PureDWTS Exclusive: New Interview With Sharna Burgess, Special Message To Fans, And Lots More

We thought it was high time to catch up with Dancing With The Stars Sharna Burgess!! In a new exclusive interview below, Sharna chats with us about Dancing With The Stars Season 19. She answers fun questions on choreographing, whether Dancing With The Stars is neglecting ballroom styles, and the Dancing With The Stars Season 10th Anniversary coming up (but, her lips are completely sealed 🙂 ). We also ask Sharna about her and Derek Hough’s routine for Goldie Hawn’s Inaugural “Love In For Kids” Benefit that took place a few weeks ago. She also chats with us about her upcoming projects including “Shall We Dance On Ice December 16th, “Sway“, and Dancing With The Stars At Sea. Also included is a special message to her fans. Lots lots more below. We thank her so much for taking time out of her busy schedule for us. Enjoy…

Vogue: Hello Miss Sharna! How are you? It’s so cool to visit with you again! I hope you are well and you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Hi love!!! Great to chat with you again! My thanksgiving was filled with lots of love and too much food… Exactly the way it should be

So, how are you feeling overall about Dancing With The Stars Season 19? Was it everything you expected? I thought it was a fantastic season. My only complaint is there weren’t enough Pro Numbers during the middle part of the season, but, for what we did see, they were fantastic thanks to your choreography.:) So, if you were to name your favorite pro number from this past season, which would it be and why?

Season 19 was a fantastic!! So much creativity from so many pros. I loved Derek’s salsa, paso and of course his freestyle. Mark and Sadie I loved nearly every dance, he was soooo on point this season with her!! And Val truly took his creative concepts and vision to another level this season, it wasn’t always about steps, it was about telling a story… And we all know that’s my favorite thing in the world!! And of course… We finally had a male celeb win since Peta and Donald Driver!!! Yay girl power and Witney certainly was the girl for the job… What a team!


There really wasn’t enough pro numbers this season, (and yay thank you for the love) being out so early this season I really missed not having more to do or create. I am super proud of the group numbers I created this season, but honestly my favorite isn’t anything I did lol. Mandy moore created some fierce girl pieces this season. My ultimate faves were Boss and Jessie J… Dancing that choreo just felt sooooo good!! I love a good fierce girl number

I’ll be back with a few more questions, but, first, here are some questions from fans….

From ZazouGirl8:
What changes would you like to see on DWTS?

Hmmmm… That’s tough! I feel like we have changed so many things over the last few seasons. Something I really miss are the confessionals, ugh they were so funny and I think probably the most real moments you caught of the couples.

What is your favorite dance to dance to and why?

It’s always changing, right now I’ll say paso doble, vienesse waltz or contemporary lol… Can’t pick one!! In all honesty I just love passion and emotion, and depending on the day I might feel like a romantic waltz or a feisty paso… No one day is ever the same for me. However I always love dancing contemporary… the freedom feels so good 🙂


From M8:
Do you think Dancing with the Stars has slightly neglected ballroom dance styles in recent seasons and would you like to be given more of a chance to dance numbers such as the ballroom tango, traditional & vienesse waltzes along with the normal Latin numbers?

G’day M8 🙂 (couldn’t help myself )

This is a question we get asked a lot. The balance of traditional vs modern/commercial on DWTS. It’s tough for me to answer as I’m definitely one of those people that likes to give my routines a little touch of something else, this is a balance I feel Mark nailed this season. And I also love that jazz and contemporary are a part of our standard dances now. However… I do see that we have shied away a little from what made us special and unique in the first place, and that is the true essence of ballroom dancing. Traditional, elegant, technical, and very beautiful. Each season is different however so even though there’s been less of that in recent seasons doesn’t mean there won’t be more in the future!

As with everything else dance has evolved, styles have blended and new styles have been created. DWTS has done a brilliant job over the last 10 yrs of staying relevant and moving with the times. 19 seasons!! I mean that’s kinda insane for a dance show!

As a choreographer, do you prefer creating short 1 minute routines for a celebrity, or longer routines of 1.50-2 minutes?

For my celeb I usually like around 1:30, that gives me enough time to set up a story tell it and finish it with it all making sense. For my group numbers I like around 2 min, that way I can have a few nice transitions and get a good variety in my staging.

Do you have a number of real stand out dances performed by Celebs with their pros throughout this season that you truly personally loved?

Ugh yes!!! I kinda named some of them but heres a few more, these are not just for dancing but for what the entire piece looked like.

Derek salsa and paso, Witney jazz, trio paso and that first jive (wow), Mark just killed it every week for me, but that Halloween zombie paso was uber creative, Val’s jazz, contemporary, foxtrot. Also… Basically anything from Peta and Tommy lol, I loved them, this was my favorite season of hers. You guys all finally got to see the amazing funny down to earth girl that I’ve known for years. And finally… All 4 of those epic freestyles, I couldn’t possibly pick a favorite they were all so different!!

Besides dancing, what are your other interests?

Sleep… 😯 I’m only half kidding!

I love designing clothing, I get obsessed with home decor, hosting and acting is a something I’m working on and passionate about. I used to love drawing and arts and crafts but who has time for that any more! Truly in my spare time I’m either taking class for something, hanging out with friends or getting in some good couch time catching up on my fave shows!

Sharna, what would you like to say to your fans?

OMG so much. The love that I felt, when my coming back was up in the air, was truly overwhelming. I had no idea that I had connected with so many incredible people. I saw an article here on Pure that honestly bought me to tears. I couldn’t believe the beautiful things everyone was saying about me. I couldn’t be more grateful for every single person who supports me, and even defends me! All I can say is I love you all, despite wether you are fans of mine or simply fans of dwts, without you guys none of this would be possible. Endless thanks to each of you for supporting all of us, and helping many of our dance dreams become reality, your amazing.

Vogue back again:
I’d love to hear more about your performance for the Goldie Hawn’s Inaugural “Love In For Kids” Benefit. It was so cool to see you dancing with Derek Hough again as you both have a special unique way of steaming up the dance floor and bringing on the passion. Fan Lynnette would like to know some details for how you all put that performance together? Also, what was Goldie like?

Goldie is such a sweetheart and truly so intelligent and genuine! Working with her was a treat and definitely an honor.

Derek came to me the week before and asked me to help him with the number because he was so busy with the show. This performance happened the Friday before finale so you can imagine my stress in putting this together and trying to get our troupe to be a part of it. There was definite anxiety in wondering how I was going to make it happen, AND the day before we all received a rehearsal schedule for that evening… Sooo much stress and moving things about but… Somehow it came off beautifully! Thank goodness!!

After Derek and I chose a song I was in the studio with everyone on the Tuesday laying down the choreo and figuring out what Goldie should do. Wednesday morning we had Goldie in rehearsal with us, Friday was the performance! That entire week between choreographing the Monday opening, the Jennifer Hudson number AND being in the other 100 numbers that were happening I was doing around 13hr days all week… Total craziness.

A couple of other questions:
What has been your most favorite costume ever to wear on Dancing With The Stars?

Oooo… Tough one!!! My quickstep or tango dress with Charlie, or my jazz or rumba with Andy.

You once posted this quote at twitter and your instagram. When you read over it again, what comes to mind?: “I want to inspire people. I want someone to look at me and say, “Because of you, I didn’t give up.”

I love this quote so much. To me, we are all role models for someone, we are all setting an example to others by what we put out into the universe. I have had so many incredible role models in my life, some I knew and some I simply was inspired by, like Cyd Charisse or Gene Kelly. I was recently inspired by the most incredible 84yr old woman who I met on DWTSatSEA, Rowena. She truly epitomizes the art of happiness through positivity. She loves music, was dancing Lindy since the 40s, has seen a lot and been through even more (her stories need to be published… Wow) but she filled the entire ship with joy with just a smile. She stole every persons heart. I told that incredible woman I want to be her when I grow up. And it’s the truth.

Basically, I feel that if we live each day never giving up on our own hopes and dreams no matter the struggle, just maybe you’ll inspire someone to do the same. Even if it’s just being happy.

Any hints on Dancing With The Stars Season 20 and the 10th Anniversary and what we can expect?

My lips are sealed!!! 😀

You have a lot upcoming events and performances coming up: The Dancing With The Stars At Sea Cruise and “Sway”. Any teasers to share on them? What about the Dancing With The Stars Live Tour? Will you be a part of that too? I hope so.

Oh girl there is so much happening the next few months. There is totally no time to rest until probably February for me! I’m also In between the cruise and sway I’m doing shall we dance on ice, a live abc special with Charlie maks and Meryl! I unfortunately won’t be a part of the dwts tour, I had already committed to work up until jan 15th so I wasn’t avail to be a part of it 🙁


As far as teasers go… If you can make it to sway you absolutely have to! It’s going to be so amazing and what a killer cast!!! Also be sure to tune into shall we dance on ice on December 16 on ABC!!! You’ll see the four of us along with the rest of the incredible ice dancing teams and… A few old favorite dwts pros!!!

That is all for now! Thanks again, Girlie. We love you muchly and can’t thank you enough for taking the time to catch up with us. Here’s to all things Miss Sharna!!!xxx

Yay! Love you all right back!! Let’s do it again soon 🙂 oh and HAPPY HOLIDAYS MY LOVES!!!

Photos courtesy of Getty Images and Sharna’s Instagram.