“Living Legend” Lane Goodman Is Leaving “Dancing With The Stars” After 17 Years

ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” is losing one of its original judges and one of ballroom dancing’s most iconic participants. On Monday night’s episode, Len Goodman announced that this season of the show would be his last after 17 years.

Goodman has been the show’s head judge since its inception in 2005. According to his biography on the show’s site, Goodman has become “iconic” in the dance community worldwide. The 78-year-old’s “entire adult life” has been devoted to ballroom dancing in all aspects, from performing to instructing and judging.

He has judged over 3,000 routines on “Dancing With the Stars”. But after 17 seasons, he said on Monday that he is ready to spend more time at home.

“While we are all getting excited and looking forward to the finale next week, it will also be with a little bit of sadness, because this will be my last season on ‘Dancing With the Stars,'” she added. “…I have decided that I want to spend more time with my grandchildren and family in England.”

He thanked his DWTS “family”, saying that “it has been an amazing experience being a part of the show”.

“I’m very much looking forward to next week’s finale,” he concluded. “I’m sure it’s going to be absolutely fantastic.”

His announcement immediately drew praise from his fellow judges, with host Tyra Banks calling him a “living legend”.

Goodman is an award winning dancer specializing in “Exhibition” dance. He has won British Exhibition four times and was runner-up in the Exhibition World Championships and has also received the British Rising Star Award, the Carl Allen Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Banks said that several of the show’s professional dancers, including co-judge Derek Hough, had their dances judged by Goodman.

“You have inspired generations of dancers all over the world through your passion and your expertise and through your laser focused eyes,” Banks said. “And they’re going to carry that commitment to excellence forever.”

The show posted a video of Goodman’s announcement on Instagram, with the caption, “Wishing him nothing but the best, as we celebrate his last season before retirement.”

Her retirement brought even more congratulations and tokens of gratitude for her decades in the world of dance.

Professional dancer Cheryl Burke, who is also in the show, thanked Goodman for “personally inspiring me to always stick with authentic ballroom dancing”.

“You have been a big part of the reason why ballroom dancing continues to entertain the millions of people at home who gather around their TV screens every week,” she wrote. “Thank you for changing my life and bringing joy to the millions of people who have watched us over the years.”

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