“Dancing with the Stars” is a long-standing television phenomenon that pairs celebrities with dance professionals for an intensive crash course in ballroom dancing. Since its debut in 2005, the show has become a cultural staple, now in its 32nd season with no signs of slowing down.
Over the years, the show has seen a revolving cast of professional dancers, each bringing their unique style and expertise to guide the celebrity contestants. These dancers, with diverse backgrounds in the art of dance, have contributed significantly to the show’s success.
One notable departure was Keo Motsepe. He made history as the first Black professional on the show in Season 19. Despite early eliminations with less-favored partners, he later gained traction with contestants like Jodie Sweetin and Evanna Lynch. However, after Season 29, Keo’s name was absent from the roster. He assured fans he’d be back in the future, hinting at exciting new opportunities.
Tristan MacManus, an Irish ballroom star, made an impression with his troupe performances before becoming a pro. Known for his strong technique, he partnered with celebrities like Nancy Grace and almost clinched the title with a runner-up finish alongside figure skater Evan Lysacek. In 2017, MacManus disclosed he left the show by choice, emphasizing the importance of personal happiness.
Lacey Schwimmer, a familiar face from “So You Think You Can Dance,” made her mark as a pro on “Dancing with the Stars.” Her infectious energy and skillful choreography led her and partner Kyle Massey to a close second-place finish. In 2011, Schwimmer decided to step back from the show to pursue personal goals, including earning a college degree.
Tony Dovolani, a seasoned pro from Season 2 onwards, had a strong presence on the show. While he didn’t win as frequently as some, he established himself as a fan favorite. His decision to step away after Season 22 was motivated by a desire to spend more time with his family. Despite not returning as a pro, Dovolani has remained active, even trying his hand at Chippendales in Las Vegas.
Edyta Śliwińska was one of the first pros on “Dancing with the Stars,” demonstrating her talent and determination from Season 1. After an extended run, she took a break to focus on personal goals, including earning a college degree. She made a brief return but ultimately transitioned into other pursuits, including owning a dance studio.
These dancers, among others, have left indelible marks on “Dancing with the Stars,” contributing to its enduring legacy. Their journeys reflect the evolving nature of the show, where professionals explore new horizons while leaving their fans with cherished memories.