Who Is Edyta Sliwinska, Geraldo Rivera’s Partner, Of ‘Dancing With The Stars’ Season 22?

Fans who have been watching Dancing with the Stars since the show’s early days are thrilled to see professional dancer Edyta Sliwinska head back to the stage again this spring. Edyta was known for her hot partnerships and barely-there costumes in the early days of the series, but she has been gone for quite a few seasons now. Sliwinska is headed back to DWTS with Geraldo Rivera for Season 22, and fans may need a refresher on her history with the series.

Edyta Sliwinska was one of the professional dancers who was in Season 1 of Dancing with the Stars, and she made it to fifth place with partner Evander Holyfield in that debut season. This DWTS pro stuck with the series until Season 10, and now this spring will be the first time that Sliwinska is back with a partner since then. Other partners over the years included Joey Lawrence, Jason Taylor, Cameron Mathison, and Lawrence Taylor, just to name a few.

Edyta has never won the Mirrorball trophy on DWTS, but she came in second with Jason Taylor back on Season 6, losing to Kristi Yamaguchi and Mark Ballas. During Season 3, Sliwinska came in third place with Joey Lawrence, and that is the one where Emmit Smith and Cheryl Burke won Dancing with the Stars. Mario Lopez and Karina Smirnoff, meanwhile, came in second.

As Edyta’s website notes, this DWTS pro was born in Warsaw, Poland, and she started dancing when she was 10-years-old. Sliwinska moved to the United States in 2000, and she met her future husband, Alec Mazo, at a competition. They became partners both on the dance floor and off, and both joined Dancing with the Stars for its debut outing.

Alec won the first season of DWTS with Kelly Monaco, and he went on to dance with Toni Braxton, Natalie Coughlin, Josie Maran, and Paulina Porizkova before leaving the series. Alec and Edyta left Dancing with the Stars rather suddenly before the 11th outing of the series, and the buzz was that there was quite a bit of bad blood between these two pros and the producers for some time.

Edyta and Alec welcomed their first baby, a boy named Michael Alexander, in January 2014, shared People. The series has shifted a bit in the past few seasons, with some changes in production, and it seems that Sliwinska feels that the time is now right to return to the dance floor. Edyta shared with Entertainment Tonight that this Dancing with the Stars return has been in discussions for a bit now, and many viewers are jazzed to see her return.

This spring, Sliwinska is partnered with controversial journalist Geraldo Rivera. Just ahead of the premiere, Edyta told PureDWTS that Rivera has inspired her, and she thinks that he may end up inspiring many Dancing with the Stars viewers as well. She notes that she really missed all of the people associated with DWTS while she was away and Sliwinska is clearly thrilled to be back.

Can Edyta Sliwinska and Geraldo Rivera take home the DWTS Mirrorball trophy this spring? It is going to be a tough competition this time around, with the likes of Ginger Zee, Jodie Sweetin, Von Miller, Doug Flutie, and Antonio Brown in the mix, but Dancing with the Stars fans are anxious to see Geraldo and Edyta hit the dance floor and hopefully garner a lot of viewer support as they heat up the dance floor this spring.

[Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images]