”. We have no idea what she’s referring to, but, we’re changing her status to “unknown”.
ETA5: Karina is IN per @DWTSGossip!
ETA6: @DWTSGossip is also reporting Peta, Cheryl, Tony, Val, and Mark “in” as well.
ETA7: The hits just keep on coming, as DWTSGossip tweets that Maks “will not be returning” for season 17. -Court-
ETA8: The day of the furious pro watch updates continues, as DWTSGossip reveals that Anna & Chelsie are out and that Lindsay & Emma are in…although the “I guess” at the beginning of her tweet seems to leave a bit of margin for error…-Court-
ETA9: And now we have a bit of news on Henry. We think he’s “Possibly in the Troupe” or been “Promoted” because of what was tweeted in this twitter exchange. As Court just wrote to me privately, the problem with the guys right now is that we don’t know if any of the male troupe members are getting promoted. So, Henry may be in the troupe or he may have gotten promoted based on the tweet. In conclusion, we’re going to side with caution and assume it’s the troupe. -Vogue and Court
ETA10 Vogue: DWTSGossip is reporting Sharna is also “in”! She’s also reporting via twitter that she knows for a fact Sasha is not a Pro “as of now”. @Dwtsgossip writes to us that Sasha may very well still be in the running. Also, Tristan and Gleb are not confirmed yet.
ETA11: Oksana is out via Val’s twitter. Though the tweet has now been deleted. So, we’re going to mark her as “possibly out”.
ETA12: Just a little update on Troupe member Julian Tocker. He has tweeted that he won’t be dancing full time because of the new format, but, we’ll still see him around. Sad as it makes you wonder if it will be the same for some or all of the troupe members? Also, and if there is a full time troupe, how many will there be in it?
ETA13: Some good news and some bad news today (depending how you look at it and who are your favorite pros). @DWTSGossip is reporting Tristan is “in”, but, Gleb” is “out” (sad, I was hoping to see him back). So, what does this mean for the 6th male spot left? Will it be filled by a returning Pro (Louis? or did they change their mind and decide to make Maks a pro?), a promotion for a troupe member (Sasha or Henry?), or will it be someone entirely new? Penny for your thoughts!
ETA14: Guess what Kids? @DWTSGossip says she got mixed up and Gleb is IN! YAY!
ETA15: I’m baaaaacccckkkk!! And here to report that @dwtsgossip just tweeted “Sasha dancing with Snookie?? Mark out??” Clearly, those are question marks, so don’t get too excited. If true, good for Markie – time to go full bore on that music career, bud. -Heidi
ETA16: And Markie is in…and Sasha may not be. @dwtsgossip can’t confirm him, but he/she can confirm Mark. Again, certain sources out there have a piss poor track record – dwtsgossip is not one of those, and neither is TMZ. I’ll leave it at that. But seriously people -always consider the source. And remember no one is infallible. Don’t get worked up until September 4th. p.s. see mark’s tweet to dwtsgossip.
ETA17: Heidi here to tell you that a few spots in Pro Watch may just be WRONG. Dead wrong. Sorry, that’s all I can say right now. We’re in for one surprise tomorrow and a couple other mild surprises. 😉 Maybe – take it with a grain of salt as usual when mysterious sources appear.
ETA18: Errr…well, the cat seems to be out of the bag on some other sites (and Heidi is already in bed), so here it goes: Lindsay has allegedly been downgraded to troupe along with Gleb, Sasha has allegedly been upgraded to pro from the troupe, and one of the “non-troupe lurkers” I mentioned almost a month ago, Tyne, has allegedly been fast-tracked straight to pro. Witney & Henry remain in the troupe, which is now only 4 strong. I’m not exactly happy with this new development (especially since Tyne, to my knowledge, is just a contemporary dancer), but I’m interested to see what you guys’ thoughts are…and keep in mind, this does seem to contradict some of what we’ve already heard from reputable sources, so take it with a grain of salt. -Court-
Derek – IN
Val – IN
Tony – IN
Mark – IN
Sasha – IN
Tristan – IN
Cheryl – IN
Tyne Stecklein – IN
Sharna – IN
Peta – IN
Karina – IN
Emma – IN
Out For the Season
Kym – judging position on DWTS Australia
Maks – OUT per DWTSGossip
Anna – OUT per DWTSGossip
Chelsie – OUT per DWTSGossip
Louis – OUT per Louis’ twitter
Lacey – Most Likely OUT
Super Troupers, Past and Present
Oksana Dmytrenko – OUT of the Troupe
Sasha Farber – Promoted to Pro
Henry Byalikov – IN Troupe
Emma Slater – Promoted to Pro
Kiki Nyemchek – OUT
Nicole Volynets – OUT
Ted Volynets – OUT
Dasha Chesnokova – OUT
Witney Carson – IN Troupe
Julian Tocker – Not dancing full time in troupe this season, but we’ll still see him around.
Gleb Savchenko – downgraded from pro to troupe
Lindsay Arnold – downgraded from pro to troupe
This past weekend, Dancing With The Stars pros Tony Dovolani, Karina Smirnoff, Tristan MacManus, Val Chmerkovski, Oksana Dmytrenko , Sasha Farber, and Emma Slater helped to raise over $12,000 dollars for Covenant Hospice at the 5th annual ‘Life’s a Dance’ event in Pensacola, Florida. You can view a few segments of the event and some coverage at ABC3 here and here.
PureDWTS reader Gail sent us some personal coverage as well. Below is Tristan with the ladies of the Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Pensacola. Gail tells us Tristan was sunburned, but, he was still in fine dancing form as you can see.
Fan Angela Anderson also attended the event. She’s been posting some awesome video coverage at her You Tube page of some of the dances. For instance, below is Oksana and Val!
However, it was not all work and no play for our pros!! There was some time for relaxing and fun in the Florida sun too. For instance, Emma Slater has been posting some breathtaking photos of she and Sasha enjoying some beach time. Be sure to take a look. They are beautiful and the white sand is so inviting. I am so in the mood to go to Florida again now. Who’s with me?
Special thanks to Gail and Angela for all the fantastic video coverage of this event. xx
Well DWTSers, it looks like they’re expanding the Troupe this year, from 6 dancers to 8! Sharna was promoted out of the troupe this season, so we knew we would get at least one new pro troupe members. Instead, we get THREE!
First, ELENA SAMODANOVA… She comes to us from Australia’s DWTS, like Gleb, who is one of our new teaching pros.
Elena was born in a dance family so she started dancing before walking. Since her infant years Elena has always been on the dance floor dancing to all different styles of music..
During her youth Elena has won many Russian championships and awards in Latin American and Ballroom genres internationally.
Elena became a professional dancer at the tender age of 16 and she became the “World Youngest Professional Latin American Dancer” and soon after such, Elena was ranked the Top 20 dance couple in the world ranking in Latin American genre. Even since she has been performing, teaching and competing all over Europe and Asia.
The next decade marked further special achievements in Elena’s career in which she won many more international competitions and championships around the world. In 2009 she hit the Top 10 professional dancers in the World ranking of Latin American. Elena’s titles include being the Asian Professional Champion, Hong Kong Champion, Japanese Champion, Singaporean Champion and England Champion.
Elena has obtained her official certificate as a professional Latin American and Ballroom professional dance teacher and has the highest credentials and qualifications to teach in Russia, Hong Kong, England and Australia.
At this moment Elena Samodanova is the National Australian Professional Latin American Champion having won the 4 major dance titles down under and as a result she will now be representing Australian on the next World Dance Championship this November. This year Elena also makes her DANCING WITH THE STARS debut.
ADDING: What fun! I finally realized that I could possibly find more about our new troupe dancers on You Tube! Elena WAS on DWTS Australia, but my computer wasn’t cooperating with me to play any of those videos! However, I DID find one of her dancing the Paso with Gleb! And, since he’s a New Pro, and one we HAVEN’T seen dance yet, here’s our opportunity!
Elena and Gleb dancing Paso at a private function, 2009(ish)
Second, WITNEY CARSON… Witney competed this past summer on So You Think You Can Dance along side her friend Lindsay, who is now one of our new teaching pros.
Witney Carson was born and raised in American Fork, UT. Witney has been dancing since the age of 3; training, performing, and competing has been her life. Her specialty dance is Ballroom. She recently graduated from American Fork High School, and is ready to start her new adult life!
ADDING: A video from SYTYCD, which seems to be the first week of competition?? (I didn’t watch) She’s dancing Samba with her partner Chehon.
Witney and Chehon, “So You Think You Can Dance” 2012
Third, JULZ TOCKER…
Unfortunately, my search has come up scarce, and all I could find on Julz is what’s on his twitter bio, Dancing With The Stars season 16 cast member. International Ballroom and Latin American Champion, Dance Teacher/Coach, Model, Actor and a whole lot more people. That, and he has Gleb and Jason Gilikson on his facebook friends list.
ADDING: Julz was dancing in Australia on the show, “Everybody Dance Now 2012″ which ran only one season, and was cancelled. I did find one video with him dancing with his partner Annalisa. He’s in the first 5 minutes of the video…
Julz and Annalisa, “Everybody Dance Now” Australia 2012
If you know or can find anything more on Elena, Witney or Julz, PLEASE let us know in the comments, with url or documentation, and we’ll add it and credit you. Unfortunately, all 3 are new to me.
Rounding out the troupe are returning members SASHA FARBER, EMMA SLATER, HENRY BYALIKOV, OKSANA DYMTRENKO, SONNY PEDERSEN.
ADDED: A couple videos from @ButterflyWhirl, thank you!