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Utah woman is 'Dancing with the Stars'

By Ryan Di Lello Daily Universe Staff Reporter - 29 Jun 2005
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Photo courtesy of ABC
Alpine resident, Ashly DelGrosso and singer Joey McIntyre dance during the first episode of "Dancing with the Stars."

An Alpine resident and member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has taken her dancing career to the stars on ABC’s top-rated show “Dancing With the Stars.”

Utah can vote for it’s own Ashly DelGrosso this Wednesday night as she competes with boy band legend Joey McIntyre for a spot in next week’s final round of the competition.

In April 2005, DelGrosso went to Los Angeles with a heart full of hope and a bag full of dance gear to try out for the show.

DelGrosso’s tryout was a success. Producers chose her for the show – the youngest professional ballroom dancer that has ever been on “Dancing With the Stars.”

“I was so excited when I found out I had been chosen for the show,” DelGrosso said. “I don’t know if there are words to express how I felt.”

The show features six Hollywood stars who pair up with professional ballroom dancers from around the world. Each professional dancer has only one week at a time to teach the stars how to light up the floor. The show runs every Wednesday at 8 p.m. and has been the number one show since it first aired.

Delgrosso worked one on one with McIntyre, of New Kids on the Block fame, for two months in preparation for the first show that aired — dancing the cha-cha, quickstep and jive. Last week they danced the Brazilian samba.

Producers chose DelGrosso and McIntyre to be the first couple to start the competition. They kicked off the show with a sizzling cha-cha.

“I think the cha-cha was our best dance,” DelGrosso said. “It was the first dance of the show and we set the stage for everyone. We were the first couple that America got to watch.”

After each performance, three renowned judges critique the couples and give them a score between one and 10. At the end of the show, TV viewers can vote for the couple they like most. These votes are then combined with the judges’ scores. The couple with the lowest combined score is eliminated from the competition.

Three couples have already been eliminated, and last week DelGrosso and McIntyre received the lowest scores from the judges. DelGrosso said she was disappointed about the marks because McIntyre did such an amazing job.

Despite their scores from last week, DelGrosso and McIntyre made it into the top three. This week’s performance determines whether they go to the final round or get cut from the competition – and they are determined to win.

“For the next show we are not going to be sleeping,” DelGrosso said. “We are going to be working countless hours.”

Louis van Amstel, a professional dancer who was on the show, said McIntyre and DelGrosso should make it into the final.

“Joey can win on performance,” van Amstel said. “He is a dancer. He could really pull it off.”

With 15 million people watching, DelGrosso said she can’t help but feel a little nervous.

“The moment I take the floor my stomach is full of butterflies, but right when the music begins…I forget that I’m on TV and that I’m dancing with a movie star,” she said. “We create moments for people on TV and that’s the best feeling.”

Rick Robinson, DelGrosso’s coach at Center Stage Performing Arts Studio in Orem, has taught DelGrosso ballroom dance since she was 11 years old.

“I know they will dance well and that’s what I love,” Robinson said. “I love that America can see that and that’s what matters most.”

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