As George Bernard Shaw put it, “Dancing is a perpendicular expression of a horizontal desire,” and the Dancing With The Stars celebrities and their professional partners show nothing short of convincing desire as they heat up the ballroom floor. With every season, the celeb-pro pairings seem to get hotter and hotter with rehearsals and performances that ooze passion and undeniable sensuality.
Like the age-old saying goes, “It takes two to tango,” and wow—do these dancers know how to work their chemistry, whether real or fake. As you may know, it’s not just the judges’ scores that matter. Viewers tend to favor the couples who have that extra special something—that seemingly innate spark—couples whose emotional and physical connection draws in the audience. Sure, these dancing duos are likely hamming it up for the cameras but if their sultry rumbas, passionate Paso Dobles, and dreamy waltzes are any indication of an out-of-the-ballroom fling. We can’t help but imagine the flirty fun these 10 Dancing With The Stars pairs may have off the dance floor.
8. Hines Ward and Kym Johnson
When the twelfth season of Dancing With The Stars aired, it was clear from the beginning that then-Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver, Hines Ward and partner Kym Johnson were not only in the running for the Mirror Ball Trophy but the cutest couple award as well. Whether there was any type of romance blooming, however, remains unanswered. “I try to be romantic every day I see her, but it’s not working,” Hines said during an Access Hollywood interview as Johnson laughed off his comments, adding that the two are just good friends. Regardless of whether the cliché “good friends” is true, this is one duo that certainly heated up the dance floor.
7. Kellie Pickler and Derek Hough
The season 16 match-up of country cutie, Kellie Pickler and her pro partner, Derek Hough left viewers begging for more from these two blonde babes of the ballroom. Upon their first meeting, Pickler referred to herself as the Tinkerbell to his Peter Pan, and it wasn’t long before this pair flew to the top of the leader board. From their perfect 30 Argentine Tango that judge Bruno Tonioli said “was like watching two people become one” to their “Beneath Your Beautiful” freestyle that showcased their total immersion in each other. The connection between these two was a large part of what propelled Pickler and Hough to hoist the Mirror Ball Trophy after 10 weeks of competition. Pickler, who married songwriter Kyle Jacobs in 2011, reunited with Hough following the end of her Dancing With The Stars days for a suggestive and steamy dance scene in her, “Someone Somewhere Tonight” music video, proving that their adoration extends beyond the ballroom.
6. Helio Castroneves and Julianne Hough
Season five competitor Hélio Castroneves kissed his relationship with then-fiancée, Aliette Vazquez, goodbye when he puckered up to kiss his partner Julianne Hough at the end of their quickstep in week eight. Rumors were racing that Castroneves and Hough had become more than friends throughout the season, speculation that they both denied. Hough’s comments in a TV Guide interview, however, may prove otherwise, as she reportedly told him that she was going to look at fault if something happened between him and Vazquez.
5. Gilles Marini and Peta Murgatroyd
Although actor Gilles Marini only danced his way to week eight during season 15 of Dancing With The Stars: All-Stars, it was his relationship with pro partner Peta Murgatroyd that could have easily went all the way…if Marini wasn’t married, of course. Still, that didn’t stop Marini from testing the waters with Peta, joking during their first rehearsal that he forgets what he wants to say when looking at her. During their first meeting, Peta told the cameras, “Gilles is good looking and I know that he can dance. I know I hit the jackpot.” Despite finding themselves competing against multi-gold medalists and Super Bowl champions, Marini credited his amazing chemistry with Peta for helping propel the pair to sixth place. After all, you know there’s a connection when a rumba leaves judge Carrie Ann Inaba shouting, “Let the baby-making begin!” and falling out of her chair.
4. Mario Lopez and Karina Smirnoff
From the moment Mario Lopez met his season three professional partner, five-time U.S. Latin Champion Karina Smirnoff, sparks were flying. Lopez blushed talking about Smirnoff in his first pre-dance on-camera meeting, gushing that she was “obviously very pretty, very nice,” and adding that the two of them seem to hit it off right from the start. In the studio, the pair’s practices were a total flirt fest; Lopez admitted to being distracted by Smirnoff while watching her in the mirror and would often compliment her outfits and tease her. Although, their weekly rehearsals were nothing compared to the erogenous passion between these two, which left host Tom Bergeron joking about their “obvious lack of chemistry” and judge Carrie Ann Inaba complimenting the pair’s sex appeal and insane chemistry. Despite their sexy rumba and spicy samba, Lopez and Smirnoff danced their way to second place. The couple continued their relationship following the end of the season and dated for two years before splitting in 2008.
3. James Maslow and Peta Murgatroyd
If absence makes the heart grow fonder, it’s no surprise why Big Time Rush band member and actor, James Maslow and dancing pro, Peta Murgatroyd were so excited to be paired up for season 18. Murgatroyd, who met Maslow for dinner in early February, admitted that the two hit it off and that he was a good-looking guy. Although, she appeared uncomfortable when producers paused to ask her to elaborate on how they knew one another. Maslow, on the other hand, was a bit more open with their relationship, stating that the two were “keeping things professional,” but that he wouldn’t rule out another date.
2. Meryl Davis and Maksim Chmerkovskiy
2014 Olympic gold medalist, Meryl Davis may have struck gold again with her season 18 partner, Maksim Chmerkovskiy. In her first impression of Chmerkovskiy, Davis told Dancing With The Stars cameras that she was absolutely thrilled to be working with him, adding that he’s “a good looking guy.” The feeling seemed mutual for Chmerkovskiy who quickly inquired whether Davis and her ice dance partner, Charlie White, were dating. He admitted that he loves her and would love to marry her. So far, this notorious bad boy of the ballroom has remained a bachelor, something his grandmother and mother are not too pleased about. Could Davis be the one to finally reign in Chmerkovskiy?
1. Elizabeth Berkley Lauren and Val Chmerkovskiy
This former Saved By The Bell beauty may be married with a child, but that didn’t stop her and season 17 partner, Val Chmerkovskiy from getting chummy during rehearsals. Chmerkovskiy, who confessed to Berkley Lauren that he learned English from watching Saved By The Bell, admitted that he had a huge crush on the show’s Kelly Kapowski. Based on the flirtatious behavior around one another, it seems Berkley Lauren may have won his heart after all. These two couldn’t keep their hands off one another, especially while receiving their scores from the judges following their dances. During their week four Argentine Tango, the couple could barely gaze away from each other; host Tom Bergeron had to practically beg them to “stop being so deeply connected” as the judges prepared their scores.