Among the many performers on Dancing with the Stars, Anna Trebunskaya has become one of the favorites. Her talent and dedication have contributed to a meteoric rise to stardom.
The Early Anna Trebunskaya
Anna began her dancing career at the age of seven in Russia, where she was born. It came naturally to her, as both of her parents were dancers and teachers with their own studio. Her natural talent showed early, because before she turned eight she had entered and won her first dance competition. She continued to enter and win many amateur and, later, professional titles, moving to the United States with her parents at age seventeen. A year later she took the USA Amateur Youth Standard Championship in Ballroom. While her major focus is Latin dance, she is skilled in all forms of ballroom as well as trained in Pilates and Yoga for dance conditioning.
Dance Partner, Life Partner
In 2003, at the age of twenty-three, Anna Trebunskaya competed along with Jonathan Roberts in the US National Professional Rising Star competition in the "Latin" category, where they took first place. The following year they competed in the "Smooth" competition and took that one home, as well. Jonathan Roberts and Anna Trebunskaya are also married, and have continued their dancing tradition not only through the hit show "Dancing with the Stars", but also into owning and running their own dance studio, just like Anna's parents in Russia.
Taking to TV's Hit Show DWTS
Anna Trebunskaya became a part of the Dancing with the Stars professional cast in season two of the surprise hit show, partnered with football star Jerry Rice. The two did very well on the show, with the athlete complementing the dancer all the way to second place for the season. Her husband Jonathan Roberts also performed with her for the "results" show in the first three seasons. She returned in season five to be partnered with the fashion model Albert Reed, but their physical grace didn't work as well - they were voted off the show in the second round.
Season six saw Anna Trebunskaya partnered with the actor Steve Guttenberg, but they only did slightly better, being the third couple voted off. The fact that she wasn't winning the TV show was no reflection on her dance ability; at the same time she was performing on TV she was also the third-ranked Latin Dance competitor in the U.S. with partner Pavlo Barsuk. She took a break from competing, though, trying her hand at Season 9 partnered with Chuck Liddell, and in Season 10 with U.S. Olympic Gold medal figure skating champion Evan Lysacek.
More Than a Dancer
Like all the Dancing with the Stars professionals, Anna Trebunskaya is more than a talented performer - she has the ability to teach and work with her partner regardless of their skill level or age. In fact, that skill goes beyond the dance floor. In 2009 she did a photo shoot with Chuck Liddell for Sports Illustrated and showed a grace and beauty in stillness as well as motion. The collection of YouTube Videos of their performances on Dancing with the Stars is available on their dance studio website. While neither Anna nor her husband have ever won a Dancing with the Stars competition, their skill and passion for the dance, as well as ease with their partners, keep them getting invited back again and again.
Sharing the Skills and the Passion
In 2009, Anna Trebunskaya and husband Jonathan Roberts founded the "You Can Dance" Studio in Hermosa Beach, California. They are easily accessible and accept students of all ages, from "Youth Ballroom" for four and five year olds to social dance skills for the elderly. With the help of Anna's mother, Irina (who still sews Anna's competition dresses), they have managed to continue the Trebunskaya tradition of fine dance performance and education in America.