From UVU to “Dancing with The Stars”

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If you flip on your television set to ABC on Mondays and Tuesdays to the popular show “Dancing with the Stars,” you will see a familiar face.

Witney Carson, graduate of American Fork High School and former UVU student, is a professional dancer on season 18 of ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars.” She has been partnered up with Australian superstar Cody Simpson to compete weekly on the show.

Carson has loved dancing even from a young age. She started training at the age of three at Center Stage Performing Arts Studio. There, she trained in ballet, contemporary, hip-hop, tap and the one that has made her a star today, ballroom.

While at Center Stage she trained with world champion ballroom dancers. When the studio split in two, Vibe and Center Stage, she decided to follow the person that molded her into the dancer she is today, Rick Robinson.

“I wouldn’t be where I am today without my coaches and teachers, and I would especially like to thank Rick Robinson,” Carson said. “If I didn’t decide to follow Rick in the split, I don’t know where I would be right now.”

She started her journey after studio dancing on Fox’s “So You Think You Can Dance,” where she made the top six. After the season ended, she accepted a job with “Dancing with The Stars” as a member of the troupe, a group of dancers who tour to various locations.

“While the troupe was great fun, being a professional on the show is definitely a lot more stressful,” Carson said.  “Not only do you have to worry about yourself but you have to make sure your partner, who has never danced before, is confident. That means putting in extra time mentally and physically, but in the end it’s all worth it.”

When you’re on television, in movies or any of the such, everything you do is scrutinized by the media, the general public and the biggest people in your life: your family.

“The support has been overwhelmingly amazing,” Carson said. “So many people love Cody as an artist and to see him dancing makes them love him even more. I’m so grateful for the support of my family and my fans; they are helping get us through this competition.”

There are many bloggers that have been putting Carson on blast for the dresses she wears.  They have said that she shows too much skin for a girl that calls herself a Mormon.

“Honestly, I’m enjoying every aspect of this experience, even the social media side of it.  Sometimes it’s a lot to handle, especially if it’s hurtful or hateful things said, but you just have to learn to not pay attention to it and just keep living your life the best way you know how to.  I’ve always been the one to see the positive side in life, and I’m just having the time of my life right now, no matter what people say.”

Carson and Simpson have made it through two weeks of the tough competition and will continue dancing for votes.  Tune in to ABC this Monday and Tuesday at 7 p.m. to watch and root for a fellow Wolverine.

“As long as you love what you do, keep following your dreams because if you work hard you can achieve them,” Carson said to all of her fa