Dancing With the Stars Romances That Started On the Dance Floor

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Dancing with the Stars is infamous because of how many romances have started in the ballroom. All those sweaty rehearsals, close body contact, and long hours magically translate to love (or lust.) Sometimes the pros fall for each other. And sometimes it is a celebrity who has chemistry with their DWTS partner.

During Season 32, there were rumors that Too Hot to Handle star Harry Jowsey was romancing his partner, Rylee Arnold. And let’s not forget that Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Mauricio Umansky was photographed holding hands with his pro partner, Emma Slater. Even though he is separated from, but still married to, Kyle Richards.  

While some couples found their forever person, other unions were short-lived. Let’s look back at some Dancing with the Stars romances that started on the dance floor.

Mario Lopez and Karina Smirnoff

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Actor Mario Lopez competed on Season 3 of DWTS. It wasn’t long before there were rumors that he was romantically involved with his partner, Karina Smirnoff. The duo came in second place.

According to Life & Style, the couple broke up after two years together. Mario’s wandering eye was allegedly the cause of the break-up.

Derek Hough and Shannon Elizabeth

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In 2008, pro dancer Derek Hough teamed up with actress Shannon Elizabeth during Season 6 of DWTS. While they didn’t take home the Mirrorball trophy, they did spark a love connection.

The duo ended their relationship about a year after competing on the show. Shannon and Derek announced their split with matching tweets.

Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Karina Smirnoff

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Shortly after her split from Mario, Karina started dating fellow dancer Maksim Chmerkovskiy. This couple had insane chemistry.

After just six months of dating, Maks popped the question on New Year’s Eve in 2008. But the duo broke it off the same year. “What was meant to be a ‘life long book,’ turned into a ‘chapter’…….and now that ‘chapter’ is finished…… Se la vie…,” Maks wrote in a since-deleted tweet.

Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Peta Murgatroyd


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In 2012, the “bad boy of the ballroom” struck up a relationship with fellow pro dancer Peta Murgatroyd. The duo called it quits in 2012.

US Weekly reported that they reunited in 2014. In July 2017, Maks and Peta made it official and got hitched at Oheka Castle in Long Island, New York. But first, they welcomed their son, Shai, in January 2017. After struggling with infertility, Peta and Maks welcomed their second son, Rio John, on June 18, 2023.

Robert Herjavec and Kym Johnson

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When Shark Tank star Robert Herjavec signed on to compete in Season 20 of DWTS, he wasn’t expecting to fall in love. But he did. Robert and his pro partner, fan-favorite Kym Johnson, tied the knot in July 2016.

And in 2018, the happy couple welcomed their twins, Hudson and Haven.

Val Chmerkovskiy and Jenna Johnson

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Dancers Jenna Johnson and Val Chmerkovskiy had dated on and off in 2016. They reunited the following year, and it was on! There is no denying that this duo sizzles in the ballroom.

In June 2018, Val proposed to Jenna in magical Venice, Italy. The couple said “I do” in 2019.

Jenna and Val welcomed their first child, son Rome Valentin, on January 10, 2023. Another successful romance that started on the DWTS dance floor. Interestingly, this one has a family connection: Maks and Val are brothers.

Sasha Farber and Emma Slater

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Dance pros Sasha Farber and Emma dated for three years before splitting up in 2014. They decided to reconcile, and Sasha proposed in October 2016. Hello! reported that he popped the question after the couple danced an intimate routine on DWTS.

In 2018, Emma and Sasha were wed at Bella Blanca in Los Angeles. Sadly, the couple split up in August 2022. In February 2023, Emma filed for divorce.

So, what caused this duo to end their marriage? “It’s really the kid thing. It’s interesting because I do want to have kids, I just don’t want to delay Sasha’s path in having kids because I know that he is ready for that,” Emma explained.

Nikki Bella and Artem Chigvintsev

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WWE wrestler Nikki Bella danced with pro Artem Chigvintsev during Season 25. At the time, Nikki was engaged to John Cena.

But after she and John broke it off in 2018, Nikki started dating Artem. According to US Weekly, Artem proposed in November 2019. Then in July 2020, their son, Matteo, was born.

After delaying their wedding plans repeatedly due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the couple got married in Paris in August 2022.

Britt Stewart and Daniel Durant

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CODA actor Daniel Durant and his partner, Britt Stewart, competed on Season 31 of DWTS. Daniel is deaf. Britt learned American Sign Language to better communicate with Daniel during their season.

They placed fifth in the competition. In February 2023, the couple revealed on Instagram that they were an item. Britt and Daniel had such a strong connection while competing. I’m not surprised at all that they entered the romance zone.

It is legit that sparks fly in the ballroom at DWTS. Sometimes brief flirtations develop and quickly fizzle. Other times, happy marriages have resulted from these dance-floor romances.