“Dancing With the Stars” pros Derek Hough, Keo Motsepe, and Witney Carson have all weighed in on who the best celebrity dancers are over the history of the show. Read on to find out who they said and why.
Alfonso Ribeiro Is a Popular Choice
Fans of the show know that actor Alfonso Ribeiro killed it week in and week out on season 19, dancing all the way to the Mirrorball Trophy. Motsepe said he thinks Ribeiro is the best celebrity dancer the show has ever had. Motsepe also said that he still hangs out with Ribeiro and the actor just busts out dances all the time.
“That was my first season also and I’m still friends with them. Everyone will go to his house and he’ll do a rumba and I’m like, ‘Have you been practicing?!'” said Motsepe, adding that Ribeiro also worked his tail off for that win.
“It’s just so natural … he knew that he had that rhythm about him, but he didn’t take it for granted. He just worked so hard. Yeah, so I’ll say Alfonso,” said Motsepe.
Motsepe is not the only professional dancer to choose Ribeiro. Witney Carson also named Ribeiro and she insisted it’s not just because he was her partner.
“Alfonso all around was the best and I say that because he had a personality, people just absolutely adored him,” Carson told US Weekly. “And he was a great dancer in ballroom and Latin and hip hop, so he was a well-rounded celebrity … he’s so relatable. So I think everybody just gravitates to him so much.”
Pro Jenna Johnson also name-checked Ribeiro along with a couple of her partners, telling US Weekly, “I mean, I’m gonna be biased and I’m gonna say Adam Rippon. But also someone like Alfonso Ribeiro was just awesome. Oh my goodness, Nyle [DiMarco]. He was our first deaf celebrity to tackle this ballroom mania and he annihilated it and I think he inspired so many people and I just love him so much. And he was so good! He was so freakin’ good.”
Jordan Fisher Was Another Popular Choice
When US Weekly asked Hough who he thought was the best celebrity dancer, Hough said that’s a hard question because what criteria do you use to answer it? But he did manage to pick a few celebrities.
“It depends. That’s what’s so hard about it. There’s different variables of what you consider to be the best,” said Hough. “I think natural ability, Jordan Fisher was super great and very natural. Nicole Scherzinger, obviously. But there are other people who are better in other ways. Also, 30 seasons, that’s over 350 people or something.”
If you’ll recall, Scherzinger was Hough’s partner in season 10 and they also won. Fisher is the youngest male to win “Dancing With the Stars.” He and partner Lindsay Arnold took home the Mirrorball Trophy in season 25 — and actually, in a separate Q&A, Carson said Fisher as well, saying, “Jordan Fisher is probably the best contestant we’ve seen on the show.”
Sharna Burgess also named Fisher, though she said it’s not really fair to compare people who have had dance training against people who haven’t, so she also name-dropped her season 23 partner James Hinchcliffe, who took 2nd place.
“Jordan Fisher probably. Normani [Kordei] was also incredible. These are people that have had dance training … It’s hard to compete with that because they’ve had dance training,” Burgess told US Weekly, adding, “Honestly, of people that didn’t have any dance training whatsoever, I’d say [racecar driver] James Hinchcliffe. If you’re talking about people that have never had a dance lesson, James Hinchcliffe for sure was one of the absolute standouts.”
Motsepe also named Evanna Lynch, who was his partner in season 27, saying that as someone who came in having no experience, she worked her tail off and became a really great dancer.
“Evanna surprised me so much. She came in and I remember she was like, ‘I’ve never danced before … I wanna know how to dance’ … and she goes, send me videos of professional dancers and competitions that you think I should channel for this dance and I would send it to her and she would come back tomorrow a different dancer. For me, it was so much investment in that … it’s just rewarding when you see your partners achieve their goal … The mirrorball is awesome to get — I hope one day to get — but when they achieve their goals on the show, it’s beautiful. It’s beautiful to see,” said Motsepe.
“Dancing With the Stars” season 30 is expected to premiere in September 2021 on ABC.
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