5:31am PT by Natalie Stone
'Dancing With the Stars' Announces Season 20 Professional Dancers
Dancing With the Stars announced 10 of its season 20 professional dancers on Good Morning America on Wednesday, with three of last season's pros not returning for the show's 10th anniversary.
Season 19 Mirrorball trophy winner Witney Carson will return for her third run as a pro. Carson, who won last season's coveted trophy with Alfonso Ribeiro, will join Allison Holker, Emma Slater, Peta Murgatroyd, Sharna Burgess and Kym Johnson on the list of ladies returning to the CBS competition dance floor.
DWTS veteran Cheryl Burke, who dedicated her talents as a pro dancer since season two, announced in December that she would be leaving the program in pursuit of new ventures with NBC.
Along with Burke, Karina Smirnoff, a 16-season DWTS pro dancer, told fans on Tuesday evening that she will not return for the March premiere. "After a lot of thought and prayer, I've decided to focus my energies on some other exciting endeavors including adding author to my resume," Smirnoff wrote on her Facebook page.
Amongst the list of pros leaving for season 20, 14-season veteran dancer and five-time Mirrorball trophy-winner Derek Hough will take a break from the competition this spring. The choreographer will perform in the New York Spring Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall for seven weeks beginning in March and is set to return to DWTS in the fall for season 21.
Though season 19 rookie Keo Motsepe was not announced on Wednesday as a returning professional, Mark Ballas, Valentin Chmerkovskiy, Tony Dovolani and Artem Chigvinsev made the list as pro male contenders that will compete.
Two more pro names will be announced in the coming weeks, totaling 12 couples vying for the season 20 Mirrorball trophy. ABC will reveal the full cast list on Feb. 24 on GMA.
The season 20 premiere airs on Mar. 16 at 8/7 p.m. CT on ABC.