Tony Dovolani’s DWTS partner for season 17 is actress Leah Remini. She is perhaps best known for her staring role in the hit comedy series “The King of Queens.” Tony and his dance partner Melissa Rycroft were season 15 “Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars” Mirror Ball Trophy champions. The two were paired together in season 8 and placed third. “To take the mirror ball home after such a competitive season, the All-Stars season that included 6 previous champions, was such a thrill. Melissa was the greatest partner and we had the best time everyday and to be rewarded for our hard work is so gratifying. It meant a great deal to me to have my choreography skills acknowledged. It was a very special season for me.” states Tony.
Tony joined the show in its second season and quickly became a fan favorite with his stellar choreography, elegance and bright smile. He has won the audience’s heart season after season and always manages to bring his celebrity partners another step closer to winning the coveted prize. His partners have included: Stacy Keibler season 2: Sara Evans season 3: Leeza Gibbons season 4: Jane Seymour season 5: Marissa Jaret Winokur season 6: Susan Lucci season 7: Kathy Ireland season 9: Kate Gosselin season 10: Audrina Patridge season 11: Wendy Williams season 12: Chynna Phillips season 13; tennis legend Martina Navratilova season 14 and Wynonna Judd season 16.
Tony’s professional body of work includes guest-hosting segments on “EXTRA,” the Golf Channel’s “The Morning Drive” and on ABC syndicated show “On The Red Carpet.” He was also featured as a special guest on the Dancing With The Stars: Las Vegas show. He is frequent guest on “Good Morning America” giving viewers his special insight into the world of “Dancing With The Stars.”
Tony recently partnered with Capezio, a leading dancewear brand offering a vast collection of beautiful shoes for all ballroom and dancesport needs – from practice to competition. In his role as a Capezio spokesperson, Tony collaborated with the brand on the 2013 Dancesport ballroom shoe collection, available December 2012, which features exciting and innovative technological advancements.
As the latest celebrity Global Brand Ambassador for Omega XL, he reveals on their upcoming show, “The Truth about Pain,” that he relies on Omega XL to get through the inevitable aches and pains that come with dancing. Tony joins other real Omega XL users who have told their stories living with joint pain in Omega XL’s current talk show style program.
He choreographed 2012 Miss Nevada pageant and was one of the judges for the 2011 Miss America competition. He teamed up with fellow “Dancing with the Stars” pro Cheryl Burke to choreograph and perform a special Paso Doble for Pixar animators at The Pixar Studios. The routine, danced to the Gipsy King’s Spanish take on “You’ve Got a Friend in Me (Para Buzz Español),” provided the inspiration behind a dance sequence in “Toy Story 3” featuring Buzz Lightyear—who gets switched into Spanish-language mode—and cowgirl Jessie. “Toy Story 3” has become the top grossing animated film world wide and won the Oscar for Best Animated Film. He played Latin bad boy competitor, ‘Slick Willy,’ in the hit film “Shall We Dance.” He was a dance instructor on the film and had the privilege of coaching and working with Richard Gere, Jennifer Lopez and Stanley Tucci.
Born in Prishtina, Kosova, on July 17, Tony began folk dancing at age three. He was 15 when he and his entire family moved to the United States. He attended Fred Astaire Dance Academy and knew he had found his passion. Tony has been a strong and successful competitor in the ballroom dancing world. He, and his partner for many years, Elena Grinenko have retired from competing and remain close friends. When he isn’t dancing on “Dancing with the Stars” he teaches and does personal appearances around the country. Tony and fellow dancers Maksim and Val Chmerkovskiy are partners in the dance studios, Dance With Me USA Dance Studios, in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
He is an avid golfer and enjoys hitting the links whenever his schedule allows, playing in Pro-AM and charity tournaments. He played in the 2012 American Century Championship at Lake Tahoe and the Humana Challenge Golf Tournament in Palm Springs. His team won the Michael Douglas and Friends Celebrity Golf Tournament and for the second year in a row won The ESPY Celebrity Golf Classic. Tony and his wife Lina are proud parents of their daughter Luana and twins, Adrian and Ariana Dovolani. They reside in Connecticut
Tony’s many dance achievements include.
• 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 with Elena Grinenko
• 2006 Emerald Ball Open Professional American Rhythm Champion[ with Elena Grinenko 5]
• 2006 United States Open Rhythm Champion with Elena Grinenko
• 2006 World Rhythm Champion with Elena Grinenko
• 2005 Ohio Star Ball American Rhythm Champion[ with Elena Grinenko 6]
• 2005 United States Open Rhythm Champion with Inna Ivanenko
• 2005 World Rhythm Champion with Inna Ivanenko