Beloved Dancing With the Stars pro Louis Van Amstel and his longtime partner Julie Fryer officially announced their retirement at the Dance Legends show in NYC this Saturday, April 13, 2013. Though don't freak out DWTS fans: This does not mean that Louis is done dancing; he and Julie are just officially completing their years together as professional partners.
Wetpaint Entertainment attended the Dance Legends show on Saturday, which featured some of the top ballroom talent in the world all in one place — including three fantastic dances from Julie and Louis. Louis also gave a retirement speech where he tearfully thanked Julie and their coach, Ruud Vermeij.
It was an incredible night, but our very favorite part was speaking with Louis and Julie after the show. Here's what they had to say about their last performance and saying goodbye.
Wetpaint Entertainment: This was clearly an emotional night.
Louis Van Amstel: Yes!
How are you feeling?
Louis: I am surprised how I kept up. I got a little carried away, but I mean, it's such a bittersweet moment, special moment. It's one journey ends, another one begins. [Julie and I] will always be in contact, but it's at one point, you say goodbye to one life, because you've started another. I've been part of Dancing With the Stars for seven years now. This is different. This is coming back to my world and doing one last — you know, it's been so special. And how appropriate, because in '97 when we finished competing, I moved to [New York]. I changed my life. To be here in this city, to do this, it's so special.
What made you guys decide this was the right moment for the announcement?
Louis: Fate actually did. We've said twice we would do it. There is another festival like this in Japan. We were asked in 2004 to do it, and we said yes. We thought it was there — but it felt like a new beginning. So we rode that train for two, three years. And then we did Dancing With the Stars in Holland three, four years ago, and it just didn't feel right. And then when [we were invited to Dance Legends] — when we said yes I was like, "what did we get ourselves into?" The current world champions, and the number two, and number three are performing! When we said yes, we thought "this is the perfect moment to do it."
Obviously, you two have had an amazing partnership for many years. What do you think is the key to a successful ballroom partnership?
Julie Fryer: I think it's very much about respect. I respect Louis how he is, and he respects how I am. I think it's so important to have that and, like Louis said [during the show], not to try to change anybody. Just, okay, this is what he's good at. Let's use the strengths that we both have. And I think that's the chemistry that we have.
Louis: Also, the three numbers [we danced tonight], we decided to call the dances Determination, Chemistry, and Passion. Because those are the three ingredients you need. In any career! It doesn't matter if that's dancing, singing, acting, business. You need to have passion.
Louis: And that's one thing I think we had. Chemistry is just ... I don't know. We only rehearsed four days for this [show].
That's hard to believe!
Louis: It's the chemistry. If you're honest about who you are, and really put it together. Just the honesty and the sincerity, that's one thing we've always had. So we got together, got to work.
Julie: Have a plan, stick to the plan!
For more about Dance Legends, including info on how to buy a DVD of the show, check out the website here and follow them on Twitter @DanceLegendsNYC. Plus, you can watch some of the amazing performances from the show on their YouTube page.
Follow Louis Van Amstel on Twitter @LouisVanAmstel and Julie Fryer @julie_fryer.
Dancing With the Stars airs Mondays and Tuesdays on ABC.
Rebecca Martin is an editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter @BeccaDMartin.