Lacey Schwimmer is one of the biggest dance success stories to come out of the dual hits So You Think You Can Dance and Dancing with the Stars. Record-breaking and breath-taking, her dance career is amazing.
Early Life of Lacey Schwimmer
The initial ingredient for this young dancer's success came from her parents, Laurie Kaufmann Buddy Schwimmer (an exceptional West Coast Swing dancer himself). They also had a son, Benji Schwimmer, who was raised as a dancer along with Lacey. From a very young age they both competed in professional swing dance competitions (with other partners), and Lacey and partner Blace Thompson took first place in the 1998 U.S. Open Swing Dance Championships.
A few years later she started working with a new partner, and the team of Jared Murillo and Lacey Schwimmer became a force to be reckoned with in the Latin and Swing dance world. They took the Young Adult Division in 2004, the U.S. National Youth Latin Championship in 2006, and went on to begin dancing professionally in videos by stars such as Christina Aguilera and the TV show The Suite Life of Zack and Cody.
Dance Style Competition
Lacey Schwimmer took her dance style (which she describes as a mix of West Coast Swing and International Latin) to the tryouts for So You Think You Can Dance in 2007 knowing that she had some big shoes to fill. Her brother Benji had won the previous season, and it put her in the unenviable position of needing to prove herself not only against other dancers but against the shadow of her big brother.
She rose to the task, however, and made it to the top four finalists during the season. Her enthusiasm, grace, and chemistry with partner Kameron Bink made her a favorite of both the judges and the audience. The two of them made show history by being the only couple never to sink to the dreaded "bottom three" - that is, the couples who were in jeopardy every week of being taken off of the show. She also joined a select group of dancers from the show (including her brother Benji Schwimmer) of never being in the "bottom four" dancers as well.
After reaching the top four finalists, Lacey finally did get voted off of the show, but joined the cast for their tour and returned the following season with her brother to create an exciting West Coast Swing routine that made her father proud. However, she was already moving on to her next coup: Dancing with the Stars.
Lacey Schwimmer on Dancing with the Stars
Lacey took her place among other professional dancers partnered with celebrities on the other wildly successful dance show in 2008, partnered with boy band sensation Lance Bass. She was the first alumni of So You Think You Can Dance to join the Dancing with the Stars crew. She and Lance had a very successful run in the show, and being partnered with Lacey Schwimmer became an honor for the next two seasons as well for celebrities Steve-O and Mark Dacascos. Her amazing energy combined with intense professionalism set a great example for any dancer - including working through a bout with endometriosis in 2008 and recovering from surgery to repair a torn meniscus. After three seasons of Dancing with the Stars, Lacey moved on.
Schwimmer in Hollywood
Not content to simply rest on her laurels, Lacey took professional care to branch out into producing lines of dancewear and becoming a teacher at iHollywood Dance. She also teaches master classes internationally and appears in a wide variety of media such as The Ellen Degeneres Show, MTV Movie Awards, and the exciting "Biggest Online Dance Battle" where she got to go head to head against fellow So You Think You Can Dance alum Hok.
The career of Lacey Schwimmer is a combination of skill and determination matched with opportunity to turn the woman into a dance legend in her own time. And her career is far from over.