Koko Iwasaki’s Most Memorable Moments From Her First DWTS Season


At the end of Dancing With The Stars 90s night, Vinny Guadagnino and Koko Iwasaki went home, but the pro dancer had so many incredible moments throughout the season. At only 25 years old, Koko joined DWTS season 31 as her first season as a pro. She was partnered with the Jersey Shore star, and the pair quickly became a fan-favorite DWTS couple. Despite low judge scores, the pair made it to the DWTS quarter-finals because fans never stopped showing up for them and voting every week.


Some fans thought Vinny would be doing a much better job on DWTS if he was with a more experienced pro like Emma Slater, who’s made a lot of progress with Trevor Donovan, or Whitney Carson, who’s been at the top of the leader board every week with Wayne Brady. However, Koko defended herself, saying no one knows how hard she and Vinny work each week, and Vinny also defended her, letting fans know she’s an incredible coach. Despite what critics think, Koko had a successful season, making it very far into the competition, especially for a first-time coach. She had some unforgettable moments throughout her first season on DWTS.

Related: What We Know About New Dancing With The Stars Pro Koko Iwasaki

When Vinny Opened Up To Koko About His Anxiety

Jersey Shore's Vinny Guadagnino and his DWTS partner Koko Iwasaki

During DWTS Disney+ night rehearsal footage, Vinny told Koko that he struggled with anxiety growing up, and it came up during his dance performances. He also expressed it’s difficult to talk about since men aren’t encouraged to discuss their emotions. Koko got emotional listening to Vinny and was so supportive of his confession. The moment helped her realize she had been very hard on Vinny, and she decided to instead be more encouraging during rehearsals.

Koko & Vinny’s Luca Routine During Disney + Night

Koko Iwasaki and Vinny Guadagnino as Luca characters during DWTS Disney+ night

Vinny’s vulnerability during Disney+ rehearsals paid off, and he and Koko put on a great Luca-inspired performance. They both dressed as characters from the film, with Koko dressed as Giulia Marcovaldo. The DWTS season 31 pro utilized Vinny’s love for acting and incorporated some short skits in their Samba routine. Vinny seemed more confident than in the weeks before due to Koko choreographing a fun routine he felt comfortable performing.

When She Fist Pumped With Vinny During Most Memorable Year Night

Vinny Guadagnino and his DWTS partner Koko Iwasaki during Most Memorable Year Night

Vinny chose 2009 as his DWTS most memorable year because it was when Jersey Shore premiered. To honor the show, he chose to dance to Avicii’s “Levels.” Koko choreographed a Jazz routine for her and Vinny and made sure to include Vinny’s signature move, fist-pumping. Vinny and his friends fist-pumped at every club in Seaside Heights when the show was on the air, and Koko’s decision to include it in the routine could be why the pair earned their highest score of DWTS season 31.

Koko Did Two Group Dances During Michael Bublé Night

DWTS Michael Bublé Night

Koko stepped onto the dance floor without her partner twice during Michael Bublé night. First, she did a group dance during the opening number when Michael performed his popular cover of Dean Martin’s “Sway.” Next, she joined the singer, other pros, and judge Derek Hough during Michael’s performance of his song “Higher.” Koko showed everyone she could keep up with the seasoned pros and proved why she deserves to be on the show.

Related:Why Fans Will Miss Vinny Guadagnino On Dancing With The Stars

Koko Comforted Vinny Every Week After Judge Critiques

Jersey Shore's Vinny Guadagnino and his Dancing With the Stars partner Koko Iwasaki

The best thing a DWTS coach can do is comfort their partner when the judges critique their hard work. Koko may be a pro dancer, but she was a pro at supporting Vinny as well. The Jersey Shore star tried not to take any of the negative feedback too hard, but there were many times when he was visibly disappointed. Luckily, Koko stood by his side through all criticism and again during the weekly eliminations when he was afraid he would go home.

Koko may not have made it to the semi-finals, but she had an impressive DWTS season. She and Vinny had great chemistry, and it was apparent they had a lot of fun on the dance floor every week. Fans will not forget her first DWTS season, and she and Vinny will not forget how much fans impacted their time on the show. Hopefully, Koko will be back for DWTS season 32.

Next: How DWTS Is Helping Vinny Guadagnino To Express His Creative Side

Dancing With The Stars airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on Disney+.


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