Have you ever watched Grease and wondered what it would be like to be able to sing and dance like Sandy or Danny? When you watched Footloose did you always want to cut loose and kick off your Sunday shoes? Well, there’s a fair chance you have – because your epic dance moves at your sister’s wedding say otherwise! While many of us spend our childhood years in ballet or tap lessons, most of us grow out of it when teenage and adult responsibilities get in the way. We hang up our pointe shoes, we put away our T-Birds jacket, and we pass on our tutus to the next generation. Yet, just because we no longer rock it on the dance floor doesn’t mean that we don’t get the chance to watch other people do it – which is why we’re pretty much obsessed with Dancing With The Stars. From the awesome celebrity contestants to the impressive professional dancers on the show, we’ve always been overwhelmed by the female talent shown… but have you ever wondered what the Dancing With The Stars professionals are up to now?
If you’ve ever taken a trip to the UK and happened to watch television on a Saturday evening instead of seeing the sights, you may have noticed that the Brits are obsessed with a television dance contest by the name of Strictly Come Dancing. After winning over the British public when it debuted onto their screens in 2004, the American TV network, CBS, decided to bring the show over to the US a year later – and Dancing With The Stars was born. Thankfully, the concept of the show is not difficult to understand or to quickly obsess over. Every year, a bunch of celebrities decide to try their hand at a brand new skill and team up with a professional dancer. Over the course of numerous weeks, the celebrities and their partners battle it out to bust their moves and impress the judges – but there’s a catch. Each week, the couple with the lowest scores are kicked out of the competition, until just one couple remains to win the trophy.
With a whopping 25 seasons to its name, Dancing With The Stars has proved hugely popular over the course of its run – and that’s not just because of the celebrity contestants. One of the main reasons why fans tune in each week is to watch the overwhelming talent of the professional dancers. While the men are pretty light on their feet, the female professional dancers really show us all how it’s done. The best part? New female dancers join the show every year! However, that doesn’t mean we’ve forgotten some of our favorite former Dancing With The Stars women. In fact, we’ve compiled this epic list of the best women from the show, then and now…
Edyta Sliwinska – on the show
When Dancing With The Stars first debuted onto our screens in 2005, Edyta Sliwinska was one of the first professional dancers to take their place on the stage. She immediately wowed the audience with her impressive dancing skills, as well as her overwhelming beauty. Originally, Edyta appeared on the show for the first 10 seasons, but never managed to make it past second place! After a hiatus of a whopping 11 seasons, Edyta returned to the show for season 22 of Dancing With The Stars.
Edyta Sliwinska – in real life
After making her triumphant return to Dancing With The Stars in 2016, Edyta was knocked out in the second week of competition – and she has not been back since. However, we won’t hold it against her, as we watched Edyta fall in love on the show. In 2007, Edyta tied the knot with her fellow Dancing With The Stars professional, Alec Mazo. The pair welcomed their first child into the world in 2014, and recently welcomed their second child in June 2017!
Chelsie Hightower – on the show
Although Chelsie Hightower is known for her time on Dancing With The Stars, she landed her professional role on the show after producers watched her perform on the dance competition, So You Think You Can Dance. After finishing in the top six, Chelsie was picked up to appear in season 8 of Dancing With The Stars. She continued to work on DWTS until season 15 when she left the show for good. Over the course of her career on Dancing With The Stars, Chelsie’s highest ranking came when she partnered with Ty Murray to finish 4th.
Chelsie Hightower – in real life
Although she was living the high life as one of the regulars on Dancing With The Stars, Chelsie Hightower made the decision to leave that world behind her and return home to Utah. Since then, Chelsie has largely focused on maintaining and growing her faith and her religion and has also continued to dance. In fact, she has since worked on shows such as Dancing Pros Live and Shall We Dance On Ice, alongside many of the other women on this list.
Julianne Hough – on the show
Julianne Hough is one of the most unique women on this list – because she has not only appeared on Dancing With The Stars as a professional dancer, but she has also starred as a judge on the show! As if that wasn’t cool enough, Julianne is also the sister of her fellow DWTS alumni, Derek Hough. Julianne joined the cast of Dancing With The Stars back in season 4 and performed as a professional until season 8. After two impressive wins, Julianne was asked back as a permanent judge in 2014.
Julianne Hough – in real life
Nowadays, Julianne Hough is a force to be reckoned with. While she confirmed in February 2018 that she would not be returning for the next season of Dancing With The Stars, it’s fair to say that she won’t be bored anytime soon. As a singer, actress, and dancer, Julianne has worked on various productions over the course of her career – most notably, she played Sandy in the live-action production of the movie musical, Grease! Nowadays, Julianne is a popular figure and advocate for the disease, endometriosis.
Lacey Schwimmer – on the show
Like many of the other women on Dancing With The Stars, Lacey Schwimmer managed to get her start in life after appearing on So You Think You Can Dance. After placing fourth during season 3, Lacey was chosen to take part in season 7 of Dancing With The Stars as a new addition to the professional team. Although she missed out on season 10 of the show, Lacey appeared on the show from season 7 until season 13 – and managed to bag herself second place during season 11 with the Disney actor, Kyle Massey.
Lacey Schwimmer – in real life
We have not seen Lacey Schwimmer on our screens since 2011, but that doesn’t mean she hasn’t been keeping busy. While she may primarily be a dancer, Lacey has attempted to break into the world of music and released her first official single the year she left the show. Since then, she has managed to keep up a huge social media following, and wows her fans every day with snippets of her choreography work, as well as her celebrity lifestyle – which involves a little bit of cosmetic surgery!
Cheryl Burke – on the show
Cheryl Burke is one of the longest-running professional dancers on Dancing With The Stars, and it’s fair to say that the fans and the judges love her. While she may be beautiful to look at, it’s been proven that Cheryl was also beautiful on the dance floor. All in all, Cheryl appeared in 19 seasons of the show, and still holds the record as the first professional woman to win the show as a whole – as well as the first woman to win twice in a row! Although she took a short break to pursue other interests after season 19, Cheryl returned just before season 23 to resume her place back on the stage.
Cheryl Burke – in real life
While most of us know her as a dancer, it seems as though Cheryl Burke is a woman of many talents, as she is also a model and a television host! In recent years, Cheryl has used her celebrity status to build up her own personal brand. Not only is she the designer of her own activewear range, but this professional dancer has even written her own book! When she’s not dancing, drawing or writing, Cheryl is also a public speaker who speaks at various engagements and events around the world. Is there anything she can’t do?
Kym Herjavec – on the show
After donning her first dancing shoes at the tender age of 3 years old, Kym Herjavec made her first debut as a professional dancer on the Australian version of Dancing With The Stars from 2004 until 2005. A year later, Kym moved from Down Under to Hollywood to appear on season 3 of the US version of Dancing With The Stars. She was immediately paired up with the legendary TV host, Jerry Springer, and made her mark on the show. She later appeared on seasons 3 – 16 of Dancing With The Stars, as well as seasons 20 and 24.
Kym Herjavec – in real life
Although she no longer performs as a professional on Dancing With The Stars, Kym is still a hugely prevalent name within the show. In fact, like many of the other women on this list, Kym found her soulmate on the dance floor! In 2016, Herjavec married Robert Herjavec, who she partnered with during season 20 of the show. In December 2017, she announced that they would soon be welcoming twins into the world. In her professional life, Kym is also a fitness ambassador and has released her own fitness DVD.
Karina Smirnoff – on the show
After experiencing her first ballroom dancing class when she was just 11 years old, Karina Smirnoff became hooked – and soon dedicated her life to dance. After moving from the Soviet Union to America in 1993, Karina was able to truly pursue her passion, and soon landed herself a professional dance partnership, as well as a role in the popular dance movie, Shall We Dance? Karina made her debut during season 3 of Dancing With The Stars and later appeared in all but one season until season 22 of the show. She managed to bag herself 1st place with J.R Martinez.
Karina Smirnoff – in real life
Outside of the world of Dancing With The Stars, Karina has built up an impressive brand for herself as a model and actress. She has posed for Playboy, and she has even appeared in major movies and TV shows. Nowadays, Karina is still wowing her 204,000 followers on Instagram with her celebrity lifestyle but is now taking things solo as a professional dance teacher in California. In fact, she owns her own dancing school that teaches everything from the Argentinian tango to burlesque.
Anna Trebunskaya – on the show
After spending her early years in Russia, Anna Trebunskaya and her family moved to the United States when she was 17 years old and soon began competing within the Latin American circuit. Before too long, she was asked by the producers of Dancing With The Stars to join their cast for season 2, and she eagerly accepted. She has since appeared on 11 seasons of the show, and has managed to score 2nd place two times during the course of her professional career – narrowly missing out on the top spot!
Anna Trebunskaya – in real life
Sadly, Anna has not appeared on Dancing With The Stars since season 21, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t still dancing! While she may have two children to look after, Anna doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon and confesses that she is a “professional dancer, choreographer, actress, host, mom, YCD studio owner” on her Instagram page. In fact, it seems she now spends most of her time imparting her wisdom and her talent to the next generation of dancers as a teacher and choreographer.
Ashly Delgrosso – on the show
Another female professional to join the cast of Dancing With The Stars from the first season was Ashly Delgrosso. In fact, Ashly starred on the show for the first three seasons – although her track record wasn’t exactly worth writing home about. During season two of Dancing With The Stars, Ashly was paired with the rapper Master P, and the pair consistently stayed at the bottom of the leaderboard. After taking a few years off to focus on her personal and family life, Ashly returned to the show in 2010 for one season, where she partnered with the legendary astronaut, Buzz Aldrin.
Ashly Delgrosso – in real life
It seems love is always in the air on the set of Dancing With The Stars, as Ashly Delgrosso fell in love with one of the series’ producers, Mike Costa. The pair got hitched in 2006 and announced their pregnancy just a year later – which put Ashly out of the running for the Dancing With The Stars top spot. Since then, Ashly and Mike are the proud parents of four children, and Ashly is now more focused on her children and her family life – although we bet she still dances around in her house!
Peta Murgatroyd – on the show
Considering she already had numerous medals and awards to her name and had performed with the Dancing With The Stars dance troupe during season 12, it was no surprise that Peta Murgatroyd was offered the chance to join the cast of professional dancers during season 13 of the show. Amazingly, Peta has since worked on every season of the show since, except for seasons 21 and 23! Over the course of her Dancing With The Stars career, Peta has won 1st place with Donald Driver and Nyle DiMarco.
Peta Murgatroyd – in real life
Of course, we all know that Peta Murgatroyd is still a professional on the show – but how much do you really know about her personal life?! Well, there’s a reason why Peta skipped out on season 23 of Dancing With The Stars, and you have her fellow professional Maksim Chmerkovskiy to blame for that. In 2012, the two professional dancers started an on-and-off relationship that soon turned official when they announced their engagement in 2015. In January 2017, Peta and Maksim welcomed their first son into the world, and Peta returned to the DWTS floor just a few months later!