Melissa said her dance background did not help her on DWTS; she said it actually worked against her.
“I wish dance experience helped you on the show,” Melissa told the Pegasus News, a paper in her native Dallas. “[Y]ou’ve got the athletes that are trained to perfect themselves ... you’ve got the actors who can emotionally get into character, and then you have the musicians who can hear music in ways that other people can’t hear it. Sometimes in the competition, that can actually hurt you. You can overdo it, your body may not react the way it should, and that’s what I experienced ... from dancing with the [Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders] ... everything that I had known from that was wrong in ballroom, and it hindered that. Tony actually had to erase what I knew because I wasn’t coming in as a blank slate.”
DWTS is hard even for the pros who do have ballroom dance experience. If you don’t have that exact training, DWTS is even more of a challenge, but anyone with a background in movement or physicality — an athlete, or a dancer in other styles — naturally has an advantage over, say, a comedian famous for doing stand-up comedy where he or she rarely moves.
But being a good dancer doesn’t necessarily translate into winning DWTS. Do you think previous dance experience is an advantage to actually win DWTS? Does it depend on the type of dance? Which “type” of DWTS celeb has the biggest advantage to win: An athlete, actor, pop star, cheerleader, or controversial character people might vote for just for drama?