A Look Back at 15 of Our Favorite Dancing with the Stars Dances Over the Years

Bindi Irwin’s Touching Tribute to Her Late Father

There was not a dry eye left in the house when Irwin — who’d go on to win the mirror ball trophy in season 21 — danced to “Every Breath You Take” with Derek Hough in tribute to her late father, Steve Irwin.

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Alfonso Ribeiro Does ‘The Carlton’ Again

From the moment Ribiero was announced for season 19, we were all just waiting for this epic crossover to happen. I mean, how was Ribeiro going to dance week after week and not do the Fresh Prince dance that made him famous? We’d like to personally thank his partner, Witney Carson, for making our nostalgic dreams come true.

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Corbin Bleu Gets His Head in the Game

The former High School Musical star paid homage to his roots by donning a baseball uniform (like the one he wore in High School Musical Two) and jumping off of the judges’ table while performing a jive with Karina Smirnoff. 

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Juan Pablo Di Pace Channels Gaston

No one fights like Gaston and no one dances quite like Fuller House star Di Pace. He was shockingly eliminated from season 27, much to everyone (even the judges’) surprise.

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Zendaya Is Crowned Queen of the Dance Floor

What’s better than one partner? Two, of course! Zendaya did not take home the mirror ball trophy (she was the runner-up on season 16) but she was queen of the dance floor in our eyes. Her salsa with partners Val Chmerkovskiy and Gleb Savchenko proved that she could keep up with not just one pro, but two, with ease.

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Mel B. Spices Up Her Paso Doble

If you’re partnered with Maks Chmerkovskiy, chances are things are going to get spicy. In season 5, the former Spice Girl added some heat to her sexy Paso Doble with Chmerkovskiy set to En Vogue’s “Free Your Mind.”

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Nyle DiMarco Performs an Emotional Freestyle

DiMarco was the show’s first-ever deaf winner, and he paid homage to his past with a powerful freestyle alongside his partner Peta Murgatroyd set to a cover of “Sound of Silence” that included both impressive skills and a burning piano.

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Brandy Shines Bright

Brandy and partner Maks Chmerkovskiy didn’t have the best relationship, but the pair got it together each week and delivered stellar dance after stellar dance. Their Samba to “Put It In a Love Song” was particularly memorable.

Brandy’s elimination from the competition in season 11 came as quite a shock to everyone from the audience to the judges, as she had showcased her talent again and again. So shocking, in fact, that ABC had to defend its voting system because fans were accusing show staff of tampering with the vote.

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Willow Shields Competes in The Hunger Games

The actress was just 14 years old when she competed in the show’s 20th season and wowed the judges and audience when she and partner Mark Ballas danced a powerful and emotional contemporary based on her most memorable year — the year she was cast in The Hunger Games.

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Drew Lachey Saddles Up His Horse

In the show’s second season, Cheryl Burke and Lachey set the bar for freestyle dances when they performed to Big & Rich’s “Save a Horse Ride a Cowboy” and Drew jumped off the stage like it was no big deal.

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Rumer Willis Heats Things Up

There were plenty of rumors about Rumer Willis’ relationship with pro partner Val Chmerkovskiy and their Rumba to Doris Day’s “Perhaps Perhaps Perhaps” really showed off their chemistry. The pair took their chemistry and stellar dance moves straight to the top, taking home the season 20 mirror ball trophy.

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Milo Manheim Becomes ‘Toxic’

This creepy performance earned the Disney Channel star and his season 27 partner Whitney Carson 10s across the board, and gave us the chills watching it. The partners knocked this one — both physically challenging and super creepy — out of the park.

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Meryl Davis Lifts Off

The lifts and tricks on Dancing with the Stars never cease to amaze us (mostly because one-half of the pairing is not used to doing them) but Davis had a leg up: She was an Olympic ice dancer. Nevertheless, her freestyle dance with Maks Chmerkovskiy in season 18 was truly remarkable. Not to mention the chemistry between the two was palpable … but that’s a whole different story.

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Gilles Marini Makes Us Want to Learn to Tango

The French-American actor is known for his sexy role in Sex and the City, so you knew his dancing was going to be hot, hot, hot. In season 8, his partner Cheryl Burke made plenty of room for the heartthrob to shine in an Argentine Tango that made everyone swoon.

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Jennifer Grey’s Blast from the Past

Grey’s role in Dirty Dancing came in handy when she competed alongside Derek Hough in season 11. Rather than creating the iconic final number from the film, Hough decided to put together a Viennese Waltz to “These Arms Of Mine,” and it was nostalgic and beautiful.

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