WHILE Anna Trebunskaya enjoys her time on ABC's massively popular "Dancing with the Stars," most recently partnering with TV personality Carson Kressley, she's excited to take a break.

"It's nice to go back to a partner who knows what they're doing," she said.

Trebunskaya and her husband, Jonathan Roberts, another "Dancing with the Stars" alum, will pair up onstage at "Champions of Dance," coming to the Annenberg Center Thursday through Sunday. The show brings together 10 champion ballroom dancers in a performance directed and choreographed by Taliat Tarsinov, whom Trebunskaya has worked with on and off since she was 15.

But her director isn't the only familiar face in the show. She has competed against many of the other dancers. "I remember a lot of guys when they just started, but now I've seen their progress. On a human level, I know them too; I've seen them blossom and grow."

Trebunskaya believes the TV show's appeal comes from the chemistry that ballroom and other partner dance forms create between the dancers.

It's about relationships, she said, praising Kressley for his enthusiasm and sense of humor. "You dance with a partner. When you're stuck with a person for eight hours in a room, you develop a relationship. Sometimes that causes drama, and sometimes it causes fun. It's very human."

Trebunskaya loves the attention "DWTS" has brought to her profession. "It was more of a subculture where certain people knew about it. It was its own world. Now it's been opened up to millions of millions of people. It's in 30-something countries now, everywhere from Russia to Israel to Turkey to Brazil."

A down side is that people watch celebrities like Kressley perform and believe anyone can do it. "It's not as easy as it looks," Trebunskaya said. "It's not just for grandma and my grandpa."

Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, 3680 Walnut St., Thursday through Sunday, $20-$62, 215-898-6702, pennpresents.org.