My daughter and I are obsessed with watching Dancing with the Stars (DWTS) and Dancing with the Stars: Juniors! As we watch, we can’t help but dance along. When I came back from #DisneysNutcrackerEvent I told her how I interviewed and dancing with DWTS Pros! She couldn’t believe it, so I had to show her the proof!
We had a private dance lesson with DWTS & DWTS Juniors pros/mentors Gleb Savchenko, Alan Bersten, and Brandon Armstrong. It was everything you could have imagined and more. They were so kind, funny and great mentors. One thing is for sure – they are having the time of their lives and it shows through their huge smiles and witty sense of humor.
Bersten sums it up his experience on DWTS nicely, ” Every day we learn something new and it’s a lot of fun.”
A Conversations with DWTS Pros and DWTS Juniors Mentors
Before we learned our Disney Nutcracker inspired dance, we had a chance to chat with them at Savchenko’s dance studio, Pro Dance LA. They have been dancing since the age of fourteen and show no signs of slowing down.
Is it more challenging to mentor adults or children?
Bersten says, “I think it was an experience that really enlightened all of us. When we’re on the show with adults there’s a lot of pressure because we’re in it. We’re going on this journey with them. With the kids, we’re able to kind of stand back and let the kids go on a journey and really help as much as we can without actually being in it.”
Armstrong adds, “I think it was more rewarding for me to watch my kids do well then it would be for myself to do well. I think for most of us would agree that to be able to sit back and watch your kids. When they finally execute it well, that is a million times more rewarding.
Savchenko says, “But it’s definitely much more nerve-racking because you stand back and you…”
Armstrong finishes his sentence, “…you can’t do anything about it.”
What messages would each of you give to young dancers who are following their dance dreams?
Armstong: “Never give up!”
Savchenko: “Never give up. Just push forward and you know, anything is possible.”
Bersten: “If you can dream it, you can achieve it.”
Savchenko shares that he grew up in Moscow with no money in a one-bedroom apartment with his parents.
“Dream and work really hard. Never give up. Don’t let anybody push you down,” Savchenko said. “Stand your ground and pour your heart and soul into what you do.”
Bersten: “I think if you’re passionate about it, no one can stop you, you know. If anyone is passionate about anything, no matter what, they’re going to be stubborn about it. And I think that’s actually one of the best qualities you can have them, especially in a dancer because there’s a lot of no’s before you get a yes!”
Armstrong: “There’s a million kids that look just like me that dance just like me, that talk just like me. That it is so important to be unique.”
How do you teach kids about failure as DWTS Juniors mentors?
Bersten: “I think if the kid knows that they’re doing their best. My dance girl, Sky, preached it a lot because she is the youngest skateboarder in the world and is one of the best skateboarders. I don’t know how she has this mentality but she always believes that if she did her best, nothing else matters. I grab that for myself and it’s great to know that if you do try your hardest and you feel like you did your best, nothing else should matter.
Savchenko: “Sometimes for kids, it’s really hard.
“It’s life,” Bernsten adds laughing.
A teaching moment for everyone
I love the message DWTS and DWTS Juniors provides: “If you never give up, work hard, accept a few failures and move on, great things can happen!”
I think we can all relate to that and it’s a message I teach my children quite often. I am thrilled to see that with hard work and determination these DWTS Pros made to make their dreams come true. They are paying it forward by inspiring our youth to do the same. That’s truly inspiring!
Meet the Cast of Dancing with the Stars: Juniors!
Dancing with the Stars: Juniors” airs Sundays at 8|7c on The ABC Television Network or streaming or on the app. / “Dancing with the Stars” airs Mondays at 8|7c on The ABC Television Network or streaming or on the app.
TV’s biggest dance show returns on tour this winter with “Dancing with the Stars: Live! – A Night to Remember” Kicking off December 15th in Columbia, SC, the show will feature fan-favorite professional and troupe dancers in a brand-new production showcasing every type of dance style as seen on ABC’s hit show Dancing with the Stars, ranging from ballroom and jazz to modern and hip-hop. Choreographed and creative directed by Emmy© Award-winning choreographer Mandy Moore and Dancing with the Stars Executive Producer Ashley Edens-Shaffer, audiences will have the opportunity to experience the excitement, glamour and glitz they see in the ballroom every Monday night live in theatres in their hometowns.
The tour delivers a spectacular night of show-stopping dance performances from world-renowned dancers including Brandon Armstrong, Alan Bersten, Witney Carson, Artem Chigvintsev, Val Chmerkovskiy, Sasha Farber, Jenna Johnson, Gleb Savchenko, Emma Slater, Hayley Erbert and Britt Stewart, with more surprise casting to be announced.
Get your “Dancing with the Stars: Live!” tickets now!