Witney Carson is an Emmy-nominated professional dancer who made her claim to fame on So You Think You Can Dance and later gained the title of professional dancer on Dancing with the Stars. She is vibrant, adorable, and lights up any stage she sets foot on. Her new dance-instructional app, Witney XO, is slated to release this fall where she teaches dance genres ranging from salsa to ballroom and everything in between. Carson has come a long way from those shining braces that clad her 18-year-old face in 2012. She won season 19 of DWTS, married her high school sweetheart, and conquered her melanoma diagnosis. Carson talks about her growth over the years in our Summer 2018 issue

Tell me about what your first year of marriage has been like!
It’s honestly been the best year of my life! I’m not just saying that too… I’ve never been this happy. Even winning the mirror ball trophy doesn’t compare to this feeling, and that’s saying something! Haha!

From what I understand, you and your husband Carson spent some time apart before getting together and ready to get married – what was it like to be apart for that long?
We’ve known each other for a long time, since junior high. We dated in high school, then he left on an LDS mission for two years in Romania. Those years were hard, but we stayed in touch by email every week. I was pursuing my career and he was focused on his mission. We knew if we were meant to be it would just click back when he came home, and lucky for me it did!!

I’ve read that you and Carson are planning for kids someday. Do you hope they want to dance?
I think it would be awesome for my kids to dance but I won’t force them into anything they don’t want to do. I’m open for them to do whatever it is their hearts desire. If it’s not dance, I’ll be happy, and if it is, I’ll help anyway I can.

Do you have any pre-competing rituals or superstitions?
I’m not a very superstitious person, I’ll usually be super chill for the day leading up to the performance to conserve my energy. I’ll always say a prayer before I go out, you never know what can happen live, so we need all the help we can get!!

 You are also actively involved in The Skin Cancer Foundation which supported you through your treatment for melanoma. Tell us about your experience with melanoma.
I had skin cancer about 7 years ago. I was healthy and ready to start my dancing journey on DWTS. They had found a cancerous small mole and found it had spread to my hip. They had to perform surgery on my foot and my hip to remove any trace of cancer. The surgery was a success and I’m now cancer-free!

You are using your platform to raise awareness on proper skin and health care. What would you share with our readers?
You are not invincible! Everyone is at risk for skin cancer, even a young healthy teen. Always use sunscreen. even if you’re not laying out. I have a moisturizer with 50 SPF and put it on daily, as well as a hat if I know I’ll be in the sun for a majority of the day. Make sure you reapply every 60 minutes. Melanoma is serious and deadly. Please be careful and do not sun tan in UV beds!!!

What was your favorite childhood memory?
I was blessed to have a great childhood with so many wonderful memories! One of my favorites was when I was about 14 or 15 and we performed in the Chinese New Year parade. It was my first time out of the country, and I’ll never forget it!

What are your favorite things to do in your free time and on your off season?
I love to be with family and friends. Planning get-togethers, barbecues. We love to go on the lake and boat, skiing, watching movies, hiking!

What is number one on your travel list right now?
I want to go to Europe so bad!!

What are the three things you can never leave the house without?
My ChapStick, sunglasses, and sunscreen!

 

STORY GINA DECICCO
PHOTOS JON VOLK

Read more in Volume III, Issue No. 003 – Summer 2018.

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