Witney Carson

Dancing With The Stars Pro Witney Carson Hid Her Cancer Diagnosis From Producers; Says “I Was Embarrassed”

Dancing With the Stars is welcoming back a familiar face! Alfonso Ribeiro has been named the new co-host for Season 31 of DWTS. Alfonso will join Tyra Banks in the ballroom. Alfonso was congratulated by longtime former DWTS host Tom Bergeron, who was fired from the show after Season 28 was over.

Alfonso has experience waltzing around the ballroom. In 2014, he competed on Season 19 with pro Witney Carson. The couple took home the sparkling mirror ball trophy.

Witney spoke with People about why she hid her cancer diagnosis during her first season on the show. In 2014, Witney was 19 years old when she received a call to become a dance pro on DWTS. She left Provo, Utah to move to Los Angeles.

“I finally got this call that was going to just skyrocket my career. It was my dream,” Witney explained. Right before leaving for Los Angeles, Witney was diagnosed with a type of skin cancer called melanoma.

Witney had two surgeries to remove the cancer. The dancer was too frightened to tell anyone about her diagnosis. She was worried that she would have to miss her first full season as a pro. She was paired with Australian pop star Cody Simpson for Season 18.

“All of a sudden I get diagnosed with melanoma and of course, being myself, I’m like ‘It’s fine. I can still go on the show,'” Witney remarked.

“I was supposed to be doing all the right things to be an athlete, and so it was embarrassing for me to be like, ‘Yes, I had, I was sick. I was literally sick,’” Witney stated. “The producers didn’t know. My partner didn’t know. I wanted people to think I was perfectly healthy.”

She continued, “They took an inch diameter around the mole on my foot as well as all of my lymph nodes in my left hip. It was just spreading so quickly, and they had to get rid of the lymph nodes and there was lots of healing time.” Witney added, “I think I took six weeks and then I went straight to Dancing with the Stars. My foot was wrapped. I still had stitches in it.”

Witney was determined to keep up with the show’s schedule. “I walk in my first day of rehearsals; I’m just going full force. The doctor has not cleared me for any active anything. I just decided to do it anyway because how could I not?” Witney commented.

“It’s my dream. So I go, I do the whole routine. I’m like, ‘My foot feels so sweaty. I’m so sweaty. This is so weird,’ and I looked down and my white tennis shoe is just covered in blood, just covered in blood,” Witney shared. Yikes!

The dancer stated, “Ripped my stitches open. I had to get my foot wrapped every week after I did the live show.”

Both of Witney’s parents were treated for melanoma, which can be a hereditary condition. Witney feels that her use of tanning beds as a teenager might have been a contributing factor to developing skin cancer. “I have not set foot in a tanning bed since I was diagnosed, which was 19. I have not set foot in it,” she stated.

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Witney, who is cancer-free, always puts sunscreen on herself, and her 1-year-old son, Leo. “He’s obsessed with babies. Anywhere we go he’s always saying, ‘Baby, baby!’ He loves them,” Witney remarked. “We want to have one so bad, but I’m getting ready for the season.”

She continued, “I don’t think it would be wise to be pregnant during the season. It’s going to be on Disney+, the old executive producer, Conrad, is coming back. I’m really excited about that,” Witney said. “I just would really love to be a part of it this season. So that’s kind of our main focus right now,” she added.

DWTS will drop on Disney+ sometime in the fall.


[Photo Credit: Maarten de Boer/ABC via Getty Images]