Tony Dovolani

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Tony Dovolani

Dovolani at the premiere for Earth in April 2009
BornDriton Dovolani
(1973-07-17) July 17, 1973 (age 39)
Pristina, Kosovo
OccupationDancer
Website
Official website
 
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Tony Dovolani

Dovolani at the premiere for Earth in April 2009
BornDriton Dovolani
(1973-07-17) July 17, 1973 (age 39)
Pristina, Kosovo
OccupationDancer
Website
Official website

Driton "Tony" Dovolani (born July 17, 1973) is an Albanian professional ballroom dancer, instructor and judge based in New York City. He is known for his involvement in the American version of Dancing with the Stars on ABC. Dovolani also portrayed a Latin bad boy in the hit film Shall We Dance? and spent time coaching actress Jennifer Lopez.

Contents

Early life

Dovolani was born in the city of Pristina, Kosovo.[1] He began folk dancing at the age of three. At the age of fifteen, his family moved to Stamford, Connecticut.[1] He got the opportunity to attend classes at a Fred Astaire Dance Academy.[2]

Dancing with the Stars

Dovolani was partnered with professional wrestler Stacy Keibler in Season 2, where they made it to the finals and finished in third place. In Season 3, he was partnered with country music star Sara Evans. Midway through the season, Evans withdrew from the competition for personal reasons. He returned to the show on March 19 for Season 4, this time partnered with talk show host Leeza Gibbons.[3] They were the third couple eliminated from the competition and finished in 9th place.

He competed in Season 5, partnered with actress Jane Seymour.[4] They were the seventh couple eliminated from the competition and finished in sixth place. In Season 6, his partner was Broadway actress Marissa Jaret Winokur. They were eliminated in the semi-finals and finished in fourth place. Dovolani competed in Season 7 of Dancing with the Stars with actress Susan Lucci of All My Children as his partner. They were eliminated in Week 7 and came in sixth.

In the eighth season, he was originally paired with Nancy O'Dell, the then-host of Access Hollywood. However, on March 5 she withdrew from the competition because of a torn meniscus sustained during pre-season practice. With only two days to practice, Melissa Rycroft, fresh off her The Bachelor appearance, stepped in and became his new celebrity partner. They made it to the finals and took third place in the competition.

In the ninth season, he was partnered with former model and entrepreneur Kathy Ireland. They were the third couple to be eliminated, finishing in 14th place. For Season Ten, Dovolani was partnered with former reality star Kate Gosselin from Jon and Kate Plus 8/Kate Plus 8. They were the fourth couple eliminated, finishing in 8th place. For the eleventh season, he was partnered with The Hills star Audrina Patridge. They were the sixth couple eliminated, finishing in 7th place. For Season 12, his partner was talk show host Wendy Williams. They were the second couple eliminated, finishing in tenth place. For Season 13, his partner was singer Chynna Phillips. Phillips was eliminated in week four. For Season 14, his partner was tennis champion Martina Navratilova. They were the first couple to be eliminated. Dovalani was once again partnered with Melissa Rycroft for season 15 and they became champions of the season.

SeasonPartnerPlace
2Stacy Kiebler3rd
3Sara Evans6th
4Leeza Gibbons9th
5Jane Seymour6th
6Marissa Jaret Winokur4th
7Susan Lucci6th
8Melissa Rycroft3rd
9Kathy Ireland14th
10Kate Gosselin8th
11Audrina Patridge7th
12Wendy Williams10th
13Chynna Phillips9th
14Martina Navratilova12th
15Melissa Rycroft1st

Performances

Season 2 - With celebrity partner: Stacy Kiebler

Week #Dance/Song/Judges' scoreResult
InabaGoodmanTonioli
1Waltz/ "I Wonder Why"868Safe
2Rumba/ "I'm like a Bird"91010Safe
3Tango/ "Cell Block Tango"999Safe
4Foxtrot/"Cold, Cold Heart"899Safe
5Samba/"Bootylicious"
Group Salsa/"Rhythm Is Gonna Get You"
10
No
10
Scores
10
Given
Safe
6Jive/"Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go"
Group Viennese Waltz/"Fallin'"
10
No
10
Scores
10
Given
Safe
7Quickstep/"You Can't Hurry Love"
Cha-Cha-Cha/"Since U Been Gone"
9
9
9
9
9
10
Bottom 2
8Jive/"Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go"
Freestyle/"Stayin' Alive"
Samba/"Livin' La Vida Loca"
10
8
10
10
9
10
10
9
10
Third Place


Season 3 - With celebrity partner: Sara Evans

Week #Dance/Song/Judges' scoreResult
InabaGoodmanTonioli
1Foxtrot/ "Mandy"555Safe
2Mambo/ "Papa Loves Mambo"777Safe
3Jive/ "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'"898Safe
4Paso Doble/ "The Phantom of the Opera"677Safe
5Samba/ "I Wish"888Withdrawn


Season 4 - With celebrity partner: Leeza Gibbons

Week #Dance/Song/Judges' scoreResult
InabaGoodmanTonioli
1Foxtrot/ "Strangers in the Night"555No Elimination
2Mambo/ "Independent Woman Part I"777Safe
3Tango/ "Jealousy"888Bottom 2
4Paso Doble/ "You Give Love a Bad Name"655Eliminated


Season 5 - With celebrity partner: Jane Seymour

Week #Dance/SongJudges' scoreResult
InabaGoodmanTonioli
1Foxtrot/ "Let's Do It, Let's Fall in Love"888Safe
2Mambo/ "Cuban Pete"777Safe
3Tango/ "Perfida"999Safe
4Vienesse Waltz/ "Piano Man"899Safe
5Rumba/ "Breathe Again"899Bottom Two
6Jive/ "Modern Love"
Group Rock 'n Roll/ "Rockin Robin"
8
No
7
Scores
7
Given
Safe
7Quickstep/ "I Walk the Line"
Cha-Cha-Cha/ "Venus"
8
8
8
9
8
9
Eliminated


Season 6 - With celebrity partner: Marissa Jaret Winokur

Week #Dance/SongJudges' scoreResult
InabaGoodmanTonioli
1Cha-Cha-Cha/ "Low"666No Elimination
2Quickstep/ "Flip, Flop and Fly"777Last to be called safe
3Jive/ "Girlfriend"676Safe
4Paso Doble/ "My Family is My Life"888Safe
5Samba/ "Tambourine"888Safe
6Vienesse Waltz/ "Delilah"
Country Western/ "Cotton-Eyed Joe"
9
No
8
Scores
9
Given
Safe
7Tango/ "Champagne Tango"
Rumba/ "Quando, Quando, Quando"
9
9
9
8
9
8
Bottom 2
8Foxtrot/ "New York, New York"
Mambo/ "Ritmo de Chunga"
9
8
8
8
8
9
Safe
9Quickstep/ "Around the World"
Rumba/ "Just the Two of Us"
9
8
9
9
8
9
Eliminated


Season 7 - With celebrity partner: Susan Lucci

Week #Dance/SongJudges' scoreResult
InabaGoodmanTonioli
1Cha-Cha-Cha/ "I Heard It Through the Grapevine"
Quickstep/ "Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen"
5
7
5
7
5
8
Safe
2Rumba/ "Waiting on the World to Change"777Safe
3Jive/ "Why Do Fools Fall in Love"777Safe
4Tango/ "La Bohemia"888Safe
5Hustle/ "Upside Down"778Bottom 2
6Mambo/ "Si Señor!..."
Old School Hip Hop/ "It Takes Two"
8
No
8*
Scores
7
Given
Last to be called safe
7Paso Doble/ "The Ride"
Team Cha-Cha-Cha/ "Mercy"
8
6
8
7
8
7
Eliminated

Season 8 - With celebrity partner: Melissa Rycroft25.7

Week #Dance/SongJudges' scoreResult
InabaGoodmanTonioli
1Waltz/ "Moon River"878No Elimination
2Salsa/ "The Cup of Life"989Safe
3Foxtrot/ "Recipe for Love"999Safe
4Lindy Hop/ "Brown Derby Jump"10910Safe
5Paso Doble/ "Poker Face"889Safe
6Rumba/ "If I Were a Boy"999Safe
7Argentine Tango/ "Mi Confesión"
1960's Group Dance/ "The Clapping Song"
10
No
9
Scores
10
Given
Safe
8Jive/ "We Got the Beat"
Team Mambo/ "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)"
7
8
7
8
7
9
Bottom Two
9Viennese Waltz/ "Angel"
Samba/ "Jaleo"
9
10
9
10
9
10
Safe
10Quickstep/ "I Got Rhythm"
Cha-Cha-Cha/ "Save the Last Dance for Me"
9
9
10
9
9
9
Bottom Two
11Paso Doble/ "So What"
Freestyle/ "Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)"
Samba/ "Jaleo"
10
9
10
9
9
10
10
9
10
Third Place


Season 9 - With celebrity partner: Kathy Ireland

Week #Dance/SongJudges' scoreResult
InabaGoodmanTonioli
1Salsa/ "Mambo Gonzon"
Foxtrot relay/ "The Best is Yet to Come"
6
Awarded
5
4
5
Points
Last to be Called Safe
2Quickstep/ "Shall We Dance?"66*6Eliminated

Season 10 - With celebrity partner: Kate Gosselin

Week #Dance/SongJudges' scoreResult
InabaGoodmanTonioli
1Viennese Waltz/ "She's Always a Woman"655No Elimination
2Jive/ "I'm Still Standing"555Safe
3Paso Doble/ "Paparazzi"555Safe
4Tango/ "For Your Entertainment"4
6
5
6
5
6
Safe
5Foxtrot/ "Don't You (Forget About Me)"555Eliminated


Season 11 - With celebrity partner: Audrina Patridge

Week #Dance/SongJudges' scoreResult
InabaGoodmanTonioli
1Cha-Cha-Cha/ "California Gurls"676Safe
2Quickstep/ "Love Machine"887Safe
3Waltz/ "Let It Be Me"899Safe
4Argentine Tango/ "Somebody to Love"8
7
8
7
8
8
Safe
5Rumba/"Unwritten"788Safe
6Paso Doble/"Another One Bites the Dust"
Rock 'n Roll/"La Grange"
8
Awarded
8
8
8
Points
Eliminated


Season 12 - With celebrity partner: Wendy Williams

Week #Dance/SongJudges' scoreResult
InabaGoodmanTonioli
1Cha-Cha-Cha/ "I'm Every Woman"545No Elimination
2Quickstep/ "Do Your Thing"656Safe
3Foxtrot/ "Last Night a D.J. Saved My Life"555Eliminated


Season 13 - With Celebrity partner: Chynna Phillips

Week #Dance/SongJudges' scoreResult
InabaGoodmanTonioli
1Viennese Waltz / "If I Ain't Got You"877Safe
2Jive / "The Boy Does Nothing"777Safe
3Rumba / "Hold On"899Safe
4Tango / "Theme from Mission: Impossible"777Eliminated


Season 14 - With Celebrity partner: Martina Navratilova

Week #Dance/SongJudges' scoreResult
InabaGoodmanTonioli
1Foxtrot / "Is You Is or Is You Ain't My Baby"767No Elimination
2Jive / "Tell Her About It"656Eliminated


Season 15 - With celebrity partner: Melissa Rycroft; average: 28.0

Week #Dance/SongJudges' scoreResult
InabaGoodmanTonioli
1Foxtrot/ "Big Spender"7.07.07.0Safe
2Jive / "Shout"8.08.07.5Safe
3Samba / "Conga"9.09.09.0Safe
4Jitterbug / "This Cat's On A Hot Tin Roof"9.09.09.5* / 9.5Safe
5Tango / "Toxic"
Team Freestyle (Shawn) / "Call Me Maybe"
9.0
9.5
9.0
10.0
9.0
10.0
No Elimination
6Viennese Waltz / "Why Ya Wanna"
Group Country Western / "Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)"
& "I Play Chicken with a Train"
9.5
No
10.0
Scores
10.0
Given
Safe
7Tango & Cha-Cha-Cha / "Die Young"
Swing Marathon / "Do Your Thing"
10.0
Awarded
9.5
10
9.5
Points
No Elimination
8Quickstep / "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy"
Paso Doble (Trio Challenge) / "Rumour Has It"
10.0
10.0
10.0
10.0
10.0
10.0
Safe
9Hustle / "Walk the Dinosaur"
Argentine Tango / Dirty Diana
9.0
10.0
9.5
10.0
9.0
10.0
Safe
10Samba / "Conga"
Freestyle / I Was Here
Instant Samba / "Life Is A Highway"
10.0
10.0
9.5
10.0
10.0
9.5
10.0
10.0
9.5
Winners


^* The additional score of 9.5 was awarded by guest judge Paula Abdul.

Dancing

Ballroom dancing is all about the woman, according to Dovolani. He believes the man is meant to be the frame for the picture of beauty as presented by the woman.

Dovolani and his partner Elena Grinenko have recently retired from competing in the American rhythm division. Prior to his partnership with Elena, he danced with Inna Ivanenko[5] and Lisa Regal.

Achievements

Outside of dancing

Tony and Len Goodman appear along with Mary Murphy in an infomercial for the Core Rhythms workout system.

Dovolani and fellow dancers Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Elena Grinenko have created a website called the Ballroom Dance Channel. It is to help bring awareness to dancing. Dovolani and best friend Chmerkovskiy can often be found interviewing each other. The website is called ballroomdancechannel.com

Dovolani is the driving force behind the Superstars of Ballroom Dance Camp, an opportunity for people to learn from celebrity Pros from hit television shows. www.superstarsofballroom.com

Dovolani along with Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Valentin Chmerkovskiy opened Dance with Me Studio in Stamford, CT on April 16, 2012.[8] The Stamford location is the fourth in the chain and the first in Connecticut started by Dovolani, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Valentin Chmerkovskiy and their partners. The other studios are in Ridgefield, N.J., Long Island, N.Y., and Soho, N.Y.[8]

Personal life

Tony is married to wife Lina, and the couple have 3 children, a daughter named Luana and twins born when Luana was 3 years old. The twins, son Adrian and daughter Ariana, were born on September 8, 2008. Tony was in the middle of rehearsals for the seventh season of Dancing with the Stars with partner Susan Lucci when he got the call that Lina had gone into labor.[9]

See also

References

External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Donald Driver & Peta Murgatroyd
Dancing with the Stars (US) Winner
Season 15 (Autumn 2012 with Melissa Rycroft)
Succeeded by
current
Preceded by
Joey McIntyre & Ashly DelGrosso

Lance Bass & Lacey Schwimmer

Dancing with the Stars (US) third place contestant
Season 2 (Spring 2006 with Stacy Keibler)

Season 8 (Spring 2009 with Melissa Rycroft)

Succeeded by
Joey Lawrence & Edyta Sliwinska

Kelly Osbourne & Louis van Amstel

Preceded by
Jennie Garth & Derek Hough
Dancing with the Stars (US) semi-finalist
Season 6 (Spring 2008 with Marissa Jaret Winokur)
Succeeded by
Cody Linley & Julianne Hough
Preceded by
Ron Artest & Peta Murgatroyd
Dancing with the Stars (US) last place
Season 14 (Spring 2012 with Martina Navratilova)
Succeeded by
Pamela Anderson & Tristan MacManus