Recently, I had a chance to chat with “Dancing with the Stars” pros and “Dancing with the Stars: Juniors” mentors Brandon Armstrong, Alan Bersten and Gleb Savchenko. It was so much fun to talk to them about how they started dancing, what it’s like on the show, and so much more.
Interview with Brandon, Alan, and Gleb of Dancing with the Stars
Everyone has a different dance style.
One of the most interesting things we learned is that they all come from different backgrounds and all have different dancing styles they are best at, but no matter what, it truly is a passion for them.
Brandon trained in jazz, contemporary, hip-hop, and ballet mainly. Alan trained in ballroom since he was seven years old, but he also did the show So You Think You Can Dance, which he says really broadened his horizons as to different styles of dance.
Gleb mainly trained in ballroom, and he also owns his own dance studio, Pro Dance LA, which is also where we learned a fun dance from Disney’s The Nutcracker and The Four Realms.
Juniors versus Stars
Now that Dancing with the Stars: Juniors is airing, we asked if it was more challenging working with and mentoring the adults or the kids. While they didn’t think one was any more challenging than the other, they did say the experience was definitely different.
With the adults, there is a lot of pressure because you are actually dancing with them. You are their partner and going on the whole journey with them. With the kids, they are able to stand back and let the kids go on their journey. They still help as much as they can without actually being a part of it.
(Photo Credit to ABC/Eric McCandless)
Brandon admits that it was more rewarding to watch the kids do well. “When you watch the kids and they finally execute it well, it’s a million times more rewarding.” ~Brandon Armstrong
“But it’s definitely much more nerve-racking because you stand back, you cannot do anything about it, you cannot perform with them.” ~Gleb Savchenko
Inspiration Comes From – YouTube?
When asked where they get fresh ideas for new inspiration (for new dance routines), Gleb told us he watches YouTube videos. You learn a lot about the person you are dancing with because this is their journey. You learn where they come from, what they do, why they’re doing the show.
Alan tells us, “Every season is a different season because what I’m doing with Alexis, I couldn’t do with Mariah or Debbie. So every season you get inspiration from your partner.”
Photo Credit: (ABC/Eric McCandless)
Everyone Has Room For Improvement
What’s great about these pro dancers is they all know they are not perfect and there is always something more they can learn. When asked where they thing they could improve, or if there was a dance style they’d like to learn more about, they each knew what their weaknesses were.
For Brandon, he knows he is not strongest in ballroom so he’d like to continue to improve his skills there. Alan would like to work on getting better at hip-hop, contemporary, and jazz. And they made sure to point out that even the world’s best dancers are still taking lessons. There is always room to learn more.
Playing For The Camera
One of the most interesting things I learned after speaking with the pro dancers is that even though they know how a dance is properly done, they also have to think about camera angles and adjust their bodies or arm angles so the camera can shoot them in the way they want to see it on the screen.
Photo Credit: (ABC/Eric McCandless)
Gleb tells us, “I think because it’s not a dance competition, it’s a TV show and the most important thing that you see on your TV screen [is the dancing]. I’m a ballroom dancer, I know how it’s properly done, but when I look at the camera shots, I’m like, I can’t do a proper [dance move].
I have to turn my body at a certain angle that camera is going to shoot me the way they want to see it. So, I kind of adjust my movement to just make it look good on TV. Each week we have a different routine so we’re literally creating a little music video that is going to look good on TV.”
I had so much fun chatting with these awesome gentlemen. They were funny, down-to-earth, and they were, of course, amazing dancers! The dance lesson we had was so much fun and I can’t wait to share the final result with you soon!
Dancing with the Stars – Semi-Finals!
Six couples remain as the competition heats up for the semi-finals, and each must perform two dances, live, Monday, Nov. 12.
The First Dance Is a Dedicated Dance to a Meaningful Person in the Celebrity’s Life.
The Couples’ Second Dance Will Be Judges’ Choice to Help Determine Who Should Move on to
Each couple will dance to the following songs (in alphabetical order):
- Alexis Ren and Alan Bersten – Waltz – “Water” by Bishop Briggs
- Bobby Bones and Sharna Burgess – Salsa – “GDFR” by Flo Rida
- Evanna Lynch and Keo Motsepe – Contemporary – “Stand Up for Something” by Andra Day
- Joe “Grocery Store Joe” Amabile and Jenna Johnson – Contemporary– “This Year’s Love” by David
- Juan Pablo Di Pace and Cheryl Burke – Argentine tango – “Libertango” from Forever Tango
- Milo Manheim and Witney Carson – Argentine tango – “Pray for Me” by The Weeknd, Kendrick
Judges’ Choice Dances
- Alexis Ren and Alan Bersten – Jive – “Yes” by Merry Clayton (mentored by Bruno)
- Bobby Bones and Sharna Burgess – Jive – “Gimme Some Lovin’” by The Spencer Davis Group
(mentored by Len)
- Evanna Lynch and Keo Motsepe – Foxtrot – “Rewrite the Stars” from “The Greatest Showman”
(mentored by Len)
- Joe “Grocery Store Joe” Amabile and Jenna Johnson – Quickstep – “Check it Out” by Oh the Larceny
(mentored by Carrie Ann)
- Juan Pablo Di Pace and Cheryl Burke – Salsa – “Tu Sonrisa” by Elvis Crespo (mentored by Bruno)
- Milo Manheim and Witney Carson – Cha Cha – “Good Feeling” by Austin French (mentored by
“Dancing with the Stars: Juniors” airs Sundays at 8|7c on The ABC Television Network or streaming or on the app.
“Dancing with the Stars” airs Mondays at 8|7c on The ABC Television Network or streaming or on the app.
Dancing With The Stars Tour Info
If you have ever wanted to see your favorite Dancing with the Stars Pros in action, live… now is your chance! Tickets are on sale now for “Dancing with the Stars: Live! – A Night to
Kicking off December 15th, the show will feature fan-favorite professional and troupe dancers in a brand-new production showcasing every type of dance style as seen on ABC’s hit show Dancing with the Stars, ranging from ballroom and jazz to modern and hip-hop.
To purchase tickets and to get the full list of tour dates, please visit dwtstour.com. VIP packages will be available through VIPNation.com, giving fans the chance to purchase premium tickets, meet and greet opportunities with the cast, exclusive merchandise, and photo opportunities.