When Allison Holker was asked if she'd like to join "Dancing With The Stars" as a pro, she couldn't believe what she was hearing. She had never expected something this amazing to come out of her time on "So You Think You Can Dance," and to go from one major dancing show to another was a dream come true for the 27-year-old dancer. Not only is she an incredible dancer, but an amazing mother, wife and just a genuinely nice person, someone who's a true inspiration for dancers of all ages.
Holker was extremely successful on "So You Think You Can Dance" and even had the opportunity to return as an all-star, so she's worked with some pretty amazing people. Now that she has competed as a pro on "DWTS" for two seasons, she's excited to be back for season 21. She made it all the way to the finals last season with her partner Riker Lynch, only to come out in second place, but she was happy enough to even make it that far. She knows what to expect and understands how hard she has to work to hopefully get to that point again.
Holker has a lot to look forward to with the new season approaching quickly. She even has a successful online dance studio with her husband Twitch and her own dance costume line, Tenth House, dropping today.
The "DWTS" pros are just as excited to find out who their partners will be as fans are. So far, Bindi Irwin is the only celebrity to be revealed, so Holker's partner remains a mystery. Find out who her partner will be when the full reveal takes place next Wednesday Sept. 2 on "Good Morning America" and watch Holker give it her all on the dance floor during season 21, which begins Sept. 14 on ABC.
HNGN: Did you ever expect something as big as "DWTS" to come from your time on "So You Think You Can Dance?"
Allison Holker: Actually, no! Everyone asks me that because it's such a huge jump and such a huge opportunity. It was just one of those decisions in life where you have to just go for it and you don't know what's going to happen and you have to be ready for anything. So, I kind of took a big chance, I took a risk and honestly I feel like it was the best decision I have ever made.
HNGN: When they announced that a few new dancers would be joining the show, nobody really knew that would be happening or if any new pros were coming on, it was kind of all of a sudden. Did it feel that way for you too?
AH: I feel like on the show, and this is just a personal feeling, it's not a fact, I just feel like there hasn't been a lot of new pros. Once they find someone that works, they stick to their crew and that is for the sole fact that it's really just challenging for the pros, but in such a lovely way. Just being asked was a huge opportunity because they don't do this often. That's a huge honor. I really respect the show so much.
How did it feel to be in the finals after only two seasons on the show?
I don't know if people could notice but I feel like you could see it through the screen, but the smile on my face kept growing and growing. I was so ecstatic week after week because it's difficult as you get further in. But at the same time, it's so rewarding being on that show. You feel like you've accomplished so much as a person. Working with Riker was just incredible, he was such an incredible partner but also I feel like I gained a lifetime friend out of him. Getting to the finale is just something so incredible and I can't even explain it. It's just such a beautiful feeling and everyone on the show is just so supportive.
Do you think it helped that Riker had dancing experience in the past?
I definitely think so. There are certain things that really benefit on this show. I think the athletes have an advantage because they already know how to be agile in their bodies and they already know rhythm and the same for band members because they already know how to count music, so I was lucky that Riker was in a band. The most challenging thing you have to teach someone is how to learn dance. When you get those actors or you get the singers that don't dance, sometimes it's more challenging because you have to teach them what the levels are and how to learn the next step.
What do you hope for in your partner for this upcoming season?
I am just grateful to be back and I'm sure I could have a really fun experience with anyone, but I think it'd be really fun to work with an athlete. It's just something I haven't done, it's like unchartered territory for me. Like I'd love to have a football player that could just throw me in the air. It'd be a really fun change. I always say I would have such an amazing experience with Terry Crews as my partner. He's not really a dancer, but he's a dance lover. On the screen, he just shines, but he's also like that in real life. He's just one of the kindest I've ever met so he's someone, eventually down the line, I'm going to recruit to be on the show.
Do you have any idea who your partner could be or do you find out when everyone else does around the time of the "Good Morning America" reveal?
Both seasons I've been on the show, I have not met my partner until the day before the "GMA" announcement. What's kind of adorable about "GMA" is there's still kind of that awkwardness from everyone, it's like the first day at school. The pros, we know who our friends are, but you don't really know your partner that well yet. Everyone's getting to know each other.
Does training start before "GMA" or right after?
Usually right after. You would hope before, but we try to keep it even as far as time so it's not like someone has been working for a couple of weeks or something. They try to keep it pretty fair.
What are you excited for most about the upcoming season?
I'm really excited because now that I've been in the finale I know what to expect. I'm just really excited about having a new partner because no partner is ever the same. What's going to be the hardest thing for me is trying to compare them to Riker. But you have to just go into it blind and to work with your partner to find out what their strengths are and their personality. I got a lot further, so I'm a little bit more confident in myself.
I'm sure it pushes you to want to work harder this season now that you've gotten so close.
Yeah, honestly I want to do it again. I want to get that far again. I think it's exciting. I mean I don't know who my celebrity is, but we'll make it happen.
How do you feel about Len not returning as a judge?
I think that's interesting because he's just been so much a part of the show. It will be sad not to see his face but I do know that they said he'll probably be making appearances here and there. He's not gone from the show forever. I feel like when you think "DWTS" you kind of think Len Goodman so it would be very very hard to not have him around.
As for the pros, who do you find to be your biggest competition?
The best pro in my opinion is Derek Hough, but I feel blessed at the same time because whether he really knows it or not, Derek has always been a huge inspiration of mine and he's one of the first people I ever started to choreograph with and I learned a lot from him. He inspires me all the time and he always pushes me. And also Mark, he is very very innovative and very very creative. You can feel that they get to know their partners so well and care about them so the celebrities themselves shine and you can see it and I really look up to both of them.
What would you say is your proudest moment as a dancer?
Making it to the finale of "DWTS." Just that entire day.
You and Twitch have been married for two years now. How does it feel to be married to a guy who's on "Ellen," in "Magic Mike" and just really blowing up right now?
Honestly, it's fantastic. We love what we do but when we come home, our family life is so different than our work life. We don't judge ourselves or compare ourselves, we do a good job about not being jealous of each other because when we're home, we're a mommy and daddy. We have our daughter and we have our dogs and we have our whole lifestyle. As much as we love our work, I think we would be just as happy not doing it and just being together. I'm very proud of him. Every single thing he's doing I think he deserves because he really is the most genuine guy. He is the most loving and giving person. The amount that he gives to charity, and the amount that he gives to people when he's with them, he's just a really really strong, beautiful person.
Does anything compare to when you're dancing with your husband?
Nope. Nothing compares to it. Honestly, it's so funny because there's such a dynamic and such a light when we dance together that compares to nothing else. We had never been on a date, or really had a conversation. We went to a wrap party for "So You Think You Can Dance," shared one dance on the dance floor and we've been together ever since. It's really interesting circumstances and there's been no looking back. He brings a different side out of me.
Does your daughter Weslie dance?
You know, she doesn't! She did for a second but she's really really into reading and she's into music. She is like a little knowledge book of historians in music! She loves music and she plays the guitar. She's written music, which is crazy...she's like the next Taylor Swift, let's be real. It's cool because she has actually taught me how to play [guitar] so it's nice to be together in a different dynamic.
Are there any other projects you're working on or that you'd like to tackle next?
Yeah, actually both my husband and I are co-founders of an online dance studio, it's called CLI Stuidos. It's become a huge hit for people. We're getting a great response from it. We teach classes online with teachers from all over California in all different fields of dance. And then on August 24, I have a dance costume line that's dropping. It's called Tenth House. So the website, everything will be launching in just a couple of days! But really, you know with "DWTS," I obviously have that coming up, so it's all just so exciting.
If you could give one piece of advice to aspiring dancers, what would it be?
I would say to be yourself. It's very easy for dancers to become victims and to just follow fads, or become very cliquey, or to think they know what's cool. But really honestly, what dance is, what professional dancers bring to the table, is individuality. So I think, don't be worried about just being who you are and being yourself and standing strong in your own two shoes because that's what really makes you important and really strong as a person. Ellen is one of my biggest inspirations and she says it best. The things that were awkward about her, the things that were weird and made her different from everyone is what makes her so great today. And I really believe that to be true. I believe that for anyone growing up, anyone trying to jump into some field of work, that's what you gotta be. You've got to bring something different and unique, and everyone has something, they just have to be strong enough to show it.
I AM ME and IM PROUD TO BE ME! This is who I am and who I am is great. We compare ourselves everyday to others, we wish we looked like or acted more like someone else we idealize, we try to imagine what we would be with little fixes and tweaks here or there. But then there wouldn't be YOU anymore. And what you are is beautiful!! YOU were made in your form for this world at this moment. So own who you are and love who you are!! Be a student and learn how to love yourself so that you can be loved in return. I AM THE ONLY ME AND THAT IS ENOUGH!! #allisonholkerchallenge #lovewhoyouare #love
A photo posted by Allison Holker (@allisonholker) on Aug 13, 2015 at 2:24pm PDT