The reality competition “Dancing With the Stars” relies on a group of talented professional dancers who must train and perform with celebrity partners. Since most of the celebrities come to “DWTS” without previous dance experience, that task can be daunting. Yet somehow, these professional dancers transform even the most awkward stars into graceful ballroom dancers.
Every year some professional dancers come and others go, making each season’s lineup as unique as the list of celebrities performing. Here’s a list of the pro dancers from “Dancing With the Stars” Season 13:
Mark Ballas became a professional dancer on the fifth season. The following season he was paired with Olympic skater Kristi Yamaguchi and the two won the title. For the 13th season, Ballas was paired with actress and model Kristin Cavallari.
Cheryl Burke joined “Dancing With the Stars” in the show’s second season. Since then, she has twice been part of a winning partnership. For the 13th season, Burke was paired with Rob Kardashian, brother of Kim, Khloe, and Kourtney. The champion dancer has received Emmy nominations for her choreography.
Maksim “Maks” Chmerkovskiy has won numerous competitions. He started with “DWTS” in its second season and has partnered with stars such as Denise Richards and Kirstie Alley. For the 13th season, Maks was paired with soccer champ Hope Solo. Maks won 2009’s sports competition “The Superstars.”
Val Chmerkovskiy, the younger brother of “DWTS” pro dancer Maks Chmerkovskiy, won the U.S. Latin Championships 14 times. Val joined “DWTS” for the 13th season and was partnered with model Elisabetta Canalis.
Professional dancer Tony Dovolani started with “Dancing With the Stars” in its second season. Dovolani holds numerous rhythm dance championships and appeared in the film “Shall We Dance.” In the 13th season of “DWTS,” Dovolani was paired with singer Chynna Phillips.
Derek Hough came on “Dancing with the Stars” in the fifth season, joining his sister Julianne Hough among the show’s professional dancers. Derek is also a world champion in Latin American dance. For the 13th season, Derek was paired with former talk show host Ricki Lake.
“Dancing With the Stars” professional dancer Kym Johnson got her start on the Australian version of the show before coming to the American show in the third season. For Season 12, Johnson was partnered with the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Hines Ward, and the couple won the title. In Season 13 she was paired with actor David Arquette.
Award-winning dancer Tristan MacManus joined “Dancing With the Stars” in the 13th season and was paired with TV crime commentator Nancy Grace.
For six years, Peta Murgatroyd toured the world with the cast of “Burn the Floor” before she joined “Dancing With the Stars” in 2011. In the 13th season, Murgatroyd was paired with National Basketball Association player Ron Artest until he was eliminated in the first episode.
Lacey Schwimmer became a professional dancer on “Dancing With the Stars” during the seventh season. Before that, she was a finalist in the reality competition “So You Think You Can Dance.” For the 13th season of “DWTS,” Schwimmer was partnered with activist Chaz Bono.
Karina Smirnoff held the Dutch Open title for five years and acted in the movie “Shall We Dance.” She became a professional dancer on “Dancing With the Stars” in the third season. For the 13th season, Smirnoff was partnered with Iraq War veteran J.R. Martinez.
Anna Trebunskaya began winning dance titles when she was 7 years old. In “Dancing With the Stars” second season, (her first on the show) Trebunskaya made it to second place with her partner, football star Jerry Rice. In the 13th season, she was paired with “Queer Eye” stylist Carson Kressley.