Professional dancer Britt Stewart is making history on season 29 of Dancing With the Stars. She is the first Black female pro the reality TV competition has ever had on its cast.
But Stewart isn’t new to the DWTS world. She has been a part of the troupe since season 23 and has performed across the country with the Dancing with the Stars: Live! tour, according to her professional website.
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It’s actually happening!!! I am over the moon to be a first time PRO on Season 29 of @dancingabc ✨✨ My heart is filled with gratitude to have been given this opportunity. I can hardly contain my excitement to step into this new position ❤️❤️ . . . Congratulations to the rest of my beautiful #DWTS family. I love you and can’t wait to be back in the ballroom with you all 🙌🏾
Here’s what you need to know:
Fans Petitioned ABC to Make Britt Stewart a Pro & She Said She Is ‘Honored’ by the Position
Reflecting on being the show's first Black female pro dancer, @BrittBStewart said, "inclusivity starts with opportunity."
— Good Morning America (@GMA) August 20, 2020
Stewart has been dancing in the background on DWTS for several years and fans have long wanted ABC to move her to center stage. Two fans, Lauren Kappmeier and Juntra Chanthavisay, even launched an online petition over the summer urging the network to bring Stewart back and to give her a more prominent role. Kappmeier explained to WUSA-TV, “This petition was essentially made because we absolutely adore Britt, but we also wanted to shine a light on the series’ lack of diversity. We were hoping it would not only help Britt get the professional spot she has rightfully earned, but that it would also become a possible gateway to allow more diversity into the show.”
I do not take that I am the first Black female pro lightly. I am extremely honored and I honestly get really emotional talking about it every time because I think there is a lot of power in representation and seeing someone that looks like yourself in a specific position and it gives all little black girls or all little girls that feel like they don’t have representation something to look at and something to reach for. I’m so honored that Dancing With the Stars celebrates diversity and this is really a stepping stone to really express everything and bring light to the world and to television.
Stewart further shared with Entertainment Tonight’s Lauren Zima that she was “over the moon” about becoming a pro. She said the public announcement made the promotion feel more real because she had been holding in her excitement until that day. Stewart added that she received a lot of support from her fellow castmates.
Stewart talked about how season 29 would look and feel different from past seasons due to COVID-19. The dance teams used to be able to look in on each other’s rehearsals. But now, each duo will be isolated in their own little bubble. Stewart also shared her excitement about Tyra Banks as the host, explaining that she felt Banks would bring a “new energy” to the production.
ET with Lauren Zima: https://youtu.be/rLhlEZ-xsm0
grateful and excited, and she was pumped when the announcement was finally made because she had been holding in her excitement. Over the moon. said she has received a lot of support from her other castmates.
Stewart’s Big Break Came at Age 15 When She Was Selected as a Principal Dancer for ‘High School Musical’
Stewart grew up in Denver, Colorado, and started dancing at age three. According to her professional website, Stewart attended the Denver School of the Arts, a magnet school that allows students the opportunity to “explore the work ethic and discipline required of an arts career.” Stewart later studied modern dance and ballet at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles but left during her second semester.
But Stewart’s first big professional break happened when she was still in high school. She was chosen to be a principal dancer in Disney’s High School Musical. (Stewart reunited with her old castmates for the Disney Family Singalong Special in April 2020).
According to her IMDB profile, Stewart went on to dance in movies including the 2009 remake of Fame starring Kelsey Grammer, 2011’s No Strings Attached starring Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman, and the 2016 hit La La Land with Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling.
Stewart has also performed with some of the most well-known musicians in the industry. According to her MSA Agency profile, Stewart has danced with Janet Jackson, Rhianna, the Jonas Brothers and Demi Lovato. She was part of Katy Perry’s Prismatic World Tour for three years and danced during Perry’s Super Bowl halftime show in 2015.
Stewart Teaches Latin Fusion & Works as a Choreographer
Stewart should have no problem guiding her partner and getting them ready to compete at the highest level. In addition to performing, Stewart has experience as a teacher and choreographer.
She taught Latin Fusion with the Fluid Dance studio. The organization described Stewart on its website: “Britt offers students a blend of Latin ballroom styles that speaks to the language of all dancers. Her background, training and experience in the world of commercial dance prior to her ballroom training offers tangible and realistic insights on how access to ballroom dance can be achieved by every dancer no matter their background training.” She has also taught jazz and ballroom, according to the MSA Agency.
Stewart worked as an associate choreographer alongside Kenny Ortega, who directed the High School Musical trilogy. She grew up dancing with choreographer Tony Testa and in 2017, helped him choreograph a tribute to the Bee Gees for the Grammys. Stewart also served as a lead choreographer for the DWTS live tour and for Regent Cruise Lines.
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