The first pro dancer voted off the current round of "Dancing With the Stars," Lacey Schwimmer hasn't been totally absent.
As the popular ABC contest heads toward its 12th-season finale Tuesday, May 24, the recent dance partner of radio personality Mike Catherwood has kept working behind the scenes ... choreographing the weekly results-show performances by such music stars as Toby Keith, Backstreet Boys and New Kids on the Block.
"I've still been busy with the show, and I'm really grateful for that," says the lively Schwimmer, who reached the "Dancing" finals last time. "If you're available, it's more likely that you'll still be working with the show week to week. I enjoy doing the results shows. I like working with people and performing. That's what I do."
Schwimmer admits she hasn't minded being without the weekly pressure of staying in the competition: "You're always worried for your celebrity (partner), first and foremost. You don't want them to feel embarrassed or disappointed, so you're concentrated on making them look good and feel good.
"(In choreographing the results show,) you don't have to worry if another person is going to forget a step or point their toe. It's a lot more relaxing, but I would take (dancing with) a celebrity any day."
A contestant on Fox's "So You Think You Can Dance" (which her brother, Benji, won in its second season) before she was recruited by "Dancing With the Stars," Schwimmer continues to take being half of the first couple eliminated in March with a grain of salt.
"It's the luck of the draw,'' she reasons. "You kind of have to take this show day by day, but I've been super-thankful to have the partners I've had. Two have made it to the finals -- Lance Bass and Kyle Massey -- and I had two partners who made it to the halfway mark, Mark Dacascos and Steve-O.
"Then I got Mike this season. But you know what? We had such a good time, I've made a lifelong friend. We still talk pretty much every day. It was actually a really cool experience, even though we got kicked off first."
Lacey Schwimmer keeps 'Dancing' her own way on ABC contest