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Press Release: Holland America Line Crowns Brenton Mitchell ‘Dancing with the Stars: At Sea’ Champion and Mirrorball Trophy Winner

Holland America Line Crowns Brenton Mitchell ‘Dancing with the Stars: At Sea’ Champion and Mirrorball Trophy Winner

Dec. 6 Champions Cruise with 15 guest finalists held aboard ms Westerdam

Seattle, Wash., Dec. 29, 2014 — During the Dec. 6 Champions Cruise aboard ms Westerdam, Holland America Line crowned guest Brenton Mitchell of Halifax, Nova Scotia, the line’s second “Dancing with the Stars: At Sea” Champion. Mitchell, who represented ms Neiuw Amsterdam, triumphed over 14 other guest competitors to claim the title and take home Holland America Line’s coveted “Dancing with the Stars: At Sea” Mirrorball Trophy.

A self-described amateur ballroom dancing hobbiest, Mitchell danced in the ship’s main show lounge in three elimination performances before making it to the finals where he executed a waltz and tango with shipboard dancing partner Whitney Szabo in front of a judging panel that included “Dancing with the Stars” professional dancers Kym Johnson, Artem Chigvintsev and Sharna Burgess and actress Sabrina Bryan.

“We’ve been building up to the Champions Cruise all year and it was an exciting and challenging week for all 15 guest competitors, who each deserve to be congratulated,” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. “Special praise goes out to Brenton for winning the title and dazzling a judging panel of professional dancers.”

Before Mitchell was named champion in the final round, three elimination rounds were held to whittle the 15 competitors down to three finalists. Ian Alldritt of Nepean, Ontario, Canada, representing ms Zuiderdam, and Matthew McGloin of New York City, representing ms Eurodam, also advanced from the early rounds to dance in the final evening’s competition.

The 15 Champions Cruise competitors represented each of the ships in the Holland America Line fleet and are from their respective ship’s “Dancing with the Stars: At Sea” dance competitions that were held onboard every cruise throughout the past year.

Joining the Champions Cruise to perform in a special production show were ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” professional dancers: two-time “Dancing with the Stars” champion Kym Johnson, Sharna Burgess and Artem Chigvintsev. Celebrities who have previously appeared on the hit television show and performed onboard included actress Sabrina Bryan and television personality Carson Kressley.

Additional events on the cruise included a special fashion show featuring the glamorous show costumes, a chance to meet the dance pros and celebrities, and a question-and-answer session.

The Dec. 6 Champions Cruise visited the eastern Caribbean, sailing roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., with calls at Half Moon Cay, the line’s award-winning private island in the Bahamas; St. Thomas, U.S.V.I.; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos.

Holland America Line’s partnership with ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” features the shipboard program through the 2015-16 sailing season, culminating with another Champions Cruise guest dance-off competition on the Jan. 10, 2016, western Caribbean sailing of ms Nieuw Amsterdam. Winners from cruises throughout the year could be chosen to win a free cruise to represent their ship on the next Champions Cruise. Complete rules on the “Dancing with the Stars: At Sea” dance competition are posted on www.hollandamerica.com.

The 2015 schedule also will continue to feature “Dancing with the Stars: At Sea” programming on every cruise throughout the year, in addition to six special “Dancing with the Stars” theme cruises featuring the show’s professional dancers and celebrities. Celebrities and professional dancers for 2015-16 will be announced in the coming weeks.

For more information about the “Dancing with the Stars: At Sea” theme cruises, consult a travel professional, call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (1-877-724-5425) or visit www.hollandamerica.com. Blog posts on all the competition aboard the Champions cruise can be found at www.hollandamericablog.com.

Editor’s note: Photos from the Champions Cruise featuring Mitchell and other dancers are available here: http://www2.cleanpix.com/cleanpix/portal/W1kkT-NbH-NGs.

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3 Comments
  • Mary Ellen Bugajsky

    My husband and I were on the delightful November 2014 cruise from FCO to FLL. I have been very remiss in contacting you so, “here goes”.
    I was lucky enough to participate in the “Dancing with the Stars”competition on the Prinsendam during the 2014 November re-positioning cruise from FCO to FLL. My husband does not dance at all but he was my personal cheering squad as I learned all the dances. Every aspect of the fun competition was absolutely exciting for me.
    Just think, in a little tiny way I was a part of the “Dancing with the Stars” show.
    Years ago, I had been badly injured in an auto accident and was unable to walk for a year. Finally, about 20 years later when I retired I started taking ballroom classes – it was just the tonic I needed to get “moving” again!
    I entered the competition for every dance that was taught on the Prinsendam during that 15 day cruise. What a superb blast! I was so very pleased to have won Cha-cha-cha with “my” Professional dancer Joe Sark. He made everything so much fun and my husband and I were so glad we had a professional photo taken of Joe and I. What happy memories! I will cherish these memories forever.
    I see on this blog, that Brenton Mitchell won the 2014 competition. How wonderful for him. In the group photo of the 2014 finalists I do not see the champion of our cruise, perhaps she did not beat out all of the Prinsendam winners. Could you tell me who represented the winner of our ship?
    Charles and I are planning our next Holland America cruise – perhaps even as soon as the August 2nd Zeiderman vacation from Rome to Barcelona.
    We are loyal HAL customers because of the terrific service onboard and the really great itineraries offered. Our very first HAL cruise was in 1992 for our Honeymoon. We were treated like ROYALTY. The crew even arranged a party (with a beautiful little wedding cake!) for all passengers celebrating their anniversaries. We were the only couple on a Honeymoon and everyone made a fuss over us, it was delightful. We were on the 14 day cruise from Acapulco, through the Panama Canal, on to several great islands and ending in Fort Lauderdale.
    If there is any way you can pass on to the entire cruise staff our sincerest THANK YOU I would be so pleased. I MUST also make special mention of our cabin crew. Both young men were so meticulous in caring for us and our needs – an extra special thank you to them. Like I said earlier I have waited too long to get this out to you AND I know crews change all the time so if it proves impossible to get my KUDOS to the November 2014 Prinsendam crew I totally understand.
    I was in a public contact service career for 34 years, and I know Professional, Perfect and Personal service when I see it . The three P’s are NOT found everywhere. Holland America is the tops in every department!!
    Thank you so very much for all the fun we’ve had.
    I haven’t checked but you can imagine how very thrilled I would be if “Dancing with the Stars” is a part of the August 2nd cruise. This is a promotion that seemed to please everyone on board – what a hit!
    Sincerely, Mary Ellen Bugajsky

  • Julie

    Hi Mary, we are so delighted you had such a fantastic cruise and enjoy the Dancing with the Stars: At Sea programming. While Aug. 2 is not a theme cruise, the DWTS:atSea program is still onboard and you’ll be able to participate in the classes for a chance to represent the ship on the Champions Cruise. Jacoba Wendrich represented Prinsendam. Happy Dancing!

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