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Certain dances are held up as classics of the series.

  • Sabrina Bryan and Mark Ballas also had a few awesome dances even if they they got eliminated halfway through the season".
    • Their perfect 30 paso doble (which was for many years the earliest perfect score anyone got on the show at week 4 - it's since been beaten by two dances from season 19, week 3).
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  • Pro dancer Kym Johnson dancing a perfect Argentine tango with Hines Ward three days after suffering a serious neck injury.
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  • Season 17's eventual winners, Amber Riley and Derek Hough. Their tango to Kanye West's "Love Lockdown". Also notable for Amber pulling it off on a knee injury.
  • Season 18:
    • Charlie White annd Sharna Burgess' paso doble (the only paso doble of the season!). Also hats off to Sharna Burgess for making the paso doble work on a song totally unfit for a paso doble!
    • The fact that Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Valentin Chmerkovskiy, Mark Ballas and Derek Hough were put together on the same group dance. As Val said "We got like Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Kobe Bryant and Wilt Chamberlain in one team."
  • Season 19
    • The premiere episode was regarded as on of the better premiere episodes in the series' history and there are a couple of that night's routines that stood out:
    • Randy Couture was surprisingly light on his feet dancing the foxtrot with his partner Karina Smirnoff.
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    • Sadie Robertson and her fun and youthful cha cha with Mark Ballas.
      • Their beautiful and elegant Viennese waltz inspired by the Pixar movie Up; perfectly mirroring some scenes from Carl and Ellie's story.
      • Their Duck Dynasty-inspired samba (to the tune of 'Hunter' by Pharrell no less!). As Julianne Hough stated, "It is a perfect combination of content and concept."
      • The romantic, yet age-appropriate rumba to "Diamonds" by Rihanna; Mark's showing his thoughtful and caring side in catering to Sadie's beliefs yet still not derailing the integrity of the dance (it's also the 3rd time he choreographed this kind of rumba for a much younger contestant; see Shawn Johnson & Aly Raisman).
      • Their Thriller meets The Walking Dead Halloween-themed paso doble; props to the make up and costume designer who made Mark and the back-up dancers look like convincing zombies.
      • Their epic Adam & Eve contemporary.
      • Their foxtrot trio: the first ever trio to a ballroom dance in the show while using a female pro instead of a male to complement Sadie. Ballas took a big risk with this routine that got awarded with a perfect score!
      • Their adorable yet technically on point quickstep.
      • Their Argentine tango to an unplugged version of Ariana Grande's song "Problem" which made innovative choreography with a guitar.
      • And in one of the most memorable freestyles in recent memory, their Super Mario Bros.-inspired freestyle.
    • Tommy Chong and his partner Peta Murgatroyd's cha cha, with Cheech Marin on the driver's seat of a lowrider (bonus points for Peta dressed in a marijuana inspired costume!)
      • He danced a surprisingly good and technically sound salsa and able to keep up with his partner Peta. Mind you, he's 76 years old and the oldest contestant of the season!
      • Then he danced a very good Argentine tango (inspired from Scent of a Woman) where he even gets to lead Peta instead of her leading him! Eat your heart out, Al Pacino!
      • A surprisingly decent quickstep.
      • Chong injured his calf right before his paso doble dance yet still able to keep up with the choreography. Then late he re-injured his calf before he danced a rumba yet still be able to make it sensual!
      • The fact that Tommy Chong is the oldest celebrity to ever made it to the semi-finals!
      • The beautiful rumba, a beautiful capping off to an amazing contestant this season.
    • Alfonso Ribeiro closed the night with an incredible jive that earned four 9's from the judges! Then he one-upped it with a jazz dance to "It's Not Unusual", complete with the long-awaited return of the Carlton Dance to the prolonged screams of joy from the crowd. The result? A perfect 40.
  • Season 20 - The 10th year anniversary of the show:
    • The wonderfully colorful balloon painted concept of Willow Shields and Mark Ballas' Argentine Tango. A dance supposedly full of passion and maturity... and it was danced beautifully by a 14-year old. In addition to that dance, the first 39 of the season had Willow dancing to a "The Hunger Games" inspired dance.
    • Riker and Allison's Pirates of the Caribbean Paso Doble for Disney week, which earned them their first 10's.
    • Since most of the DWTS pros specialize in ballroom dances, a lot of contemporaries on the show tend to rely on fancy lifts and neglect other aspects of contemporary dance. Allison, however, specializes in contemporary, so it's no surprise that her contemporary with Riker earned a perfect score.
  • Season 21 already started out on an awesome note, with the cast leading a flashmob set to Icona Pop's "Emergency" in the middle of Hollywood Boulevard, which transitions flawlessly from the previously-filmed footage to the live show itself.
    • Runner-ups Nick Carter and Sharna Burgess had a fair share of great dances.
      • Their energetic premiere cha-cha to "I Don't Like It, I Love It".
      • Their beautiful Downton Abbey-themed Viennese waltz, which they got to do again in the finale.
      • Their sexually-charged jazz to "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)", which was set up like a Backstreet Boys concert.
      • Their disco-infused Saturday Night Fever samba to "You Should Be Dancing", a near-Shot-for-Shot Remake of the original scene, complete with the Russian squats.
      • Their touching contemporary to Haley Reinhart's cover of "Can't Help Falling in Love", dedicated to Nick's wife and unborn son. To top it off, this was their first individual dance to earn them a perfect score. (Their first perfect score period was for the team dance to "This is Halloween".)
      • In the finals, they got the chance to do another jive (with Julianne Hough's assistance) after their less than stellar one way back in the first night of week 2. The result was a fiery jive to "Runaway Baby", a rare instance of a jive being anything close to sexy. Then they topped it with a freestyle to nothing less than "Larger Than Life", in which Nick basically took what was expected from him and took it to the next level, weaving some cha-cha moves and Argentine tango lifts into an otherwise very BSB-influenced hip-hop number which ends with Nick as literally the last man standing.
    • Bindi Irwin and Derek, that season's winners, also had some awesome dances:
      • The premiere jive to, appropriately enough, "Crocodile Rock".
      • Their contemporary to "Every Breath You Take".
      • Their Dirty Dancing rumba which earned them a perfect 40 (their first perfect score of many).
      • Their freestyle to "Footprints in the Sand". Another tribute to the Crocodile Hunter himself, the dance ended with a picture of a very young Bindi with her dad being projected on the wall. Cue Tender Tears from Bindi and just about everyone else.
    • Tamar Braxton and Val's beautiful rumba to her own song, "King".
  • Special mention should be made to Derek Hough for being the only pro dancer of the show to win a Best Choreography Emmy for his three dances. In Season 16 - with guest pro dancer Jamie Goodwin - "Walking on Air" Macy's Stars of Dance. It's gravity-defying.
  • Previously, Jennifer Grey & Derek Hough held the record for most perfect scores at 6 each, with Meryl Davis/Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Rumer Willis/Valentin Chmerkovskiy later tying the record.note  By the end of season 21, Bindi Irwin and Derek topped all three couples with a grand total of 7 perfect scores. And in season 25 Jordan Fisher holds the record at 9 perfect scores.
  • Season 22:
    • Nyle DiMarco's entire run on the show, with him and partner Peta Murgatroyd eventually winning the season. Nyle is deaf yet displayed an incredible sense of rhythm (basing his movement on visual cues from Peta). Particularly of note is their Paso Doble, which featured a silent section to show what dancing is like for Nyle.
    • Long before Nyle came about, Hollywood's go-to deaf actress Marlee Matlin competed in season 6, as the show's first deaf contestant.
  • Season 23
    • Laurie Hernandez and her week 2 DuckTales (1987) routine. Her fellow Olympian Ryan Lochte's The Muppet Show quickstep was no slouch either.
      • Laurie and Val later one-upped themselves by getting a perfect score as early as week 4, equaling Sabrina Bryan and Alfonso Ribero for the second earliest perfect score (Janel Parrish and Bethany Mota still hold the record at week 3).
      • Laurie and Val's trio dance, a Samba with Maks, where Maks is Laurie and Val's dance teacher and leads them from classes to competitions. They chose the theme because Maks was indeed the person who first taught Val to dance when they were kids.
    • Sharna's first dance back after hurting her knee and being sidelined for a couple weeks? Something safe, right? How about a blindfolded Argentine Tango?
      • One of the dances James did in Sharna's absence, a Suicide Squad (2016)-themed Viennese Waltz with Jenna, went viral outside of just normal DWTS fans thanks to how well Sharna's choreography captured the characters.
      • James' freestyle to The Piano Guys' "Beethoven's 5 Secrets", which goes the extra Tear Jerker route by weaving in narration about the accident that almost killed him.
  • Season 24: Heather Morris' tango to "Toxic". Let it be noted that it's also the Glee version of the song. You know, that she sang and choreographed.
  • Season 25:
  • Lindsey's robot tango in week 6, which was incredibly edgy and also earned her her first perfect score.
  • Frankie's stalker contemporaryin week 7 is not only awesomely creepy, it also earned him his first perfect score and was also mostly choreographed by himself rather than Whitney.
  • Team Phantom of The Opera getting a perfect score on Halloween (beating Team Monster Mash's 24).
  • Lindsey Stirling's Freestyle where at one point she plays the violin while dancing and being lifted.
  • Season 27 had the following:
    • Juan Pablo Di Pace's Samba, which earned him the first 10s of the season AND the first perfect score!
    • Evanna Lynch's entire run on the show, which resulted in her pro partner Keo Motsepe making it to finals for THE FIRST TIME. Many fans rejoiced! Crossing over into happy Tear Jerker and Heart Warming Moments, her Most Memorable Year waltz to Hedwig’s Theme a.k.a. the Harry Potter franchise Leitmotif. Potterheads were hoping she’d choose that event and were not disappointed.
    • Milo Manheim's Contemporary on Halloween Night, which resulted in a perfect score.
    • Mary Lou Retton and Sasha Farber's Charleston Trio with Season 20 contestant Nastia Liukin, which took HUGE advantage of Mary Lou and Nastia's gynmastics skills.
  • Season 28:
    • Originally, Christie Brinkley-Cook was going to compete with Val as her professional partner. Five days to the premiere, however, she broke her arm during practice and had to drop out of the competition. Consequentially, her daughter Sailor took her place with only three days of practice before the Premiere. However, what's awesome is that Sailor actually manages a decent Foxtrot despite the mere three days of practice, netting a score of 18 out of 30.
    • James Van Der Beek and Emma's Tango in the Premiere is considered this by the fans (and it helps that they had the highest score of the night that week).
  • From Week 6: James & Emma's Samba. Some fans argue it should've gotten a 10 that night!
  • From Week 8:
    • Kel & Witney's Salsa to Monetell Jordan's "This Is How We Do It," netting them the first 10 of the season!
    • James & Emma's Contemporary to Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'," netting them their first perfect score of the season!
  • From Week 9 (Boy Band & Girl Group Night):
    • James & Emma's Jazz to "Bye Bye Bye" by NSYNC, netting them a 10 from guest judge Joey Fatone, who is a member of NSYNC.
    • Kel & Witney's Vienesse Waltz to Boyz II Men's "I'll Make Love To You," earning them their first perfect score of the season!
  • Season 29:
    • Skai Jackson & Alan's Foxtrot on Week 4, earning them the first 10 of the season. Doubles as Heartwarming as Skai dedicated the dance to Cameron Boyce, who just died the year before.
    • Nelly & Daniella's Samba during 80s night (Week 5) was largely considered this by the fans.
    • Johnny Weir & Britt's Contemporary on 80s night was also considered this. Not only was it the first Contemporary dance of the season, but it also netted two 10s!
    • Nev & Jenna's Swan-Lake themed Paso Doble on Villains' Night (Week 7), earning them the first perfect score of the season.
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