Born in Kosovo, Tony Dovolani began folk dancing at the age of three. He would later admit his dance influence by saying "When I was growing up my dad and I used to watch Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire musicals and when I moved to the U.S., I saw the opportunity to maybe be like Fred." When he was 14, he got his wish when his entire family moved to the United States and Dovolani got the opportunity to attend a Fred Astaire Dance Academy. From that moment on, he knew he had found his passion. Since that time, Dovolani has traveled the world and won many championships. He also had a featured role in the hit film 'Shall We Dance' and spent time coaching Jennifer Lopez. At one point, Dovolani competed professionally with Elena Grinenko. Together, they were the World Rhythm Champions in 2005 and 2006. His other professional accomplishments included 2006 PBS American Ballroom Challenge Rhythm Champion, 2006 Emerald Ball Open Professional American Rhythm Champion, 2005 and 2006 Ohio Star Ball American Rhythm Champion, Manhattan Dancesport Ballroom Champion and U.S. Open Champion. On his "Dancing with the Stars" (ABC, 2005- ) tenure, Dovolani partnered with the leggy WWE wrestler Stacey Keibler in season two, with the couple coming in at 3rd place. In season three, Dovolani's partner was country singer Sara Evans. The couple had to withdraw in the middle of the competition for her personal reasons. He had better luck during season four, in which he partnered Leeza Gibbons into 9th place and season five, when he partnered the graceful actress, Jane Seymour even further along in the competition - even comforting the actress when her mother died mid season, accompanying her to the funeral in England.