“Dancing With the Stars” professional dancer Emma Slater has been on the show for 14 seasons, dancing with all manner of different types of celebrities and finishing anywhere from first place to the first couple eliminated. So who is her favorite partner from over the years?
Emma Slater Said Rashad Jennings Was Her Favorite Partner
In an interview with Atlantic City Weekly, Emma was asked about her favorite partner from the show and she said Rashad Jennings, with whom she became “fantastic friends” because of the show.
“My favorite partner was Rashad Jennings, who was an NFL running back for the New York Giants,” said Emma. “He was just the nicest guy, and we ended up winning, which of course makes it so much better. We really clicked, and we became fantastic friends and still are today.”
Emma and Rashad were partners on season 24 of “Dancing With the Stars,” which aired in the spring of 2017. They came in first place, beating out David Ross and Lindsay Arnold (second place) and Normani Kordei and Valentin Chmerkovskiy (third place) in the finals. The highest Emma had placed up until that season was fourth place.
Her nice words about Rashad definitely jive with what she told “Dancing With the Stars” season 29 winner Kaitlyn Bristowe on an episode of Kaitlyn’s podcast “Off the Vine.” Emma revealed that she never really had that much confidence in herself until the season where she won “Dancing With the Stars.”
“I never grew up thinking that I was the lead in any kind of story,” admitted Emma, adding, “So I never thought that I was the serious competitive contender that could take someone all the way to win.”
But then when she won, she was mad at herself for not believing in herself more.
“I absolutely adored my partner Rashad Jennings, and we’re still really close to this day. But I was mad at myself because I really had believed that I was never going to win,” said the dancer, adding, “I told myself I was never going to say that again. I wasn’t going to box myself into a corner and brand myself as second or third place. I was going to take myself seriously.”
When Emma and Rashad won the Mirrorball Trophy, she posted a very sweet tribute to him on Instagram, writing, “Wow this couldn’t be a more perfect way to top of the most unbelievable season we’ve had. Rashad, you know already what I think of you. Words fail me, but seeing you win this season and achieve something you thought you couldn’t do has been the biggest joy of all for me. Seeing you so happy is more to me than winning anything for myself. I adore you. Congratulations partner! We did it!”
Emma Also Revealed Why She Loves the Live Tour So Much
Speaking with Atlantic City Weekly, Emma also confessed that she loves the live tour because of the travel and also because of how “slick” the routines are.
“[W]hen we are on tour we get to go from city to city, and we can see the different audiences. When we are filming in the ballroom, we are in only one location so the travel aspect isn’t there,” said Emma.
She continued, “On the tour we don’t bring all the celebrities along, either. We are actually touring right now with Kaitlyn Bristowe … but aside from that, we dance with other professional dancers on the tour. So the performances are more slick, more professional, have more energy, are a bit more creative, and we are able to just push the boundaries a little more to give the audience a really exciting show. And, of course, there is no winner at the end of it, so it’s just a two-hour, high-energy performance with all the dancers from ‘Dancing with the Stars.'”
Emma previously told US Weekly that she absolutely loves going on tour, probably more than most of the other dancers.
“I’m more into the tour than most people. I’ve done every single tour, I’ll always do it,” said Emma.
She also said during Kaitlyn’s podcast that after all of those years of going on tour, it’s such a “family vibe” and she really likes that.
“You know someone’s gonna cheat at cards. You know the boys are gonna go gambling, you know the girls are gonna watch a rom-com or some funny things on the TV. It’s just really great. I love this environment so much. I definitely flourish in this like family vibe,” said Emma.
The “Dancing With the Stars” live tour wrapped on March 27. “Dancing With the Stars” has not yet been renewed for season 31. If it is renewed, it will return in September 2022.