One Challenge The Pros On Dancing With The Stars Have To Quietly Contend With

Dancing with the Stars pro Sharna Burgess and her partner Josh Norman
(Image credit: ABC)

Dancing with the Stars is currently in the midst of its all-athlete season, and while most of the series' narrative focus is placed on the stars just learning to strut their stuff, the pros have their own challenges. Not only do they have to choreograph and coach their non-professional partner on a new number every week, but they also have to execute it themselves. Putting perspective on that latter facet, veteran Dancing with the Stars pro Sharna Burgess opened up about one of the complicated factors of being a professional and it may not be what you expect. Burgess says:

That's a big thing you have to learn when being a pro. Because we are professional dancers, we can easily upstage our partners. Easily. If you focus on your own dancing and not theirs, that essentially is what is going to happen. As a pro, you have to learn it's not about you. It's not about your dancing. It's about you guiding and making sure they have got this and they are going to perform it to their best ability. You have to find a balance between hyping them up, being excited and going full-out for them, and also taking a back seat enough so you allow them to shine. At the same time, a lot of us have a language with our celebrity partners where you've got little reminders, little things throughout the dance to remind them to keep their posture up, keep their arms, whatever it is. We are focusing on that more than our own performance. You are kind of smiling and talking at the same time.

Dancing with the Stars fans are well-aware of the struggles the stars have to face. They often go outside of their comfort zone to perform a ballroom dance in front of a live studio audience as millions watch on television. Sharna Burgess' comments to EW provide an illuminating insight into the less documented aspect of the series: the pro. Their job is to showcase their partner in the best possible light, and professionals like Burgess have prevailed with that to exceptional results.

Professionals like Sharna Burgess are super popular with fans and interviews give them a chance to provide more insight into their role on the show. Given the popularity of the pros on the show, fans would likely welcome a segment of Dancing with the Stars that would focus more on what they endure putting a season of the show together. While Dancing with the Stars cameras captures the behind-the-scenes drama that goes into every week's routine, a closer look from the pros' perspective would be fascinating.

Outperforming the stars is one of the rarely-discussed aspects of the show. We have been made aware of it in the past, thanks to comments by former judge and Dancing with the Stars pro Julianne Hough. It's difficult to ignore when the pro outshines the star, which makes the opportunity for the professionals to go all-out in their pro group numbers especially exciting. Without them, fans do not get the chance to see them at their optimum capabilities.

Dancing with the Stars: Athletes has already gotten off to an intense start. Olympic snowboarder Jamie Anderson and her pro partner Artem Chigvintsev have already been eliminated alongside retired MLB star Johnny Damon and his pro partner Emma Slater. NFL star Josh Norman and his partner Sharna Burgess tied at the top of Week 1's leaderboard with Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon and his pro partner Jenna Johnson. Find out who makes it through Week 2, when the show continues tonight.

New episodes of Dancing with the Stars air Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. For info on what is coming up on ABC and television in general, check out our guide to TV's summer premieres.

Britt Lawrence

Like a contented Hallmark movie character, Britt happily lives in the same city she grew up in. Along with movies and television, she is passionate about competitive figure skating. She has been writing about entertainment for 5 years, and as you may suspect, still finds it as entertaining to do as when she began.