From competing on "So You Think You Can Dance" to performing on "Dancing with the Stars" for seven seasons (and earning an Emmy nomination for her work on the latter), Chelsie Hightower has lived the pro dance dream. Though Hightower retired from "DWTS" several years ago and now teaches and choreographs in her home state of Utah, she admits that her dance career exceeded even her own high expectations. "I've accomplished things that I didn't know were possible," she says.
But most fans of "DWTS" would never have guessed that while filming, the talented and seemingly fearless ballroom pro was facing her fiercest competitor off-camera. Hightower has struggled with anxiety for most of her life, but the issue became especially severe during her years on the show.
With the help of therapy and other coping exercises, Hightower has found healthy ways to manage her anxiety. Now, she hopes that sharing her experience will inspire other dancers struggling with mental illness to get help.
Sky Brown and JT Church in the finale of "Dancing with the Stars: Juniors" (via @dancingabc on Instagram)
Last night was a Christmas miracle of epic proportions for one lucky couple on "Dancing with the Stars: Juniors" as they took home the Mirror Star Trophy. But we're getting ahead of ourselves. Four couples competed for the title of champion and each and every performance was lit! With two routines—one holiday themed freestyle and one repeat dance from the season that included their mentors (plot twist!), these dance darlings battled it out on the dance floor. It was truly a night to remember as we enjoyed some of the best performances of the season that got us in the holiday spirit.
Sky Brown and JT Church perform the tango (via @dancingabc on Instagram)
We're nearing the end of "Dancing with the Stars: Juniors" and we're more than a little sad about that. But as the end of the competition nears, the dancing has been taken to the next level. The technique is pretty close to perfect and the performance quality from these little dance darlings is equal to that of the pros! We'll admit we're not jealous of the judges as they score these dance prodigies. It was hard enough to pick one stand-out performance of the night. These kids are talented dancers and the winner is anyone's guess at this point!
Of all the "Dancing with the Stars" finales, we're sure this one is bound to go down as one of the most surprising ones yet. And though only one couple was awarded the Mirrorball, we think everyone performed like champions last night! Improvement from all four stars was apparent. What was even better? The celebs were really enjoying themselves up there.
This week the kids of "Dancing with the Stars: Juniors" got to take charge of their performances: They got choose the songs they performed to AND were also given a lot more say in the creative process of their routines. Many of their choices were rather surprising, but it was fun to see these pint-size performers put their own stamp on their pieces—after all, that's how dancers become artists.
ICYMI, this week on "Dancing with the Stars" was Halloween Week. And since we're still in MAJOR denial that all the spookiness has subsided for the year, we're revisiting our favorite pieces. There were not one but two perfect scores that night, and the dances do not disappoint.
Jensen, Rylee, Brynley, and Lindsay Arnold Cusick on a family vacation (courtesy the Arnold sisters)
The Arnold sisters have taken over the reality TV dance competition world, and we 👏 are👏 so 👏 here 👏 for👏 it 👏! From "So You Think You Can Dance" to "Dancing With The Stars" to "DWTS: Juniors," the four sisters have become a dance dynasty, lighting up stages and capturing the hearts of Americans everywhere. Despite being raised by parents with zero dance experience themselves, Lindsay (24), Jensen (20), Brynley (18), and Rylee (13) were born to perform, and have all made huge names for themselves in the industry.
Sky Brown and JT Church were standouts this week on Disney Night. (via YouTube)
Just when we thought the pint size contestants on "Dancing with the Stars: Juniors" couldn't get any cuter, Disney Night happens, taking cute to a whole new level! The dancing bar was seriously raised as many of the young contestants wowed the audience with their plucky performances.
One of our favorite show-stopping routines last night was performed by sassy, skate boarder Sky Brown and her partner JT Church. We almost forgot we were watching a 10-year-old and a 12-year-old perform.
Rylee Arnold and Miles Brown were standouts this week. (via YouTube)
We still can't get over the talent on "Dancing with the Stars: Juniors"—like how many YouTube tutorials do we have to watch to become half as good as these mini dancing machines? And just in case you forgot how skilled these prodigies are, this week's theme was sure to remind you: Last night, the ten couples performed to songs that came out the year they were born. (But let's be real, most of these songs aren't really that much of a throwback.)
Y'all already know that the lineup of "Dancing with the Stars: Juniors" pros is stacked with DS favorites. So, how to pick our absolute favorite number from Sunday night's premiere ep? A few crucial factors weighed in Artyon Celestine and Ariana Greenblatt's favor.
Major Yule Ball vibes from "Harry Potter" alumna Evanna Lynch and her pro partner Keo Motsepe (screenshot via YouTube)
Televised dance competitions are downright notorious for mercilessly manipulating the emotions of contestants and audiences alike. But there's perhaps no other reality-TV phenomenon with the tearjerking potential of the Most Memorable Year tradition on "DWTS." The always-emotional episode comes around super-early each season, letting us get to know intimate, often painfully sad details of each celeb's life, just moments before an unlucky couple gets eliminated. That's right: It's only Week 3, but here come the waterworks already.
Alan Bersten and partner Alexis Ren (ABC/Eric McCandless)
Guys, the best time of the year has officially started. Not only is it the greatest season that exists (fall, duh), but it's also time for another season of "Dancing with the Stars"! A big welcome back to sparkly outfits, partner drama, and screaming at the TV because we don't agree with the elimination—we've missed you so much.
Cheryl and Jenna and (newbie alert) Brandon, oh my! (original images ABC)
We are less than a month out from the 27th—twenty-seventh—season of "Dancing with the Stars"! The latest iteration of the be-sequined show kicks off (literally) September 24th on ABC. And while we still don't know which celebs will be taking to the ballroom floor (only that the group won't include any athletes), we were just gifted the names of the 13 pros who'll be squiring them.
Well, this has certainly been an efficient season of "Dancing with the Stars." It seems like only yesterday (because it basically was) that we were freaking out over the new cast, daydreaming about routines for Adam Rippon, and recapping the premiere. Yet here we are—Week 3, the penultimate episode, the second-to-last chance to live in a world filled with glitter, fringe, and sequins for one glorious hour. There was some great dancing, and there were some gnarly eliminations. Without further ado, let's RECAP!