Mirrorball champs or not, Dancing With the Stars has featured some impeccable professional dancers in the years since the ABC competition series premiered in 2005. Derek Hough, Cheryl Burke and Maksim Chmerkovskiy are among the talent who have lit up the ballroom.
Some of the show’s stars went on to achieve major success in their careers while others opted to build thriving personal lives. Still, some maintain their roles as pros year after year, returning to the beloved job with their as-close-as-family castmates and vying once again for the title.
Julianne Hough, for one, is perhaps one of the biggest names to come out of the show. The actress won season 4 — her first as a pro — and season 5 with partners Apolo Anton Ohno and Hélio Castroneves, respectively. She left after season 8 to pursue other goals but returned as a judge for seasons 19 through 24 (with the exception of 22).
“Look, never say never because you never know what one day will be from the next,” Julianne told Us Weekly in August 2019 of whether she would return to Dancing With the Stars. “But I owe my career to that show! I was 18 and they brought me back in two different ways. I was a dancer, I was a judge and I’m so happy for everything that’s going on there.”
Meanwhile, some of the show’s stars leaned on each other when it came to making baby plans. “A lot of them have come to me because … they liked how I scheduled [my pregnancy] and how I could get back to work,” Peta Murgatroyd revealed exclusively to Us in October 2019. “I think women nowadays definitely are wanting to work still and not just be a stay-at-home mom. They still want to have careers, they still want to be out there being successful.”
The New Zealand native predicted “a massive baby boom” among the cast at the time. “I think a lot of them are going to do it really soon,” she explained. “They’re all kind of on the verge of, ‘Yes, let’s do it now,’ or, ‘Let’s wait another six months.’”
Lindsay Arnold and Witney Carson both sat out season 29 in 2020 while expecting. The Catch 21 star opened up in February 2021 about her desire to return to the ballroom.
“That’s the goal,” Carson exclusively told Us. “That’s what I’m working toward. That’s in the plans for now. So if anything changes, we’ll just go with it, but that is in our sights for right now.”
Ahead of the premiere of season 30 in September 2021, both Arnold and Carson were announced as returning pros.
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Scroll down to find out where every Dancing With the Stars pro is now.