“DWTS” Pros Pay Homage to Len Goodman in Tearful Video Tribute

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Dancing With The Stars remembers Len Goodman on the six-month anniversary of his passing. 

Len Goodman served as head judge on Dancing With The Stars since the show’s inception in 2005, but more importantly, he was a mentor and friend to many who graced the DWTS stage. Tuesday night’s show (Oct 24) marked six months since Goodman tragically lost his battle with bone cancer. 

He leaves behind a legacy of passion and kindness as evidenced by the positive impact that he had on those who had the honor of working alongside him.  

Dancing With The Stars / Facebook

DWTS Cast Members reflect on the influence Len Goodman had on their lives and careers.  

Prior to taking the stage for an emotional tribute dance dedicated to Len Goodman, current and former professional dancers from Dancing With The Stars shared memories of the beloved judge in a tearful tribute video

Many reflected on Goodman’s joyful demeanor and how it extended beyond the set of the show. Mark Ballas recalled that Goodman was “such a sweetheart” and Kym Johnson-Herjavec shared that he “had so much love for the show and for all of us. It really showed through behind the scenes.” 

Derek Hough, who competed as a pro on DWTS for 17 seasons before replacing Goodman at the judges table, choked back tears as he reflected: 

“One of the things I am most thankful for, being able to judge alongside Len, is that I was able to spend a little bit more extra time with him. And for that, I am really thankful.” 

Anna Trebunskaya spoke to the impact that Goodman had on the sport, saying that ballroom “will never be the same without Len.” Louis Van Amstel expressed a sentiment that is shared by many who have been within the DTWS fold: 

“It’s an honor that I can say, ‘Len judged me.’” 

Dancing With The Stars / Facebook

DWTS Pros share more about the emotional night on social media.   

During the show, 24 dancers took the stage to perform a waltz in honor of Len Goodman. The dance was choreographed by DWTS pros Val Chmerkovskiy and Jenna Johnson. Johnson shared of the experience on Instagram

“Val and I have felt a huge responsibility to create something that Len would smile from ear to ear watching. And yesterday while we were running around giving last-minute notes and tweaks… I was stopped in my tracks at the thought of Len watching his ballroom family from the heavenly skies dance a waltz in his honor… and all the stress went away.”

Emma Slater shared a photo with long-time DWTS judge Bruno Tonioli who was overcome with emotion. Slater added: 

“Dancing for Len Goodman tonight all as one was an honor and a moment I think I’ll never forget, making time stand still for me… Grateful is too small a word.” 


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A post shared by Emma Slater (@theemmaslater)

See the emotional tribute to the late Len Goodman below.