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PureDWTS Court Rants: Why Hayley Didn’t Get A Pro Spot on Season 27

Ok, so when the pro lineup was announced earlier this week on GMA, I saw a lot of folks thrilled for Brandon – and even more that were sad about Hayley not getting promoted to pro. I was honestly kind of shocked that so many people were incredulous about her not getting a pro spot – to me, it was pretty easy to see why…they just ran out of spots.  But in light of me getting some genuinely curious questions from fans who wondered why Hayley was passed over for a pro role, here’s my honest opinion.

But first, let’s get this main point straight: there is not an unlimited number of pro slots.

THERE IS NO MORE ROOM AT THE INN.  I REPEAT – NO. ROOM. AT. THE. INN!

Fall season traditionally has had (13) couples (we won’t talk about the chaos of season 9).  It’s a nice number, and usually fits pretty nicely with the (usual) 10 week schedule.  Since (13) is an odd number, we’re either going to end up with (6) female pros and (7) male ones, or vice versa. Which we get more of is solely dependent upon who gets cast – if they happen to get (7) female celebs to sign on, then it’s your lucky day, boys – one more male pro slot just opened up.  Sorry, ladies – we only need (6) of you this season. Just the way the cookie crumbles, I’m afraid.  Due to the budget and schedule, it’s simply not feasible to “add” another couple, particularly if it’s only so one of the pros can have a shot.  NONE of the pros are that important.

But why couldn’t they have sat one of the other female pros out, so Hayley could get a turn?

Ok, let’s take a look at who we’re working with here: of the 6 female pros this season, 5 are MBT holders.  Right off the bat, I don’t think any MBT-holder is going to get benched in favor of a pro that isn’t battle-tested. One of them is a 2-time MBT winner, and the sole OG pro from the formative years of the show – and Cheryl is still really popular, so as far as I’m concerned, she probably has an open spot waiting for her whenever she wants. Jenna is the current MBT-holder, and just came off a strong season with Adam and an impressive first choreographic outing on SYTYCD – regardless of how you feel about Jenna as a person, the girl’s got choreo chops, and that’s what this show needs right now…so I don’t see the sense in cutting her in favor of Hayley. Lindsay is another choreo heavyweight and a recent MBT winner – plus she seems to get along fantastically with all of her partners, so it’s beneficial to keep her on as well.  Witney’s MBT win wasn’t as recent, but she is a choreographer that has started blossoming these past few seasons…so it makes sense to keep her as well. That leaves us with Emma & Sharna.  Emma’s a fairly recent MBT-winner as well, and is extremely good at turning partners that are not much to sneeze at on paper into competent contestants – plus she’s married to another pro, which TPTB need now that their token married couple has flown the coop. Sharna’s MBT-less, but has more than proven herself as a skilled choreographer – and she’s popular. I’m not sure who we’re supposed to be cutting here…

But it’s not fair that Hayley’s been in the troupe for 7 seasons, and Brandon’s only been in it for 3 seasons and he got a pro spot first!

First, you need to let go of the notion that this show somehow has to be “fair”. It seldom is, particularly to the female pros; and then there’s the small matter of Val basically being handed ringer after ringer, season after season. But I digress. Secondly, you’re comparing apples & oranges – Hayley is a contemporary dancer that only started dancing ballroom within the last 3-4 years; Brandon is a ballroom dancer that is cross-trained in contemporary and other styles, and has been doing it for quite a bit longer than Hayley.  On paper, Brandon is a much safer bet – especially when you look at some of the other contemporary-dancers-who-got-a-crash-course-in-ballroom pros we’ve had: Tyne (who had one short, unmemorable season and we never saw her again) and Allison (great at contemporary, but not-so-great at ballroom/Latin, and was cut after 4 seasons).  Right now, the ballroom dancers cross-trained in other styles have a lot easier row to hoe on DWTS than do the contemporary dancers who have only taken up ballroom in the last few years. Brandon also won the junior pro competition on DWTS back in 2007. And once again, THEY NEEDED MORE MALE PROS THIS SEASON. It’s not as if Hayley would have gotten a spot if Brandon didn’t – she can’t partner a female celeb. Also, tenure in the troupe isn’t everything – we’ve seen enough troupe members do a handful of seasons and then get let go, and Sasha seems to get shuffled back to the troupe every so often as well, despite being promoted to pro awhile back.

But why do the men seem to get promoted from troupe more often than the women?

I’m not sure this is really true, as the last few promotions from the troupe (prior to Brandon) that we’ve seen are Alan, Jenna, Lindsay (although she was a pro to begin with, went to the troupe, then went back to pro) and Witney – statistically, you’re more likely to get promoted to pro if you’re a female in the troupe than a male, as the female pro lineup seems to vary quite a bit more these days due to marriages/pregnancies.  But as a side note, I’ll say this: the current female pros, on the whole, are FAR more skilled as teachers and choreographers than the male pros.  Every single female pro in the lineup this season is both a stellar choreographer and a stellar teacher – I can’t say the same for the men.  I honestly feel like the male pros as a whole need all the help they can get – with the departure of Mark & Derek, there is little hope in terms of strong male choreographers.  Sasha & Artem seem to really try, and seem to do pretty well about 60% of the time; I think Alan is still pretty green and trying to figure out his choreographic identity; Gleb & Keo, bless them, are not great choreographers. You know how I feel about Val’s choreography – it’d be pretty good, if he would just stop with all the props/time-wasting/troupe-overutilization.  We need a dynamite male choreographer – and I think it could be Brandon. I heard tremendous praise for his choreography skills during Juniors, and since he’s coming from the same school/era that gave us Lindsay, Witney, & Jenna, I think he’s got some serious chops. I tend to think of it more as a compliment to the women that they seem to be keeping the ladies the same while shaking up the male pro lineup more and more these days – the women are killing it, so why mess with something that works? The men need work – so they keep tweaking the lineup.

But…but…will Hayley ever got a shot at being a pro???

I’m sure she’ll get her shot, probably within the next year or so.  I think it helped that Sharna sat out Juniors, as that created a mentor vacancy for Hayley to fill and somewhat prove herself.  I think Peta’s out for the foreseeable future (if not permanently), as she’s expressed a desire for more kids; additionally, Sasha & Emma have said they want to start trying for kids next year, so depending on their success in that arena (hehe), we could see a female pro slot opening up in the spring (if there’s a spring season) or fall (more likely). There’s also the fact that both Lindsay & Witney have been married a few years now – what’s to say they might not start thinking about kids soon? Or even Jenna? And then there’s Sharna, who seems to be blossoming professionally – she may find herself occupied with other gigs before long, and might decide that she’s outgrown DWTS. There’s not a single pro that has been on every single season of DWTS – the pro lineup isn’t static, and if you’re patient, long-running troupe members do eventually get promoted. Relax – I’m sure Hayley will get her moment, when a slot opens up.

Just start praying for a DWTS baby boom, I guess 😉

August 30, 2018 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, baker, 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. Follow me (and my dog!) on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence & @BirkinTheBulldog

PureDWTS Season 24 – Jenna Johnson Taking a Season Off

Jenna fans asking if she’s gonna be in the troupe, I think you just got your answer:


Given that things on the pro front seem really, really strange this season, I don’t really know whether this was really her choice or is coming from someone higher up.  She seems upbeat, though, so I wish her the best and hope she gets what she needs out of her break.

February 28, 2017 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, baker, 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. Follow me (and my dog!) on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence & @BirkinTheBulldog

Sharna Burgess Talks Of Mood Behind The Scenes Before DWTS16 Cast Announcement And More

As most of you know, the cast announcement for Dancing With The Stars Season 16 is quickly approaching. Tuesday, February 26th, we will finally find out who is dancing on Good Morning America. Stay tuned as we plan to LIVE blog and tweet the event. In the meantime, Dancing With The Stars Sharna Burgess was generous enough to answer a few questions from us before the ‘calm hits the storm’ so to speak. She talks of what the mood is currently like for all the pros and how she’s preparing. She talks of the dancers goals and what she’s looking forward to. Sharna also answers a question on speculation for whether or not they know if a troupe member will be promoted. She answers some other fun questions too that you won’t want to miss reading. Enjoy and we thank Sharna so much for taking the time to answer all of our questions. Stay tuned as she is going to answer more questions AFTER the cast announcement as well. THANK YOU SHARNA and keeping fingers crossed!!xx

What’s the mood like surrounding you and all the pro dancers right now? I imagine it must be an anxious time and one full of anxiety?

I think everyone is anxiously waiting to hear what’s going to happen this season. Normally there are a bunch of rumors going around by now about celebs but there has really been nothing. They have totally kept the lid tight on it this time!! I’m excited to hear who will be with us for season 16, it’s always wonderful getting to know them and to be a part of their journey in the competition. I’m excited to see how this season tops All Star. We had amazing talent and went all-in on the production value of each number, extra sets, the troupe had additional dancers a lot and so much attention to lighting and detail. I loved that about season 15 so I’m hoping that 16 is the same. 

How are you preparing for the cast announcement and are you ready for the show to start?

Totally ready! Even though Read more..

February 20, 2013 I Written By

Just a music and dancing fan here ....and a lover of life, nature, animals, and spending as much time as possible camping in our travel trailer. Favorite Quote at the moment: "Sing like no one is listening. Love like you've never been hurt. Dance like nobody's watching, and live like it's heaven on earth." ~ William Purkey. Follow me at: Voguerista Twitter & Voguerista Soundcloud. To view my photography site, see Lisa Kay Photography.

Dancing With The Stars Sharna Burgess Takes Part In NOH8 Campaign 2012, Troupe Props

Wasn’t the Dancing With The Stars Troupe fantastic last night? I loved seeing and watching them. I also have to give props to Sharna Burgess again. Recently she and her boyfriend, Paul Kirkland, took part in the NOH8 2012 Campaign. You can view an amazing photo of them at NOH8 Campaign’s Official site at this link. Other celebs photographed were JoJo, Kathy Griffin, Jane Lynch, and the EC Twins to name a few.

The NOH8 Campaign is a charitable organization whose mission is to “promote marriage, gender and human equality through education, advocacy, social media, and visual protest.” You can read more on their mission and help donate to this cause here.

Beautiful Sharna!!! Video above courtesy of Sharna Burgess Fans Facebook.

September 26, 2012 I Written By

Just a music and dancing fan here ....and a lover of life, nature, animals, and spending as much time as possible camping in our travel trailer. Favorite Quote at the moment: "Sing like no one is listening. Love like you've never been hurt. Dance like nobody's watching, and live like it's heaven on earth." ~ William Purkey. Follow me at: Voguerista Twitter & Voguerista Soundcloud. To view my photography site, see Lisa Kay Photography.

DWTS15 Troupe Update: Dancing In India and Australia, Black Tie Affairs, And More

So, it’s official. Dancing pros Henry Byalikov, Sasha Farber, Sharna Burgess and Emma Slater will all be returning for the new All Star Season of Dancing With The Stars according to their twitter and Facebook accounts. Oksana Dmytrenko hasn’t confirmed, but, I think she’s returning as well being nothing has been said otherwise (let us know if you know more?). Sadly, Kiki Nyemchek will not be returning. It’s going to be interesting to see who fills his spot. Any ideas or wishes? I’d like to suggest Jonathan Platero! More on that in a sec.

In other updates on the Troupe currently. Henry just got back from Australia. He helped with the new season of “Dance Academy ABC” due to air in the middle of 2013. Things are really starting to happen for this fan loving Troupe member. It’s going to be a big year for him. Don’t forget how he helped and is starring in one of the most anticipated movies of 2012 to be released soon “The Great Gatsby”.

Oksana has had a busy summer doing several black tie events. Below she danced a rumba with “So You Think You Can Dance” pro Jonathan Platero to Beyonce’s Sweet Dreams at a recent event. Incredible. Can you see why I think he might be a good replacement for Kiki?

You can also watch Oksana dance at a recent showing with Derek Hough at Pure Derek Hough. They are way steamy and so powerful.

And then there is Sasha Farber and girlfriend, Emma Slater. These past weeks, the two have been lighting up India in their version of Dancing With The Stars. According to Sasha, the episode with them airs this weekend. Check out this cool coverage of them. It’s fun to see Dancing With The Stars catching on in so many countries and how it’s different for the way they compete too.

And, last but, not least, we can’t forget about Sharna Burgess. You can see all of our recent updates with her here. She recaps her summer with us at this link. What a star as recently she also helped kids on skid row have a fun day and get them ready to go back to school. Stay tuned! According to twitter, Sharna will be filming her first commercial. I’ll be curious to see what this is all about.

September 8, 2012 I Written By

Just a music and dancing fan here ....and a lover of life, nature, animals, and spending as much time as possible camping in our travel trailer. Favorite Quote at the moment: "Sing like no one is listening. Love like you've never been hurt. Dance like nobody's watching, and live like it's heaven on earth." ~ William Purkey. Follow me at: Voguerista Twitter & Voguerista Soundcloud. To view my photography site, see Lisa Kay Photography.

Sharna Burgess Recaps Her Summer, Shares Thoughts On New DWTS All Star Cast

This is fun!! As promised, Dancing With Stars Sharna Burgess has written to us all about her summer and what a busy and fun summer at that from her working in London, taking a little vacation time, and returning back to the States to work on So You Think You Can Dance and judging the Hip Hop International tournament. She’s excited about the new All Star season of Dancing With The Stars and has some fun thoughts to share with us on that as well. THANKS SHARNA!!! You rock! We can’t wait for you to be back on the show too and do “your thing”!!!!! Without further ado, more below from the beautiful and talented Sharna (including pics)….

Pure DWTS “Summer Recap”
by Sharna Burgess

My thoughts on the new cast:

Wow what an exciting diverse bunch! I was surprised they bought back so many mirror ball winners, but at the same time each of them are great competitive energies to throw into the mix. I think it will be very interesting to watch these guys the second time around – the defending champions should be just as nervous as the rest! I know the runner-ups like Kirstie Alley, are definitely looking to take that mirror ball home. Even the old favorites coming back are in it to win it! Everyone is coming in on an even playing field, they now all have dance experience and know what to expect. It’s not about getting to know them anymore, it’s about what they can do! It definitely won’t be any easier the second time round, as the bar has been raised and we expect to see some fantastic dancing this season!

My summer has been crazy! Between flying straight to London after DWTS, judging Hip Hop International, the USA championships held in Vegas, and working on SYTYCD… I have been a busy girl! Read more..

August 11, 2012 I Written By

Just a music and dancing fan here ....and a lover of life, nature, animals, and spending as much time as possible camping in our travel trailer. Favorite Quote at the moment: "Sing like no one is listening. Love like you've never been hurt. Dance like nobody's watching, and live like it's heaven on earth." ~ William Purkey. Follow me at: Voguerista Twitter & Voguerista Soundcloud. To view my photography site, see Lisa Kay Photography.

DWTS Henry Byalikov Explains Role In The Great Gatsby, Working On New Musical Lead, & More

As you might have read in a previous posting, Dancing With The Stars troupe member, Henry Byalikov has a dancing role in one of the most highly anticipated movies of 2012, “The Great Gatsby“. Henry also taught the leads Leonardo Di Caprio, Tobey Maguire, and Carey Mulligan how to dance for the movie. Below is a new interview he did for it on The Morning Show. They also go through his whole career so far full of major accomplishments. Check out how he’s been working on the new lead for “Strictly Ballroom: The Musical” as well. FASCINATING! A MUST SEE! And let’s hope he gets the new lead!! He’d be perfect!!

“The Great Gatsby” has a December 25th release date. I plan to see this, do you? I was a big fan of the first movie with Robert Redford and Mia Farrow. Below you can view the trailer. Thanks to @Elara38 for the help with this post!!

August 10, 2012 I Written By

Just a music and dancing fan here ....and a lover of life, nature, animals, and spending as much time as possible camping in our travel trailer. Favorite Quote at the moment: "Sing like no one is listening. Love like you've never been hurt. Dance like nobody's watching, and live like it's heaven on earth." ~ William Purkey. Follow me at: Voguerista Twitter & Voguerista Soundcloud. To view my photography site, see Lisa Kay Photography.

Dancing With The Stars Anna Trebunskaya Participates In AIDS Walk San Francisco

Dancing With The Stars pro Anna Trebunskaya is currently dancing in “Ballroom With A Twist” in San Francisco, but, that didn’t stop the Russian red haired diva from participating in the “AIDS Walk San Francisco” on July 15th (pictured above). She’s so cool! To see more pics of Anna and others who attended and walked in the event, see Zimbio Pictures.

July 17, 2012 I Written By

Just a music and dancing fan here ....and a lover of life, nature, animals, and spending as much time as possible camping in our travel trailer. Favorite Quote at the moment: "Sing like no one is listening. Love like you've never been hurt. Dance like nobody's watching, and live like it's heaven on earth." ~ William Purkey. Follow me at: Voguerista Twitter & Voguerista Soundcloud. To view my photography site, see Lisa Kay Photography.

Dancing With The Stars Anna Trebunskaya Pictured In Ballroom With A Twist

Isn’t this a beautiful picture of Dancing With The Stars pro Anna Trebunskaya? Her long red hair is one of her best features, isn’t it?!! The photo was taken Thursday night in an opening number of “Ballroom With A Twist” with hubby Jonathan Roberts in San Francisco. There are more pics as well as a “mixed” review on the night at the San Francisco Gate. Dancing With The Stars troupe members Sasha Farber and Oksana Dmytrenko are also dancing in the production as previously reported. Peta Murgatroyd and Dimitry Chaplin will be dancing in it’s second week run. Let’s hope they take more pictures! For ticket information, scheduling, and times, be sure to visit MarinesMemorialTheatre.com.

July 14, 2012 I Written By

Just a music and dancing fan here ....and a lover of life, nature, animals, and spending as much time as possible camping in our travel trailer. Favorite Quote at the moment: "Sing like no one is listening. Love like you've never been hurt. Dance like nobody's watching, and live like it's heaven on earth." ~ William Purkey. Follow me at: Voguerista Twitter & Voguerista Soundcloud. To view my photography site, see Lisa Kay Photography.

Dancing With The Stars Pros To Do Ballroom With A Twist, New DWTS Live In Las Vegas Promo

Just a few media tidbits to mention for the start of the day!! First up, if you are going to be in the San Francisco, California area in July and you are missing some of the pros on Dancing With The Stars, you might wasnt to take in “Ballroom With A Twist”. Anna Trebunskaya, Jonathan Roberts, Peta Murgatroyd, and Dimitry Chaplin will be making special appearances. According to @DWTSGossip, Dancing With The Stars troupe members Sasha Farber and Oksana Dmytrenko are also dancing. For ticket information, scheduling, and times, visit MarinesMemorialTheatre.com. Special thanks to Dmitry Dream Team at Facebook for the poster and heads up.

Speaking of some good shows to take in this summer, below is another fun promo for the Dancing With The Stars: Live in Las Vegas Show. Carson Kressley, anyone? Yes, he’s in this too.

Let’s hope this show is around for a long time to come. For more show, cast, and ticket information, visit The New Tropicana Website.

June 26, 2012 I Written By

Just a music and dancing fan here ....and a lover of life, nature, animals, and spending as much time as possible camping in our travel trailer. Favorite Quote at the moment: "Sing like no one is listening. Love like you've never been hurt. Dance like nobody's watching, and live like it's heaven on earth." ~ William Purkey. Follow me at: Voguerista Twitter & Voguerista Soundcloud. To view my photography site, see Lisa Kay Photography.