Two Major Dancing With The Stars Pros Have Exited Ahead Of Season 31 On Disney+, But The Explanations Make Sense

sharna burgess and lindsay arnold for dancing with the stars.
(Image credit: ABC)

As Dancing With the Stars prepares to make its big and historic move to Disney+ from ABC for its upcoming season, the series will be without two major pro dancers. Lindsay Arnold and Sharna Burgess have both confirmed they will not be returning for Season 31, but their explanations are pretty reasonable.

In recent months, there have been rumors swirling about a pro or two leaving DWTS ahead of the upcoming season, but there were no confirmed names or a confirmation if it was even true. Sharna Burgess, who has competed on DWTS since Season 16 and won the Mirrorball in Season 27, announced that she will not be coming back to be a pro and the reason isn’t so surprising: she's a new mom. Burgess said (via dwtsreport on Instagram):

I am at 100% capacity with my body, I feel fit, I feel strong, I’m so ready to dance. I’m about to go to the gym right now. We’re going to talk about what that means and how I can be a part of [DWTS] but I was not ready to spend, at minimum, 10 hours a day away from Zane. And I say 10 hours because it’s not just the time in the room. It’s the travel time, it’s the prep time, it’s the hair and makeup time. Sundays and Mondays are full days away. I’m a full-time breastfeeding momma, and not only that, I am so in love with just being a mom.

Burgess welcomed a child with Brian Austin Green over the summer, so it definitely makes sense that she would want to focus on her baby boy and spend time with him. And they are not the only ones spending time with the baby. Green’s ex, Megan Fox, recently met the little guy, and Burgess shared the actress’ sweet comments about her son, who evidently doesn’t cry that often. It’s no wonder the dancer would want to spend every waking moment with him.

It should be of note that this isn’t the first time since Season 16 that Sharna Burgess had to duck out of a season. She actually didn’t compete in Season 28 due to joining the Australian version of DWTS as a judge. And it sounds like she is trying all she can to still be part of the series in some capacity, so fingers crossed something like that happens.

Meanwhile, not long after Sharna Burgess’ video, Lindsay Arnold made an Instagram post of her own explaining a similar situation. Appearing on DWTS as a pro dancer beginning in Season 16 before being promoted to pro partner in Season 21 and winning in Season 25, the mom of one explained that although she loves being on the series, family is the top priority for her:

You all know that family is the most important thing to me and doing what is best for my daughter is always going to be at the top of my list! As many of you know my family and I live in UT and in order to do DWTS I have to move myself and my daughter Sage out to LA and leave behind my husband Sam who works full time here in Utah. Logistically there is SO much involved with making this happen and there is a lot of sacrifice that has to be made that unfortunately just did not feel right for us this time around.

Lindsay Arnold also wants to focus on her family, as moving and leaving someone behind made appearing in this season of DWTS too much for her. Although she is completely sitting out this next season, Arnold also promised that this is not the last time fans will see her on the dancing series:

We exhausted every option we could think of to make it work but at the end of the day none of the options felt good in my heart or felt like the right thing for our lives right now. We are also trying to grow our family and that in itself is a complicated logistical thing as I'm sure many of you understand. All this being said it's so important to me that you understand none of this has anything to do with my love for the show as that will NEVER change and it also doesn't mean that this is the end for me and DWTS.

Both Sharna Burgess and Lindsay Arnold stepping down this season to focus on their little ones and families is completely understandable, as it’s also still clear that the show means a lot to them. While it’s unknown if they both will return as pro dancers in the future, it should be interesting to see how Burgess could fit in in whatever capacity this upcoming season.

There will be a lot of changes for Season 31 of DWTS on top of Disney+ and Burgess and Arnold’s announcements. Fresh Prince of Bel-Air vet Alfonso Ribeiro will be Tyra Banks’ co-host for the new season. Season 31 of Dancing With the Stars will premiere on September 19 on Disney+ with a subscription!

Megan Behnke
Freelance TV News Writer

Passionate writer. Obsessed with anything and everything entertainment, specifically movies and television. Can get easily attached to fictional characters.