Alan Bersten may still be rising in the ranks on Dancing With the Stars, but there’s no doubt he’s earned his status as a professional on the hit dancing competition. Alan has been practicing nearly his whole life for this moment, as he began dancing when he was just a kid.
The handsome hunk was born and raised in a Russian household in Minnesota. According to Alan, his mom and dad were very persistent in their hopes that their children would pursue careers as professional dancers.
“My parents wanted me and my brother and sister to start dancing, but they had never danced in their lives,” he told MPLS St. Paul magazine in 2018. “They found a ballroom dance studio, but it really wasn’t good enough. So they took a weird risk and opened a dance studio for us.”
After starting lessons at the age of 7, Alan quickly fell in love with the sport. “It was just a big family community we had … and it was a lot of fun,” he gushed to the outlet. “I’ve never looked back.”
Alan was first noticed for his incredible talent when he was cast as a contestant on Fox’s 10th season of So You Think You Can Dance in 2013. Sadly, he only made it to the final 12 before he got eliminated. Although he didn’t win the hit dancing competition, his gig on SYTYCD was a turning point in Alan’s life.
“In ballroom dancing, there are competitions every weekend, and I really didn’t even think I was that good when I was younger,” he explained to MPLS St. Paul. “Looking back on it, it was just something that I did, I didn’t think of making a career out of it. Then I auditioned for SYTYCD. At that point I was like, ‘Wow, maybe I could do this, I could pursue this as a career.'”
Following his run on SYTYCD, Alan joined DWTS as a troupe dancer in 2015. Each season, the show has a group of professional dancers, called the troupe, who perform on the show but are not paired with celebrity partners.
Although he remained as a troupe dancer for four years, fans got to see Alan appear on the show many times throughout. In season 22, he danced a salsa with martial artist Paige VanZant after Mark Ballas suffered a back sprain, as well as filled in and danced with actress Heather Morris for four weeks at the time Maksim Chmerkovskiy was recovering from an injury in season 24.
The following year in 2017, Alan was officially cast as a professional dancer and was partnered with Broadway actress Debbie Gibson in season 25. Since then, Alan has starred as a beloved member of the show throughout season 26, season 27 and most recently, season 28. We can’t wait to see him crush it in season 29!
Scroll through the gallery below to learn more about Alan.
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