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12 Dancing With the Stars contestants with past dancing experience

Dancing With the Stars partners
Kaitlyn Bristowe, Heather Morris, and Melissa Rycroft on Dancing With the Stars. Pic credit: ABC

There is a lot of Dancing With the Stars fans who are complaining about JoJo Siwa and her past dance experience coming into this season.

While there are some fans who have other reasons to not like JoJo, the ones who believe her experience gives her an unfair advantage are not remembering the past.

There have been many DWTS competitors in the past who have had dancing experience.

There are even more than just JoJo Siwa this year.

Amanda Kloots is a former Broadway star, which makes her a professional. Kenya Moore started dancing school when she was six, around the same age as JoJo.

There is also Mel C, who as a member of the Spice Girls, was expected to choreograph her own dance moves with the pop group, which is all JoJo Siwa does in her career since becoming an adult.

However, there are also several people from past seasons with even more experience than JoJo Siwa.

Here is a look at 10 past Dancing With the Stars contestants with dance experience before coming on the show.

Melissa Rycroft – Season 8

In Season 8, professional Maksim Chmerkovskiy said he wouldn’t have taken part in the season if he had known that Melissa Rycroft had experience as a dancer in the past.

Melissa, who finished the season in third place, was a Bachelor star. However, she was also a dancer for the Dallas Cowboys on their cheerleader team.

She also studied dance from an early age and served as the first lieutenant of her high school drill team.

Mel B – Season 5

The people who are complaining about JoJo Siwa in Season 30 are ignoring the fact that Mel C of the Spice Girls was dancing on the stage for millions of fans for years.

This brought back Mel C’s fellow Spice Girls’ member Mel B from Season 5. The Spice Girls not only danced, but they choreographed their own dances.

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In response to Maksim complaining about Rycroft, Tony Dovolani brought up Mel B as someone with dance experience.

Before the Spice Girls, Mel B studied performing arts in high school and then worked as a dancer in Blackpool.

Kaitlyn Bristowe – Season 29

Kaitlyn Bristowe won Dancing With the Stars in 2020.

However, she had plenty of experience as a dancer. Similar to JoJo Siwa, she was dancing since she was a child.

Kaitlyn, a Bachelor star, went to British Columbia as an adult on a dance scholarship. She then worked as a spin-class instructor while there.

Nelly admitted he never would have gone onto the show if he knew his opposition had so much experience.

Heather Morris – Season 24

The real definition of a professional dancer fits Heather Morris perfectly.

She competed as a child in jazz, tap, and contemporary dance. She attended Arizona State University to prepare for a dance career.

In 2006, she was on So You Think You Can Dance. She ended up as a professional dancer, working as a backup dancer for Beyonce in 2007. She then signed on for the show Glee thanks to her dance experience.

In 2017, she joined Dancing With the Stars and she received the first perfect score of the season.

Jennifer Grey – Season 11

Jennifer Grey was a fun story for movie fans, as she made her name in the 1987 movie Dirty Dancing.

However, Grey was more than just a movie star in a dance movie. She studied dance and acting at Dalton School in Manhattan.

Grey got a break from fans because she was in a car accident when Dirty Dancing was released and had a titanium plate in her neck, putting her at a disadvantage.

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Jennifer Grey went on to win the competition.

Nicole Scherzinger – Season 10

Nicole Scherzinger competed in Season 10, but before this, she made her name with the Pussycat Dolls.

However, she was not just a singer for the group. She starter performing in plays at the age of 14 and then went to Wright State University on a scholarship, where she majored in theater arts and minored in dance.

She performed the lead role in Chicago, Guys and Dolls, and Show Boat.

Scherzinger won the Mirrorball trophy.

Sabrina Bryan – Season 5

Sabrina Bryan was part of the Cheetah Girls before she competed on Dancing With the Stars.

Sabrina was not just a singer and songwriter, but also a dancer and choreographer. She studied dance at the Hart Academy of Dance in California.

Sabrina was eliminated in Week 6, although she was favored to win. She came back for All-Star Season 15 and also made it to Week 6.

Mario Lopez – Season 3

Most people know Mario Lopez from Saved By the Bell and his subsequent hosting duties for several shows.

However, Mario Lopez got his start as a child dancer, just like JoJo Siwa. Mario began training in dance when he was three years old, training in jazz and tap. He was discovered by talent agents at a dance recital when he was 10.

On top of dancing, Mario also excelled at wrestling, tumbling, karate, and acting.

Mario finished in second place on Dancing With the Stars.

Mya – Season 9

Mya was best known for her singing when she joined Dancing With the Stars. However, before this, she was not only a dancer, but she taught dancing.

Mya studied violin as a child and learned dancing as an after-school activity. She began studying ballet when she was two and then learned jazz and tap when she was four.

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Her skills as a tap dancer allowed her to perform at the Kennedy Center as a child. She also began teaching a children’s hip-hop and jazz dance class.

Mya came in second place after spraining her ankle.

Tinashe – Season 27

Tinashe shares her long-time dance experience with JoJo Siwa. However, she argued that it was a hindrance for the competition since dance training and ballroom dancing are different.

Tinashe is a singer, songwriter, dancer, and actress.

Tinashe started training in dancing at the age of four, learning ballet, tap, and jazz. She then competed in various dance styles and competitions until she was 18.

Tinashe received high scores every week, but the fans helped vote her off the show as the fourth couple to leave the show.

Normani – Season 24

Normani was part of Fifth Harmony, so she was no stranger to reality competition shows, competing in X-Factor in 2012.

However, she was also no stranger to dancing. Normani had been dancing since she was three years old. From that time, she competed in dance, gymnastics, and beauty pageants.

Normani also auditioned for acting, singing, and dancing as a child. While she is a singer, she always said dancing was her main passion.

Normani finished third in Season 24.

Jordan Fisher – Season 25

With the complaints about JoJo Siwa being a professional this season, no one is talking about Amanda Kloots.

Amanda is a Broadway star and has been dancing for years. This is true also for Season 25 winner Jordan Fisher.

Jordan Fisher joined musical theater in the fifth grade. He was also a part of the youth performing ensemble for the Red Mountain Theatre Company in Birmingham.

He made his Broadway debut in Hamilton in 2016 and then moved on to take on the lead role in Dear Evan Hansen in 2020.

As mentioned, Jordan won his season of Dancing With the Stars.

Dancing With the Stars airs on Monday nights at 8/7c on ABC.

Shawn S. Lealos has been a freelance writer for 25 years, starting...read more

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