Louis van Amstel is a ballroom dancer hailing from Holland, but naturalized as an American citizen in 2008 and currently appearing on Dancing with the Stars and So You Think You Can Dance. In addition, he works doing choreography and dance production work.
Early Dance Career
Graduating from the University of the Arts in Amsterdam at the end of the 1980s, van Amstel was already on his way to a successful ballroom dancing career. In his early years of competition, he very frequently competed with Julie Fryer--they were a dynamic pair that could easily combine technique and charm the audience at the same time. Van Amstel has won seven Dutch nationals and three world championships for ballroom dancing over the years; this amount of championship winning has catapulted him into all aspects of the performance world, from competition to Broadway, and on to television in America.
Louis van Amstel's Television Appearances
Louis van Amstel began appearing on Dancing with the Stars in the first season of the show, but was eliminated in the first round. He became well-known though in the second season when he was paired with Lisa Rinna and the two managed to finish in fourth place. From that moment, he has been a loved and admired American ballroom dancing champion. However, long before he was on national television, he was already one of the most talented and most medalled ballroom champions in America. In 1996, van Amstel was a finalist in the world competitions with Karina Smirnoff, and in 2000, he won the US Nationals Latin Dance competition with Joanna Leunis. It took television though to bring his name to the public.
In addition to appearing all the time on Dancing with the Stars, van Amstel began working to choreograph and train dancers on So You Think You Can Dance. Van Amstel coached Dmitry Chaplin, a loved top-ten finalist on the show. Though van Amstel's television dance pursuits have been considerable, he's still found time for Broadway and for choreography.
Beyond Ballroom Dance Competition
Van Amstel had a cameo television appearance on the soap opera All My Children, in which he appeared as a dance teacher. On Broadway, he had a very considerable role in the show Latin Fusion; the show was not only choreographed by him, but also produced and directed by van Amstel. He also appeared himself in the show, bringing his magnetic dance personality into the spotlight once again.
Van Amstel started his own company, VanDance LLC, where he is able to do independent work. At this time, he still does a lot of work in a lot of different dance realms. Living in New York for a long time, van Amstel has now relocated to Utah and occasionally teaches at the famous studio, Center Stage Performing Arts, where several famous dancers are known to have trained, including Julianne Hough.
Van Amstel Dancing Videos
Several videos of the dance star can be found on YouTube. Catch a performance with Karina Smirnoff or his samba with Kelly Osbourne. He finished closer to the top with Kelly than with any other dance partner that he had on Dancing with the Stars. For an innovative and inspiring dance performance, as well as live music, check out this special performance from Dancing with the Stars, in which he performs alongside Cheryl Burke, Dmitry Chaplin, and Anna Trebunskaya while Joss Stone performs a passionate version of Son of a Preacher Man.
All of these videos show van Amstel's incredible dance talents and style.