Len Goodman May Be Leaving ‘Dancing With The Stars’, But The Season 21 Pro Cast Is Still Amazing

Admittedly, I used to think Dancing with the Stars was for grandmas and... well, that's it. I thought it was for grandmas. Ballroom dancing was never my thing, and while I've watched several seasons of the ABC reality series for work purposes, I wouldn't say I ever really enjoyed a season of it, save for the year Kirstie Alley was on and partnered with Maksim Chmerkovskiy, because she's hilarious and he's hot. But I digress. Eventually I came around to the camp of it all and started to love it, which is why I'm pretty sad to hear that Len Goodman is leaving DWTS after 11 years on the judges panel. Talk about bad news!

That's not to say that Goodman will be gone completely. He could still be involved in Cycle 21 in some capacity or another, though to what extent has yet to be revealed. Dancing with the Stars executive producer Rob Wade confirmed Goodman's exit to Glamour, saying, "Len will not be returning as a judge this season on Dancing with the Stars due to his schedule as a judge on Strictly Come Dancing in the UK and the birth of his new grandson. He still might be involved in the season at some capacity, but we will have to wait and see. We are planning on having great guest judges for some shows to join Bruno, Carrie Ann and Julianne, and I'm sure we will see Len in the ballroom again soon." Sad, but totally understandable, right?

Given that Goodman is now 71 years old, I can't imagine he feels like flying back and forth between Los Angeles and London several times a week in order to meet the filming demands of both the US and UK version of the celebrity dancing show, so that alone is enough of a reason for him to take a bow from Dancing with the Stars, no matter how much he loves it. Wanting to spend time his family is just the cherry on top, and while he'll certainly be missed on the panel when the show returns, I have a feeling he won't be staying away for too long. I'd expect a guest appearance or two this season, for sure.

In the meantime, at least we know the professionals who will be teaming up with the celebrities next season, and that's something to cheer us up, right? Karina Smirnoff will be returning, which is welcome news given that she didn't dance at all during Cycle 20. Val Chmerkovskiy, Derek Hough, and Mark Ballas will also be dancing, along with Peta Murgatroyd, Witney Carson, Allison Holker, Sharna Burgess, and Artem Chigvintsev. It sounds like an amazing pro team, so something tells me the competition is going to be fiercer than ever during Cycle 21.

Images: Getty Images; Adam Taylor/ABC