DWTS Pro Almost Quit Dancing Ahead of Season 32


Heavy/ABC "Dancing With the Stars" pro dancers.

Rylee Arnold revealed that she considered quitting dancing if she wasn’t cast on “Dancing With the Stars.”

In 2023, the 18-year-old pro dancer was cast for DWTS season 32 with celebrity partner Harry Jowsey just a  few months after she graduated high school. Arnold is the younger sister of former DWTS pro Lindsay Arnold. At age 13, she appeared with her on “Dancing with the Stars: Juniors.” But once she turned 18, Rylee Arnold skipped past DWTS troupe duties and zoomed right to full pro dancer status.

In a March 2024 interview on the “Lightweights” podcast with Joe Vulpis, Arnold admitted that she almost quit her pro dance career before it started.

“When I was nearing the end of my high school years and I was kind of concerned about what I was gonna do with my life, what I was gonna do with dance, I was kind of in a weird mindset where I was like ‘If I don’t get on ‘Dancing With the Stars’ I’m just gonna quit,” Arnold said.

Rylee Arnold Explained Why She Became Fed Up With the Dance World

In the interview, Arnold told Vulpis that there was a period of time when she was in high school when she was “just kind of over it” with dance. “I really wanted to just give up,” she admitted.

When pressed for more details on why she almost gave up, Arnold pointed to “toxic” aspects of the dance world. “There was just so many like factors to dancing,” she shared. “Just the political aspects of like dance competitions were huge. There’s a toxic community within dancing. There’s like this toxic view that some people have and I really struggled with that.”

“I just kind of got super burned out and I just was almost kind of done with dancing and I did, I lost the love for it,” she added. “I was so consumed by the toxic mindset of it … But being on tour and being able to do ‘Dancing with the Stars’ has completely brought back the love and it just makes me love dancing so much more.”

In March 2024, Arnold posted a message of gratitude to Instagram after completing her first-ever DWTS Live Tour. “Wow can’t even put into words how much this tour has meant to me,” she captioned a video montage from the nationwide tour. “Grateful for the entire cast and crew for seriously making my very first tour so memorable and SO special! …lived out my dream and truly lived my best life!!!”

Rylee Arnold Previously Said Being on DWTS Was Her ‘Dream’

When she auditioned to join “DWTS: Juniors” in 2018, Arnold admitted it wasn’t all roses. At the time, she told Dance Dish she became anxious about the audition. “It was really nerve-wracking because all I wanted was to be on the show,” she said. “It was one of my dreams because Lindsay was on it. I gave myself a little talk and said, ‘Breathe, Rylee.’ “

She shared that she started screaming after she received the news that she was cast for the show as a junior dancer.

Five years later, Arnold told “Good Morning America” that being cast as a full-fledged pro was her lifelong goal. “I have dreamt about this moment for my entire life,” she said.

The Utah native said she attended live DWTS tapings when her sister was a pro dancer on the show. “I just remember when I was like 8 or 9, after a show one time, I was trying to choreograph a dance for Lindsay. Because I just literally wanted to be on the show so bad,” she dished.

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