May 7th, 2012
06:00 AM ET

DWTS contestants appreciate their lifelong 'stars'

by Tomeka Jones, CNN

Editor’s Note: Monday marks the start of Teacher Appreciation Week and some of the cast from “Dancing with the Stars” stepped away from the dance floor to help honor educators around the world.

CNN asked the stars to put the spotlight on their favorite and most inspirational teachers.  Here’s what they had to say:

Maria Menounos, TV Host, Extra: Mrs. Brunner actually taught me how to speak English so I always start there…

Roshon Fegan, Actor, "Shake it Up!": I'm going to have to give the biggest coach, teacher, mentor award to my father. He is a teacher in every way of life.

Chelsie Hightower, Professional Dancer: My mom is amazing. She's been through so, so much and she's always been so strong for her kids, and always been such a good mom.

Menounos: But, then there's Mrs. Dudley who taught me to love Shakespeare.

Jaleel White, Actor, "Family Matters": I have to give proper respect to my preschool teacher. She's the only reason why I'm in the business. She thought I was funny at age 3 and told my mom this kid should be in commercials.

Kym Johnson, Professional Dancer:  Instantly, I go back to my dance teacher, my ballet teacher from when I was a little girl. When I was little she would go, “Get on that stage. Do not come off, don't run off the stage and you just fake it til you make it.”

Menounos: Then there's Mr. Howard, because my parents didn't know how to fill out college applications, who helped me so I can go to college.

Donald Driver, Wide Receiver, Green Bay Packers: My teacher was in high school, Ms. Barrel, I'll never forget her. She told me I had to go to summer school to take her class over again. And, it was an English class and it kind of upset me because I thought I did a great job, but she made it hard for me.

Peta Murgatroyd, Professional Dancer: I think I would have to say my first ballet teacher who took me right up until I was 16, like 12 years of ballet, Madam Luba from Russia. She taught me everything I knew and know.

Menounos: I have so many teachers and I keep in touch with all of them. I love them.

Derek Hough, Professional Dancer: Teachers are amazing.

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Filed under: On air • Teacher Appreciation • Voices
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Don

    I am getting very frustrated with DWTS judges. Donald Driver and his partner Peta are getting lower scores than they deserve. The judges are showing a favorable bias to the lady contestants ever dance. I don't know if I will continue to watch this program in the future!!!

    May 8, 2012 at 9:41 am |
  2. Paula

    Hate Mallissa Gilbert. Would sale my soul to the devil to be her right now!

    May 8, 2012 at 12:51 am |