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Behind the Scenes with 'Dancing with the Stars'

Scott Simon learns how to tango from Elena Grinenko, a professional dancer and contestant on ABC's <em>Dancing with the Stars.</em>
Win Rosenfeld, NPR
Scott Simon learns how to tango from Elena Grinenko, a professional dancer and contestant on ABC's Dancing with the Stars.

The ABC hit Dancing With the Stars spun back into primetime this week with its biggest cast to date.

The show's fifth season includes Marie Osmond, Melanie ("Scary Spice") Brown and Wayne Newton, among other celebrities.

Long after reality shows seemingly hit their peak, Dancing With the Stars captivated millions of viewers, as celebrities transformed into ballroom dancers — with major guidance from their professional partners.

Viewers get weekly glimpses of the behind-the-scenes work that goes into each dance. The dynamic between dance partners can largely determine how successful a pair is on the show. A new book, Dancing With the Stars: Jive, Samba, and Tango Your Way into the Best Shape of Your Life, gives fans a peek into contestants' intense preparation before they hit the dance floor.

Scott Simon visited Dancing With the Stars in New York and learned how to tango from professional dancer Elena Grinenko and actor Joey Lawrence, a former Dancing contestant.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Scott Simon is one of America's most admired writers and broadcasters. He is the host of Weekend Edition Saturday and is one of the hosts of NPR's morning news podcast Up First. He has reported from all fifty states, five continents, and ten wars, from El Salvador to Sarajevo to Afghanistan and Iraq. His books have chronicled character and characters, in war and peace, sports and art, tragedy and comedy.
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