Going down as the second youngest pro dancer in Dancing With The Stars history, the 22-year-old Utah native Lindsay Arnold Cusick is taking the dance world by storm and showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon. From favorite performances, toughest eliminations, to life and love outside of filming, Cusick sat down with us and revealed it all.
Cliché: Between being on So You Think You Can Dance and Dancing With The Stars, what do you attribute your success to?
Lindsay Arnold Cusick: I attribute all my success to my family. Without their love and support throughout the years, I truly would not be where I am today. They give me the confidence I need to achieve my goals, and without them, I would have no one to share my success with and it would not be meaningful.
On Season 22 of DWTS, you took fourth place, and just recently on Season 23, you took third. What’s your motivation to keep pushing for that top spot?
Each season, it is my goal to reach new levels whether that means placing higher than I ever have, creating new choreography that hasn’t been done before, or helping my partner become a stronger, more confident dancer/person. To me, winning isn’t about the mirrorball, but about giving my celebrity the best experience and helping them realize something about themselves they didn’t know they had in them. Obviously, I am always striving for that mirrorball win, and I believe that if I continue to do what I am doing, it will happen one day. [Winks]
To this day, what has been your favorite performance?
My favorite was definitely my freestyle with Alek Skarlatos. That was the first freestyle I have had the opportunity to choreograph and it truly was one of my proudest moments as a choreographer. I really wanted to push the boundaries and take risks, which is terrifying, but it paid off and was so worth it.
You married your high school sweetheart in 2015 and even had some of the DWTS cast in your wedding. What does that bond with them mean to you?
DWTS is truly a family and I have gained lifelong friends from this show. Having my closest friends there from the show was so meaningful to me, and I am so glad they were there to share in my favorite day.
What has been your toughest elimination?
My toughest elimination was season 22 with Wanyá. I truly believed he should have been in the finals and to see that not happen was very hard on me as a pro. I wanted him to make it there and I put so much into getting him there, so it was tough when we didn’t quite make it!
I have always felt that dance is where I can truly let go of any and all stresses in life and just be me.
I know you shouldn’t pick favorites, but who was your favorite dance partner? If you could choose you next dance partner, who would it be and why?
Honestly, I can’t answer that because each partner has been a favorite for a different reason. The best thing about the show is that each season is night and day different. You get to learn and adapt to new teaching methods, different personalities, and adjust your approach to the season based on that person. I have always joked that I would love to dance with Zac Efron or Channing Tatum, but that might be wishful thinking. [Winks]
As a dancer myself, we all have a reason as to why we dance. What’s yours?
I have always felt that dance is where I can truly let go of any and all stresses in life and just be me. I can display my emotions through my routine and truly show what I am feeling. I have been so blessed to have my passion become my job.
If you weren’t dancing, what do you think you’d be doing?
I would definitely be in school studying to become a physical therapist. I had a scholarship to go to college before I made it on SYTYCD and was going to study physical therapy.
What quote do you live by every day to get you through?
Not really a quote, but more of a motto. I always try to put things in perspective of what is truly important and what is just extra stresses that I don’t need. I try to focus on the things that matter in the long run, such as family, marriage, friendships, and my career. I try to focus on those things rather than get caught up in the day to day stresses that truly don’t matter.
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Lindsay Arnold Cusick Chats ‘Dancing With The Stars’: Photographed by Jessica Janae