16 Most Popular Dancing With The Stars Pros Ranked Worst To BestPublished on April 26, 2018. Updated May 2, 2018
Going into its 26th season, Dancing With the Stars has seen not only a revolving cast of stars but a revolving cast of pros. Throughout all of the seasons, the series has seen over 40 pros try to lead celebrities from all different areas of the entertainment industry around the dance floor and to a Mirrorball Trophy. Although there have been so many pros, only a few have stood out to fans and have become just as popular as the stars themselves! Check out 16 of the most popular DWTS pros ranked from worst to best:
16. Gleb Savchenko
After a very brief stint on Dancing With the Stars Australia, Gleb Savchenko made his way to Dancing With the Stars in the U.S. and entered as a pro in season 16 with Lisa Vanderpump. Although the pair only came in 10th place, Savchenko quickly caught the eye of the fans. After a break for a few seasons after his poor start, the handsome dancer returned in season 23 where things improved with a 4th place finish with Jana Kramer. Season 26 marks Savenchko’s fifth season as a pro and while he hasn’t topped the leaderboard yet, fans are hoping he sticks around as a pro.
15. Artem Chigvintsev
After beginning as a dance troupe member for Dancing With the Stars’ 18th season, Artem Chigvintsev was quickly promoted to a pro for season 19. His easygoing charm quickly made him a fan favorite, but unfortunately for Artem, this has also meant that he has been partnered with some difficult stars. Despite his positive attitude, he has yet to place better than sixth which he achieved with partner Lea Thompson in his first season as a pro and again in season 24 with Nancy Kerrigan. He is a talented dancer, but he has ways to go when it comes to working with his partners before he is a Dancing With the Stars champion.
14. Sasha Farber
Sasha Farber made his Dancing With the Stars debut in season 14 as a troupe member and worked hard until he was promoted to a pro in season 17. After placing in 8th with reality star Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, the charming and fun-loving dancer who had become a fan favorite, was demoted back to a troupe member for four seasons before being promoted again in season 22. From season 22 to season 24, Farber made steady improvements placing in 7th, 5th and 4th, but has yet to take the leaderboard, although he is definitely one to watch out for!
13. Sharna Burgess
Like many of the other pros, Sharna Burgess began her time on Dancing With the Stars as a troupe member in season 13, and after three seasons was promoted to a pro in season 16. After a rocky first few seasons as a pro, things turned around when Burgess and her season 20 partner, war veteran Noah Galloway, stole the show and fan’s hearts when they placed third. The following season Burgess and Nick Carter placed second and she once again was runner-up with partner James Hinchcliffe in season 23. Burgess proved that no challenge is too big when it came to coming up with choreography for herself and Galloway, who was missing an arm and a leg, and there is no doubt it won’t be long before Burgess finally secures a win.
12. Karina Smirnoff
Longtime fans of Dancing With the Stars have a soft spot in their heart for some of the original pros, including Karina Smirnoff. The gorgeous dancer joined the show as a pro in season three and right away made it all the way to second place with her partner Mario Lopez. Between the pair’s dancing skills and actual romance that blossomed, fans became invested in Smirnoff. Over 18 seasons as a pro, Smirnoff has only won once in season 13 with J.R. Martinez but has also continuously been in the top five. All she really needs to secure a higher spot on the fan favorite list is at least one more win, but she has yet to return since her season 22 outing with Doug Flutie.
11. Emma Slater
Season 26 of Dancing With the Stars marks Emma Slater’s ninth turn as a pro after she made her professional debut in season 17 with comedian Bill Engvall. After a few seasons of struggles, which included some last place finishes, she made the ultimate redemption in season 24. After being eliminated second in season 23 with Rick Perry, Slater was determined to do better, and in season 24 she got her first and so far only Mirrorball win with NFL player Rashad Jennings. While she has a long way to go to catch up with some of the veteran pros, there is little doubt that Slater will get another win under her belt soon.
10. Tony Dovolani
Tony Dovolani was one of the longest-running professional dancers on the series after spending 21 seasons as a pro from season 2 to 22. Out of all those seasons, he only reached first place once but it was the most impressive season of all Season 15’s All-Stars with partner Melissa Rycroft. Aside from his big win, he placed third twice and landed in the top five two other times. While there is no doubt Dovolani is talented, after such a long time on the show it would be expected he would have more wins or even more top three finishes, but after exiting the show following season 22, it seems there will be no opportunity for Dovolani to improve his DWTS ranking. Dovolani made it clear there was no love lost between him and the show. “When I decided to quit nothing major happened, it was just a build up of things where I just said, ‘I didn’t sign up for this,’” Dovolani revealed on a podcast. “For babysitting, maybe, a little bit. Some of these celebrities, or reality celebrities, I should say, they sometimes … they have an idea of what they think they are and who they are, and they didn’t realize that I wasn’t there to deal with them. I was there to teach them how to dance. So, when it becomes about other than teaching them how to dance, I want no part of it.”
9. Lindsay Arnold
After an impressive showing on So You Think You Can Dance, Lindsay Arnold became a pro dancer on Dancing With the Stars for season 16, and although she was the second youngest pro dancer ever (right behind Julianne Hough), she made her presence known. After placing 8th, Arnold was relegated to troupe dancer for seasons 17-20, but in season 21, she returned as a pro and was then partnered with National Guard member Alek Skarlatos. This time, Lindsay and Arnold were one of the fan favorites of the entire season and made it to third place. Since then the 24-year-old has really proven herself amongst the veterans with a fourth-place finish in season 22, and another third place finish in season 23, but what was most impressive was when she improved with a second place finish with David Ross, and finally got her Mirrorball win in season 25 with Jordan Fisher. Out of her six completed seasons, she has finished in the top three a total of four times, which is better winning odds than almost all the other pros!
8. Kym Johnson
For Dancing With the Stars’ third season, Kym Johnson jumped right in as a pro with iconic talk show host Jerry Springer as her partner. The very next season Johnson and her partner Joey Fatone placed second, and over the course of her 15 seasons as a pro, Johnson has racked up one of the most impressive records. She has taken her star partners to the top five at least six times, but most impressively has two Mirrorball Trophy wins under her belt. She first won in season nine with Donny Osmond and three seasons later won the whole thing again in season 12 with Hines Ward. Best of all, season 20 may not have seen Johnson and Robert Herjavec win, but they did get sixth place and most importantly are now married in one of the best Dancing With the Stars real-life love stories.
7. Witney Carson
At only 24 years old, Witney Carson has now competed as a pro for nine seasons of Dancing With the Stars and has already won once! In only her second season, Carson became a pro to contend with when she and actor Alfonso Ribeiro won the Mirrorball Trophy and became one of the show’s most beloved winning couples of all time. Despite not winning again, Carson has also proven that she has what it takes to hang with the seasoned pros especially when it comes to creating choreography that her partners can do, especially in season 20 when her partner Chris Soules was ushered along all the way to fifth place despite the fact he really couldn’t dance at all.
6. Peta Murgatroyd
Peta Murgatroyd became a member of Dancing With the Stars‘ dance troupe in season 12, and the very next season she was made a pro! Although things didn’t start off well as she and her partner Metta World Place were the first to be eliminated, she more than redeemed herself the next season! In season 14, Murgatroyd and her partner Donald Driver took home the Mirrorball Trophy, and right away she was a pro to watch out for. Her ability to adapt to each different star she is partnered with has meant that Peta is always a strong contender in the competition and she won yet again with Nyle DiMarco in season 22.
5. Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Dancing With the Stars would not be the same without Maksim Chmerkovskiy, and despite his divisive personality, he has become a huge fan favorite on the series. The “bad boy” of the show began as a pro in season two and has now competed in an impressive 17 seasons. His tough lough love approach and outspoken nature might rub the judges the wrong way sometimes, but it has proven effective with eight appearances in the top five. He only has one Mirrorball win with Meryl Davis in season 18, but his sheer impact on viewers and the show and his incredible choreography elevate him higher on this list.
4. Mark Ballas
Mark Ballas has been one of the biggest sweethearts on Dancing With the Stars since he became a pro on the show’s fifth season. His first season was a dramatic one after he and Sabrina Bryan were favored to win, only to be kicked off in week six, shocking absolutely everyone. Instead of letting it get him down, Ballas has become one of the most impressive pros on the show. He pushes his partners to do their absolute best while coming up with some of the most original and show-stopping choreography that fans have seen. Ballas has now competed in 19 seasons, and most importantly, he has won two Mirrorball trophies! Ballas and Kristi Yamaguchi won in season six and he and Shawn Johnson also won in season eight. It is also important to note that he has also been in second four times, and in third three times, making nine top three appearances!
3. Cheryl Burke
Cheryl Burke has become a Dancing With the Stars icon after she became a pro in season two. Burke immediately became the best of the best after winning seasons two and three with Drew Lachey and Emmitt Smith respectively. Despite not winning again in all the seasons since, the freestyle she choreographed with Drew Lachey still stands as the one to live up to every single season and the season three finale featuring Burke and Emmitt Smith remains the highest-rated DWTS season finale ever.
2. Valentin Chmerkovskiy
After making several appearances on the series thanks to his brother Maks, Val Chmerkovskiy finally officially joined Dancing With the Stars in season 13 and after a slow start with an 11th and 10th place finish in seasons 13 and 14, they would become the lowest he would ever place! Val has gone on to become one of the best and most well-liked pros to ever appear on the show. He has now won twice with Rumer Willis in season 20 and Laurie Hernandez in season 23 and has never finished lower than 6th place in nine seasons, which is incredibly impressive all on its own.
1. Derek Hough
There was never any question who would be number one as Derek Hough has the most Mirrorball Trophy wins out of every other pro. Out of his 17 seasons, Hough has now won an incredible six times which includes season seven with Brooke Burke, season 10 with Nicole Scherzinger, season 11 with Jennifer Grey, seasons 16 with Kellie Pickler, season 17 with Amber Riley, and season 21 with Bindi Irwin. In his entire career on the show, Hough has never placed lower than sixth and has even won Emmys for his incredible choreography. It can also be said that Hough has mastered how to work with anybody, including stars of all kinds of different personalities and abilities, which has been a huge factor in his unmatched success on DWTS.