Alan Bersten’s stint as Maksim Chmerkovskiy’s stand-in is over on Dancing with the Stars. The troupe dancer who is the show’s go-to replacement professional will head back to the troupe for season 24. It’s a shame because Heather is probably better off with Alan as a partner as opposed to Maks. If Dancing with the Stars is wise, though, Alan’s “demotion” should only be temporary. When season 25 starts up Alan Bersten needs to be a full-time professional dancer. 

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The (Future) Face of Dancing with the Stars

Alan is young, he’s fun and he’s everything that Dancing with the Stars should aspire to present to the audience. Alan has always been a shining face in the background of the troupe. He is almost never without a smile on his face but his personality really shone with Heather Morris. There’s something delightful and infectious about Alan’s joy and energy on Dancing with the Stars as a dancer. It’s something the show needs on a regular basis. 

It’s also a tone that easily carried over to Alan’s choreography. Season 24 was really the first time that Dancing with the Stars fans got to see Alan as a choreographer. While he has filled in for injured professional dancers before Maks’ latest injury, it’s usually been as just a stand-in. Alan has either stepped to do the professional dancer’s routine at the last minute or has taken instruction from the professional in the rehearsal. In season 24 Alan got to craft his own routines for Heather and it’s no coincidence that they were some of Heather’s best dances. 

Alan brought a joyous and electric nature to Heather’s dances. Alan wasn’t just enjoyable in season 24, he brought something unique to the table dance floor, especially when it comes to the other male dancers. With the female dancers, Lindsay Arnold brings something similar to her routines but with the male dancers no one has close to the same breezy and fun nature with their celebrity partners like Alan. Alan isn’t just a disposable goofy dancer, however — he can turn on the seriousness when needed, but it still never feels overly competitive. Alan hasn’t shown the conceptual strength in his choreography like Mark Ballas, Derek Hough or Val Chmerovskiy, but no guy has matched Alan’s energy and Dancing with the Stars needs that going forward. 

The Dancer We Need and Deserve 

Dancing is a demanding activity. It might seem cruel to imply that age is a factor when a dancing pro gets injured but the numbers really don’t lie. Before Maks, who is 37, Alan has filled in due to injuries for Mark, who was pushing 30 at the time, and Derek Hough, who was roughly the same age as Mark. 30 (and 37) are far from elderly but at just 22 years, Alan has at least 10 years on the more famous male dancers on Dancing with the Stars. Injuries are going to happen more frequently and more easily with the older professionals and it is likely that they won’t want to do the show anymore for fear of getting hurt. Mark Ballas hasn’t returned to the show after injuring himself in season 22. It makes far more sense to just give Alan professional status rather than have him fill in after the all but inevitable injuries.

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Of course, Alan isn’t the only young dancer on the cast and age doesn’t necessarily denote success. Keo Motsepe joined the show when he was just 25 but he hasn’t had done well on the show despite his age. (Though that really could just be his celebrity partners more than anything else.) Dancing with the Stars just threw Keo in the deep end whereas Alan now has a proven track record. Alan has filled in for arguably some of the best professionals on Dancing with the Stars and has gotten good celebrity partners. Alan hasn’t really been tested hard but he has succeeded with every fill-in opportunity and that’s no small feat. 

Alan isn’t assured to get to the finale or even the semi-finals if he becomes a pro in season 25, but he has earned his shot to make the run at the Mirrorball Trophy from beginning to end. The fact that he is the only member of the troupe who the average Dancing with the Stars fan can name proves that he has outgrown that status. Alan has become so popular and well-known after his substitute stints that it will be nothing less than distracting if he is back in the troupe for season 25.

But what do you think? Is it finally time for Alan to be promoted on Dancing with the Stars? Will you miss watching him dance with Heather? Does Dancing with the Stars need to make him a professional or would you rather watch the old favorites? 

Dancing with the Stars season 24 airs Mondays at 8/7c on ABC. Want more news? Like our Dancing with the Stars Facebook page!

(Image courtesy of ABC)