Dancing with the Stars is gearing up for a new season, and longtime fans can expect a lot of changes. After airing solely to those with a Disney+ subscription for its 31st season, the competition will return to ABC this fall while airing simultaneously on the streamer. In addition to that, the cast will see a shakeup, with a new co-host, new judge and the exits of some longtime pros. While it’s nothing new for the DWTS experts to come and go, the latest exit announcements are a real bummer, as Witney Carson and Lindsay Arnold Cusick each confirmed they won’t be back for Season 32.
The longtime dancers and BFFs both announced their decisions via TikTok, explaining to their followers why they’re choosing to sit out the upcoming season. Let’s take a look at what they had to say.
Why Lindsay Arnold Cusick Is Leaving DWTS
Lindsay Arnold Cusick has been part of Dancing with the Stars since Season 16, serving as a member of the dance troupe from Seasons 17-20 until she rejoined the competition in 2015. The dancer has earned one Mirrorball Trophy, winning Season 25 of the show with actor-singer Jordan Fisher. The professional dancer also sat out last season, as she gave birth to her second daughter in May of this year. Arnold explained on TikTok that her family is the main reason why she’s not coming back to DWTS at this time. In her words:
It’s a huge time commitment, and so I’ve been thinking very heavily about it, and ultimately, this season is not gonna work out for me and my family. I know that’s not the answer that probably some of you want to hear, but at the end of the day it’s what is best for me and my family. The logistics of moving myself, my 2-and-a-half-year-old and my 3-and-a-half-month-old down to L.A. by myself for a few months is just a lot, and to be honest, a lot of it is the fact that I don’t want to separate our family.
Considering her husband wouldn’t be able to make the move from Utah to California with her, Lindsay Arnold Cusick determined that the sacrifice would be too much for her children at this time. However, she didn’t rule out coming back “down the road,” and said she wanted to continue to take it one season at a time.
Why Witney Carson Is Leaving Dancing With The Stars
Witney Carson had similar motivations in her reasoning for backing out of DWTS Season 32. Like her BFF, Carson joined the show in 2013, serving as a troupe dancer for two seasons before joining the competition in Season 18. She has since competed on every season except 29, winning the competition with now-co-host Alfonso Ribeiro in Season 19. In her own TikTok post, she explained:
This was not a decision that we took lightly at all. We definitely thought and prayed about it for a while, but we will not be doing Dancing With the Stars this season, and as much as that pains me to say, I just feel very at peace with it. You guys know that family is the most important thing to me, and we just really felt that moving our entire family across the country right now was not for us.
It seems her family also would have been in for a big move, and since she, too, gave birth to her second child in May, Witney Carson admitted that didn’t feel like she was mentally or physically ready for what is required to be on Dancing with the Stars. She said she thinks her break from the show is simply that — a break — and hopefully she’ll be back in the ballroom someday.
With both Witney Carson and Lindsay Arnold Cusick welcoming new babies just months ago, it’s probably not the most surprising thing that they’re taking the upcoming season away from DWTS, but it’s still a bummer, and their great attitudes and energy will be missed. Keep an eye on the 2023 TV schedule for that and all of the other upcoming premiere dates.