Louis Van Amstel

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Louis van Amstel
Born (1972-06-23) June 23, 1972 (age 41)
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Nationality Dutch American
Citizenship American
Occupation Dancer, choreographer
Years active 2005–present

Louis van Amstel (born June 23, 1972) is a Dutch-American ballroom dance champion,[1] professional dancer, and choreographer who appears on the U.S. reality television series Dancing with the Stars.[2]

Early life[edit]

Louis van Amstel was born in Amsterdam; his grandparents were competitive ballroom dancers. He began dancing at 10 and entered competitions at 15. He stopped attending school at 16 to pursue dancing full-time.[3]

Career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Van Amstel competed professionally with Julie Fryer, and they were coached by Ruud Vermeij. In 1990, Van Amstel and Fryer became Dutch Latin Champions and 10 Dance Champions. They also made the final in Blackpool in the 'under 21' category. This very same year, they received a bronze medal at the German Open, at the World Latin and at the European 10 Dance. In the Worlds 10 Dance Championship, Van Amstel and Fryer got fourth place.[4]

In 1991 Van Amstel and Fryer won the national championships for the second time, and got the fourth place in all major championships. A year later, Van Amstel decided that he wanted to retire from competing for a while, and came to the point where he finished his partnership with Fryer for the first time. Three years later, in 1994, the partnership was re-established, and Van Amstel and Fryer went on to win three world Latin Dance championship gold medals in 1994, 1995 and 1996.[4]

In 1997, Van Amstel retired from competitive ballroom dancing, moved to New York City, and became an American citizen in July 1999.[5] He returned to competitive dancing with partner Karina Smirnoff; they won the United States national championship in 2000.

Dancing with the Stars[edit]

Van Amstel was cast for season one of Dancing with the Stars in early 2005. He was partnered with Trista Sutter, but they were the first to be eliminated from the competition. In the show's second season, he was partnered with hostess Lisa Rinna, with whom he reached fourth place.

Van Amstel returned in season three and was partnered with High School Musical star Monique Coleman. During the eighth week of the competition, they received two 10s for their Cha-Cha-Cha marking Van Amstel's only 10s of Dancing With The Stars for an individual dance for many seasons to come. They made it to the semi-finals, but were eliminated, resulting in a fourth place finish. He did not participate in the fourth season due to all the females being taller than him, but he nonetheless maintained a role as a performer and choreographer throughout the season and season five.[3]

He returned in season six and was partnered with actress, businesswoman, and wife of Elvis Presley Priscilla Presley. The couple made it to the fifth week, but were eliminated, resulting in an eighth place finish.

He returned in season nine and was partnered with reality TV star and singer Kelly Osbourne. The couple made it to the finale where they finished in third place, marking Van Amstel's first and only time to make it to the finals to date. In season ten of Dancing With The Stars, Van Amstel was partnered with Reno 911! star Niecy Nash. The couple made it to the eighth week, but were eliminated, resulting in a fifth place finish.

For season eleven of Dancing With The Stars, Van Amstel was partnered with actress and comedian Margaret Cho. The couple made it to the third week, but were eliminated, resulting in a tenth place finish. Van Amstel appeared in Cho's comedy music album Cho Dependent as her therapist. In July 2011, he appeared alongside Cho as himself in the fourth episode of the third season of Drop Dead Diva.

For the show's twelfth season, Van Amstel was partnered with playboy model and reality star Kendra Wilkinson. During the fifth week in the competition, they danced the 1000th competitive dance. The couple made it to the seventh week, but were eliminated, resulting in a sixth place finish. Wilkinson later published her book, Being Kendra, in which she said her and van Amstel clashed constantly and that he called her dyslexic and learning disabled. Van Amstel denied the comments, calling her book "twisted". Nevertheless, Van Amstel made two appearances on Wilkinson's reality shows Kendra and Kendra on Top, though Wilkinson described their encounters as "awkward".

Van Amstel returned for season 15 of Dancing with the Stars, the All Stars season, and was partnered with former contestant, Sabrina Bryan. In the sixth week of the competition, the pair scored the first perfect 30 of the season. This was also Van Amstel's first perfect score ever after nine seasons on Dancing with the Stars. The couple made it to the sixth week, but were eliminated, despite being at the top of the leaderboard, resulting in an eighth place finish. This was also the same week that Bryan was shockingly eliminated in her original season. In Week 8, Van Amstel was chosen by Kelly Monaco and her partner Val Chmerkovskiy to be their partner in their trio dance.

Van Amstel was not asked back for season 16 of Dancing with the Stars.[6]

Other work[edit]

During his time off from Dancing With The Stars, Van Amstel set up a not-for profit dance company called "Visionworx Dance Theater," which combines all four major dance forms. He also choreographed and appeared on numerous TV shows such as The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, Hannah Montana, and All My Children.[3]

After season six of Dancing with the Stars, Van Amstel was asked to create and choreograph a show called Ballroom With A Twist, which featured a rotating cast of dancers. The show also featured former American Idol contestants including David Hernandez and Carly Smithson. Ballroom With A Twist toured in theaters around the country and was very successful. Van Amstel is no longer associated with the show. He choreographed seven dances on season 5 of So You Think You Can Dance. Three of the seven dances made it to the finale and were mentioned as the judges' favorite picks at the Kodak theater in Hollywood. He continued choreographing in seasons 6, 7, and 8.[citation needed]

Van Amstel also runs his dance fitness program, LaBlast. LaBlast DVDs were released in early 2012.

During the summer of 2012, Van Amstel started his fitness clothing line, called LVA.

Personal life[edit]

Van Amstel is openly gay. However, he does not call himself gay because he does not want to be put in a box.[5] During the story week in season eleven of Dancing With The Stars, Van Amstel partnered with Margaret Cho and blamed Cho's gay pride-themed performance for being kicked off the show. He said, "I don't want to be labeled [as gay] because labeling is the beginning of discrimination and hatred."[7]

Dancing with the Stars performances[edit]

Season Partner Place
1 Trista Sutter 6th
2 Lisa Rinna 4th
3 Monique Coleman 4th
6 Priscilla Presley 8th
9 Kelly Osbourne 3rd
10 Niecy Nash 5th
11 Margaret Cho 10th
12 Kendra Wilkinson 6th
15 Sabrina Bryan 8th

Season 1: With Trista Sutter:

Week # Dance/Song Judges' score Result
Inaba Goodman Tonioli
1 Waltz/"Come Away With Me" 6 6 6 No Elimination
2 Rumba/"Endless Love" 6 7 6 Eliminated


Season 2: With Lisa Rinna:

Week # Dance/Song Judges' score Result
Inaba Goodman Tonioli
1 Waltz/ "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" 5 7 7 Safe
2 Rumba/"Your Song" 6 7 7 Safe
3 Jive/"Jailhouse Rock" 8 9 8 Safe
4 Paso Doble/"The Final Countdown" 9 9 8 Safe
5 Samba/"Le Freak" 7 9 9 Safe
6 Quickstep/"9 to 5" 9 9 9 Bottom Two
7 Foxtrot/"Fever"
Cha-Cha-Cha/"Material Girl"
8
9
9
9
9
9
Eliminated


Season 3: With Monique Coleman:

Week # Dance/Song Judges' score Result
Inaba Goodman Tonioli
1 Foxtrot/"Baby Love" 6 6 7 Safe
2 Mambo/"Bop to the Top" 9 8 9 Safe
3 Jive/"The Heat Is On" 9 9 9 Safe
4 Waltz/"If I Were A Painting" 8 8 8 Bottom Two
5 Rumba/"Samba de Verão" 9 9 9 Safe
6 Samba/"ABC" 9 7 7 Safe
7 Quickstep/"Luck Be a Lady"
Paso Doble/"The Reflex"
9
9
9
9
9
9
Bottom Two
8 Tango/"Somebody's Watching Me"
Cha-Cha-Cha/"Ghostbusters Theme"
8
9
8
10
8
10
Eliminated


Season 6: With Priscilla Presley:

Week # Dance/Song Judges' score Result
Inaba Goodman Tonioli
1 Foxtrot/"Feeling Good" 8 8 8 No Elimination
2 Mambo/"Deixa Isso Pra La" 7 7 7 Safe
3 Tango/"El Choclo" 8 9 9 Safe
4 Viennese Waltz/"Do Right Woman, Do Right Man" 7 7 8 Bottom Two
5 Rumba/"The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" 7 7 7 Eliminated


Season 9: With Kelly Osbourne:

Week # Dance/Song Judges' score Result
Inaba Goodman Tonioli
1 Viennese Waltz/"Trouble"
Cha-Cha-Cha/"Centerfold"
7
Awarded
8
8
8
Points
Safe
2 Tango/"Take Me on the Floor" 6 7* 6 Safe
3 Samba/"LoveGame" 7 6 7 Safe
4 Charleston/"Cabaret" 8 7 8 Safe
5 Paso Doble/"Crazy Train" 8 8 8 Safe
6 Jitterbug/"Bread and Butter"
Mambo Marathon/"Ran Kan Kan"
8
Awarded
8
5
8
Points
Safe
7 Salsa/"Good Lovin'"
Team Tango/"You Give Love a Bad Name"
8
9
8
9
8
10
Safe
8 Foxtrot/"Mama Do (Uh Oh Uh Oh)"
'60s Jive/"River Deep - Mountain High"
8
8
8
9
9
9
Last to Be
Called Safe
9 Rumba/"Angels"
Quickstep/"99 Red Balloons"
Cha-Cha-Cha/"Girls Just Want to Have Fun"
8
9
9
8
9
9
8
9
9
Last to Be
Called Safe
10 Argentine Tango/"Los Vino"
Megamix/"You and Me", "Whenever, Wherever", "Maniac"
Freestyle/"I Will Survive"
Viennese Waltz/"Trouble"
9
Awarded
8
Awarded
9
26
8
26
8
Points
8
Points
Third Place


^* Due to Len Goodman's absence in week 2, the 7 was awarded by stand-in guest judge Baz Luhrmann.


Season 10: With Niecy Nash:

Week # Dance/Song Judges' score Result
Inaba Goodman Tonioli
1 Cha-Cha-Cha/"Rescue Me" 7 5 6 No Elimination
2 Foxtrot/"Love You I Do" 7 7 7 Safe
3 Waltz/"With You I'm Born Again" 7 7 7 Safe
4 Rumba/"Taking Chances" - Technique
Rumba/"Taking Chances" - Performance
6
6
6
6
6
6
Last to Be
Called Safe
5 Jive/"La Bamba" 6 6 6 Safe
6 Argentine Tango/"El Sonido De La Milonga"
Swing Marathon/"In the Mood"
7
Awarded
7
5
7
Points
Bottom Two
7 Quickstep/"You're the Top"
Team Madonna/"Holiday"
9
8
8
8
8
8
Safe
8 Viennese Waltz/"I Got You Babe"
'90s Paso Doble/"Rhythm is a Dancer"
7
7
8
6
8
7
Eliminated


Season 11: With Margaret Cho:

Week # Dance/Song Judges' score Result
Inaba Goodman Tonioli
1 Viennese Waltz/"We Are The Champions" 5 5 5 Safe
2 Jive/"Dreaming 6 6 6 Safe
3 Samba/"Copacabana" 6 6 6 Eliminated


Season 12: With Kendra Wilkinson:

Week # Dance/Song Judges' score Result
Inaba Goodman Tonioli
1 Cha-Cha-Cha/"When Love Takes Over" 6 6 6 No Elimination
2 Quickstep/"Gotta Work" 7 6 6 Safe
3 Rumba/"You and Me" 8 7 8 Safe
4 Viennese Waltz/"Time To Say Goodbye" 6 6 6 Safe
5 Foxtrot/"Yankee Doodle Dandy" 8 7 7 Safe
6 Samba/"Livin' la Vida Loca" 8 8 9 Safe
7 Team Cha-Cha-Cha/"We R Who We R"
Tango/"Jealousy"
7/7*
8/8*
8
7
8
8
Eliminated


^* The additional scores of 7 and 8 were awarded by guest judge Donnie Burns.


Season 15: With Sabrina Bryan:

Week # Dance/Song Judges' score Result
Inaba Goodman Tonioli
1 Cha-Cha-Cha/"What Makes You Beautiful" 7.5 7.5 7.5 Safe
2 Quickstep/"Black Betty" 9 8.5 8.5 Safe
3 Paso Doble/"Free Your Mind" 8.5 8.5 8.5 Bottom Three
4 Disco/"You Should Be Dancing" 9 9/8.5* 9 Safe
5 Waltz/"So This Is Love"
Team Freestyle (Shawn)/"Call Me Maybe"
10
9.5
9.5
10
9.5
10
No Elimination
6 Rumba/"Wanted"
Group Country-Western/"Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy",
"I Play Chicken with a Train"
10
No
10
Additional
10
Points
Eliminated


^* The additional score of 8.5 was awarded by guest judge Paula Abdul.

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Melissa Rycroft & Tony Dovolani
Dancing with the Stars (US) Third place
Season 9 (Autumn 2009 with Kelly Osbourne)
Succeeded by
Erin Andrews & Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Preceded by
Rachel Hunter & Jonathan Roberts
Dancing with the Stars (US) semi-finalist
Season 2 (Winter 2006 with Lisa Rinna)

Season 3 (Autumn 2006 with Monique Coleman)

Succeeded by
Ian Ziering & Cheryl Burke
Preceded by
Aaron Carter & Karina Smirnoff
Dancing with the Stars (US) quarter-finalist
Season 10 (Spring 2010 with Niecy Nash)
Succeeded by
Kurt Warner & Anna Trebunskaya
Preceded by
None
Dancing with the Stars (US) Last place
Season 1 (Summer 2005 with Trista Sutter)
Succeeded by
Kenny Mayne & Andrea Hale

References[edit]

External links[edit]