When the “DWTS” Pros ARE the Stars

Here’s the thing about “Dancing with the Stars”: These days, it seems like the pros have become celebrities in their own right, shining just as bright as the starlets and boy-banders and Olympic athletes they partner. And how great is that? In what other context could world-class ballroom dancers achieve such huge mainstream fame? Just look at Derek and Julianne Hough, for goodness’ sake—they’re everywhere, and it’s amazing.

Last night’s episode opened with one of the shows’ most devoted pros, Mark Ballas, taking center stage to perform his first solo song, “Get My Name.” In sound and look, Ballas seemed to be channeling JT, which is something I’ll never discourage. But I’m really in this for the dancing, which means I was even more excited by his smokin’-hot swing dance interlude with the smokin’-hot Witney Carson. (Can we also talk about the amazingness that is the “So You Think You Can Dance”/”DWTS” overlap? It’s fun to see some of the best “SYT” ballroom dancers—especially BFFs Witney and Lindsay Arnold—in their natural element 100% of the time over on “DWTS.”)

I won’t get into Abby Lee Miller’s guest judging (ehhh), but I will say I was sad to see Danica McKellar go home last night. Both she and partner Val Chmerkovskiy are class acts. (McKellar has also been my fitness inspiration for the past few months. Dang, Winnie Cooper!)

In case you missed it, I’ll leave you with video of that Mark Ballas extravaganza. Enjoy!

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