“Dancing with the Stars,” which airs its third season this month, will once again star Cheryl Burke, who was crowned last season’s champ with celeb partner Drew Lachey. Her new partner had not been announced at presstime.
Since the end of season two, late last February, Burke has been busy. Requests to make appearances with Lachey were so overwhelming that she hired a publicist and an agent. The pair appeared on talk shows hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, Tony Danza, Ellen DeGeneres and others. Burke also landed a gig in the Philippines and an acting and dancing role on the Disney Channel’s “The Suite Life of Zack and Cody.”
Burke started studying dance with ballet classes at age 4 and switched to ballroom after watching a competition at age 11. She studied both standard and Latin styles, but quickly took to the latter. “It was more fast-paced, and more hip and young,” she says. By the time she was 13, Burke had a dance partner with whom she practiced every day and attended youth competitions. After graduating from high school, she trained and competed as an amateur in Denmark and Provo, UT, before moving to NYC where her coach Allan Tornsberg partnered her with José Decamps, with whom she decided to go pro at age 19. Decamps is still dancing in NYC but Burke hasn’t competed professionally since signing with “DWTS” last season.
Burke is thrilled to be part of the resurgence of the artform in a high-profile capacity, though. “I think the show gave such great exposure for ballroom dancing,” she says. “From what I hear, a lot of studios have been packed with people wanting to learn.”
Well, this brings class videos to a whole new level! Choreographer Phil Wright and dancer Ashley Liai have been together eight-plus years, but she was still in total shock when he proposed to her mid-dance at Millennium Dance Complex earlier this week. Why? Well, the whole thing was unbelievably perfect.
In the dance industry, dancers don't always have a say in what they wear on their bodies. This can get tricky if you're asked to wear something that compromises your own personal values. So what should you do if you find yourself in this sticky situation? We sat down for a Q&A with "Dancing with the Stars" alumn Ashly Costa to answer that very question. Here's what she had to say about the options dancers have surrounding questionable costumes.
The groundwork for Erin Carpenter's company, Nude Barre, began when she was a teenager. At 16, she earned a spot in the residency program at The Kennedy Center in partnership with Dance Theatre of Harlem. "We were required to wear nude—as in, our actual skin tone—tights and shoes," she remembers. Carpenter brought her "sun tan" tights and a pair of pink ballet shoes with her, because that was all she could find. But she wasn't allowed in class because her dancewear didn't match her skin. "I was so embarrassed," she says. "I looked unprepared. I just didn't have the right nudes." Her teacher explained that the dancers dyed their tights and pancaked their shoes.
There are dancers and then there are DANCERS! Whitney Jensen, soloist at Norwegian National Ballet, is the latter. The former Boston Ballet principal can do it all. From contemporary to the classics this prima has the technical talent most bunheads dream about. Need proof? Look no further.
Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee's dance inducing hit, "Despacito," is so catchy it should probably come with a disclaimer that warns people of an uncontrollable itch to tap your feet or bob your head. Some might even feel inclined to go all out and break it down. Niana Guerrero is a prime example of "Despacito's" uncanny ability to unleash the red dressed emoji dancer within. 💃🏽 💃🏽