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  • Writer's pictureKristyn Burtt

It's Not Disney Night Without 'The Little Mermaid' on 'Dancing With the Stars'

Updated: Sep 29, 2020

Monday marks the eighth time in the Dancing With the Stars' history that viewers will experience the magic of Disney Night. It certainly will look different than in years past since visits to the currently closed Disneyland are not allowed nor are the spectacular opening numbers. Without a doubt, the episode is sure to bring some Disney cheer regardless of COVID-19 restrictions.

The theme night, which began in Season 18, has always favored certain Disney properties over the others. Fans usually get to see a version of Mary Poppins, The Lion King, or Beauty and the Beast. Yet there's one underwater adventure that is usually guaranteed to make an appearance — The Little Mermaid.

Here are all of Sambas, Waltzes and yes, even a Rumba that we've seen on DWTS. Which one is your favorite?

Season 18: Candace Cameron Bure & Mark Ballas

Song: "Under The Sea"

Style: Samba

Watching this clip will most likely make you weep. Between the creative Mark Ballas choreography and watching him help sketch Bure's costume with wardrobe, you realize how much DWTS has changed in the last six years. Bure made a very charming Ariel samba-ing her way through the ocean floor.

Season 20: Rumer Willis & Val Chmerkovskiy

Song: "Poor Unfortunate Souls"

Style: Samba

Many celebrities want to be a Disney Princess, but that's the safe choice. Rumer Willis' insistence on playing the villain paid off in spades during Disney Night. The Samba Val Chmerkovskiy created for her was stacked with content, while she still had the opportunity to play Ursula to the max. Kudos to the then-troupe of Lindsay Arnold, Sasha Farber, Alan Bersten and Brittany Cherry for playing Flotsam and Jetsam and fellow eels in this number.

Season 22: Marla Maples & Tony Dovolani

Song: "Part Of Your World"

Style: Waltz

Marla Maples portrayed a very elegant side of Ariel in her Waltz with Tony Dovolani. While many Disney Nights skip the eliminations altogether, Season 22 did not. This was the end of the line for Maples and Dovolani and they were quite shocked by their ouster.

Season 25: Sasha Pieterse & Gleb Savchenko

Song: "Kiss The Girl"

Style: Rumba

Ariel did not make an appearance in Season 24's Disney Night, but she came back with a Rumba in Season 25. Is Ariel supposed to be sexy? Probably not, according to Disney standards, but this number had a few sultry moments interspersed with a playful move or two. Ariel was not kind to this couple either; they were eliminated at the end of the evening.

Season 27: Bobby Bones & Sharna Burgess

Song: "Part of Your World (Reprise)

Style: Waltz

This was a pretty solid routine for Bobby Bones — good in frame, but he loses it a bit when he's out of hold. Yet you can't help but watch Sharna Burgess, who is a real-life Ariel. Season 27 is a season we'll never forget because it had an unexpected ending, but we can definitely appreciate the teamwork seen by Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews in this clip.

Season 28: Lauren Alaina & Gleb Savchenko

Song: "Under The Sea"

Style: Samba

Lauren Alaina stepped into DWTS without a major background in dance, but she won viewers over with her joyous spirit. This routine was packed with Samba content, and even though Alaina didn't have the precise technique master, her playful portrayal made it a fun piece to watch.

Season 29: Monica Aldama & Val Chmerkovskiy

Song: "Part Of Your World"

Style: Viennese Waltz

Monica Aldama proved that the ballroom dances fit right in her wheelhouse. Val Chmerkovskiy gave her choreography that showcased her beautiful fluidity out there on the dance floor. (And no crazy Ariel wig needed!)


Dancing With the Stars Juniors: Sophia Pippen & Jake Monreal

Song: "Poor Unfortunate Soul"

Style: Samba

We only got one season out of the happiest show on TV, Dancing With the Stars: Juniors, but they did give us a Disney Night. Sophia Pippin might have been the sweetest Ursula to ever exist, but I loved her partnership with Jake Monreal, who took good care of the shy dancer.

Before you go, check out our interview with former DWTS creative producer and three-time Emmy Award-winning choreographer, Mandy Moore.


Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel yet? We have weekly interviews uploaded with your favorite performers and choreographers from the dance industry.

Don't miss our weekly DWTS Aftershow, available now on Patreon!


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