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Tony Dovolani


Tony Dovolani Biography (Courtesy Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)


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.

Early life

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

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. They were the third couple eliminated from the competition and finished in 9th place.

He competed in Season 5, partnered with actress Jane Seymour. 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.

Season Partner Place
2 Stacy Kiebler 3rd
3 Sara Evans 6th
4 Leeza Gibbons
5 Jane Seymour 6th
6 Marissa Jaret Winokur 4th
7 Susan Lucci 6th
8 Melissa Rycroft 3rd
9 Kathy Ireland
10 Kate Gosselin
11 Audrina Patridge 7th
12 Wendy Williams
13 Chynna Phillips
14 Martina Navratilova
15 Melissa Rycroft 1st

Performances

Season 2 - With celebrity partner: Stacy Kiebler

Week # Dance/Song/ Judges' score Result
Inaba Goodman Tonioli
1 Waltz/ "I Wonder Why" 8 6 8 Safe
2 Rumba/ "I'm like a Bird" 9 10 10 Safe
3 Tango/ "Cell Block Tango" 9 9 9 Safe
4 Foxtrot/"Cold, Cold Heart" 8 9 9 Safe
5 Samba/"Bootylicious"
Group Salsa/"Rhythm Is Gonna Get You"
10
No
10
Scores
10
Given
Safe
6 Jive/"Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go"
Group Viennese Waltz/"Fallin'"
10
No
10
Scores
10
Given
Safe
7 Quickstep/"You Can't Hurry Love"
Cha-Cha-Cha/"Since U Been Gone"
9
9
9
9
9
10
Bottom 2
8 Jive/"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' score Result
Inaba Goodman Tonioli
1 Foxtrot/ "Mandy" 5 5 5 Safe
2 Mambo/ "Papa Loves Mambo" 7 7 7 Safe
3 Jive/ "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" 8 9 8 Safe
4 Paso Doble/ "The Phantom of the Opera" 6 7 7 Safe
5 Samba/ "I Wish" 8 8 8 Withdrawn
Season 4 - With celebrity partner: Leeza Gibbons

Week # Dance/Song/ Judges' score Result
Inaba Goodman Tonioli
1 Foxtrot/ "Strangers in the Night" 5 5 5 No Elimination
2 Mambo/ "Independent Woman Part I" 7 7 7 Safe
3 Tango/ "Jealousy" 8 8 8 Bottom 2
4 Paso Doble/ "You Give Love a Bad Name" 6 5 5 Eliminated
Season 5 - With celebrity partner: Jane Seymour

Week # Dance/Song Judges' score Result
Inaba Goodman Tonioli
1 Foxtrot/ "Let's Do It, Let's Fall in Love" 8 8 8 Safe
2 Mambo/ "Cuban Pete" 7 7 7 Safe
3 Tango/ "Perfida" 9 9 9 Safe
4 Vienesse Waltz/ "Piano Man" 8 9 9 Safe
5 Rumba/ "Breathe Again" 8 9 9 Bottom Two
6 Jive/ "Modern Love"
Group Rock 'n Roll/ "Rockin Robin"
8
No
7
Scores
7
Given
Safe
7 Quickstep/ "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/Song Judges' score Result
Inaba Goodman Tonioli
1 Cha-Cha-Cha/ "Low" 6 6 6 No Elimination
2 Quickstep/ "Flip, Flop and Fly" 7 7 7 Last to be called safe
3 Jive/ "Girlfriend" 6 7 6 Safe
4 Paso Doble/ "My Family is My Life" 8 8 8 Safe
5 Samba/ "Tambourine" 8 8 8 Safe
6 Vienesse Waltz/ "Delilah"
Country Western/ "Cotton-Eyed Joe"
9
No
8
Scores
9
Given
Safe
7 Tango/ "Champagne Tango"
Rumba/ "Quando, Quando, Quando"
9
9
9
8
9
8
Bottom 2
8 Foxtrot/ "New York, New York"
Mambo/ "Ritmo de Chunga"
9
8
8
8
8
9
Safe
9 Quickstep/ "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/Song Judges' score Result
Inaba Goodman Tonioli
1 Cha-Cha-Cha/ "I Heard It Through the Grapevine"
Quickstep/ "Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen"
5
7
5
7
5
8
Safe
2 Rumba/ "Waiting on the World to Change" 7 7 7 Safe
3 Jive/ "Why Do Fools Fall in Love" 7 7 7 Safe
4 Tango/ "La Bohemia" 8 8 8 Safe
5 Hustle/ "Upside Down" 7 7 8 Bottom 2
6 Mambo/ "Si Señor!..."
Old School Hip Hop/ "It Takes Two"
8
No
8*
Scores
7
Given
Last to be called safe
7 Paso Doble/ "The Ride"
Team Cha-Cha-Cha/ "Mercy"
8
6
8
7
8
7
Eliminated
  • Score was awarded by stand in judge Michael Flatley.
Season 8 - With celebrity partner: Melissa Rycroft25.7

Week # Dance/Song Judges' score Result
Inaba Goodman Tonioli
1 Waltz/ "Moon River" 8 7 8 No Elimination
2 Salsa/ "The Cup of Life" 9 8 9 Safe
3 Foxtrot/ "Recipe for Love" 9 9 9 Safe
4 Lindy Hop/ "Brown Derby Jump" 10 9 10 Safe
5 Paso Doble/ "Poker Face" 8 8 9 Safe
6 Rumba/ "If I Were a Boy" 9 9 9 Safe
7 Argentine Tango/ "Mi Confesión"
1960's Group Dance/ "The Clapping Song"
10
No
9
Scores
10
Given
Safe
8 Jive/ "We Got the Beat"
Team Mambo/ "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)"
7
8
7
8
7
9
Bottom Two
9 Viennese Waltz/ "Angel"
Samba/ "Jaleo"
9
10
9
10
9
10
Safe
10 Quickstep/ "I Got Rhythm"
Cha-Cha-Cha/ "Save the Last Dance for Me"
9
9
10
9
9
9
Bottom Two
11 Paso 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/Song Judges' score Result
Inaba Goodman Tonioli
1 Salsa/ "Mambo Gonzon"
Foxtrot relay/ "The Best is Yet to Come"
6
Awarded
5
4
5
Points
Last to be Called Safe
2 Quickstep/ "Shall We Dance?" 6 6* 6 Eliminated
Season 10 - With celebrity partner: Kate Gosselin

Week # Dance/Song Judges' score Result
Inaba Goodman Tonioli
1 Viennese Waltz/ "She's Always a Woman" 6 5 5 No Elimination
2 Jive/ "I'm Still Standing" 5 5 5 Safe
3 Paso Doble/ "Paparazzi" 5 5 5 Safe
4 Tango/ "For Your Entertainment" 4
6
5
6
5
6
Safe
5 Foxtrot/ "Don't You (Forget About Me)" 5 5 5 Eliminated
Season 11 - With celebrity partner: Audrina Patridge

Week # Dance/Song Judges' score Result
Inaba Goodman Tonioli
1 Cha-Cha-Cha/ "California Gurls" 6 7 6 Safe
2 Quickstep/ "Love Machine" 8 8 7 Safe
3 Waltz/ "Let It Be Me" 8 9 9 Safe
4 Argentine Tango/ "Somebody to Love" 8
7
8
7
8
8
Safe
5 Rumba/"Unwritten" 7 8 8 Safe
6 Paso 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/Song Judges' score Result
Inaba Goodman Tonioli
1 Cha-Cha-Cha/ "I'm Every Woman" 5 4 5 No Elimination
2 Quickstep/ "Do Your Thing" 6 5 6 Safe
3 Foxtrot/ "Last Night a D.J. Saved My Life" 5 5 5 Eliminated
Season 13 - With Celebrity partner: Chynna Phillips

Week # Dance/Song Judges' score Result
Inaba Goodman Tonioli
1 Viennese Waltz / "If I Ain't Got You" 8 7 7 Safe
2 Jive / "The Boy Does Nothing" 7 7 7 Safe
3 Rumba / "Hold On" 8 9 9 Safe
4 Tango / "Theme from Mission: Impossible" 7 7 7 Eliminated
Season 14 - With Celebrity partner: Martina Navratilova

Week # Dance/Song Judges' score Result
Inaba Goodman Tonioli
1 Foxtrot / "Is You Is or Is You Ain't My Baby" 7 6 7 No Elimination
2 Jive / "Tell Her About It" 6 5 6 Eliminated
Season 15 - With celebrity partner: Melissa Rycroft; average: 28.0

Week # Dance/Song Judges' score Result
Inaba Goodman Tonioli
1 Foxtrot/ "Big Spender" 7.0 7.0 7.0 Safe
2 Jive / "Shout" 8.0 8.0 7.5 Safe
3 Samba / "Conga" 9.0 9.0 9.0 Safe
4 Jitterbug / "This Cat's On A Hot Tin Roof" 9.0 9.0 9.5* / 9.5 Safe
5 Tango / "Toxic"
Team Freestyle (Shawn) / "Call Me Maybe"
9.0
9.5
9.0
10.0
9.0
10.0
No Elimination
6 Viennese 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
7 Tango & Cha-Cha-Cha / "Die Young"
Swing Marathon / "Do Your Thing"
10.0
Awarded
9.5
10
9.5
Points
No Elimination
8 Quickstep / "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy"
Paso Doble (Trio Challenge) / "Rumour Has It"
10.0
10.0
10.0
10.0
10.0
10.0
Safe
9 Hustle / "Walk the Dinosaur"
Argentine Tango / Dirty Diana
9.0
10.0
9.5
10.0
9.0
10.0
Safe
10 Samba / "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 and Lisa Regal.

Achievements

  • 2006 nominated for an Emmy for outstanding choreography for Dancing with the Stars for episode #208 (Dance: Jive).
  • 2006 PBS America's Ballroom Challenge Rhythm Champion
  • 2006 Emerald Ball Open Professional American Rhythm Champion
  • 2006 United States Open Rhythm Champion with Elena Grinenko
  • 2006 World Rhythm Champion with Elena Grinenko
  • 2005 Ohio Star Ball American Rhythm Champion
  • 2005 United States Open Rhythm Champion with Inna Ivanenko
  • 2005 World Rhythm Champion with Inna Ivanenko

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. 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.

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.

See also



This biography article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Tony Dovolani". Reality TV World is not responsible for any errors or omissions this article may contain.


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