The cast of Dancing with the Stars (DWTS) season 23 was announced on August 30th and there’s so much excitement in the DWTS ballroom and on social media. I am equally excited for the season to start because I am such a huge DWTS fan. This season is filled with interesting stars, new and returning professional dancers and returning judge, Julianne Hough. I have to mention that I am still in denial that my favourite professional dancer, Mark Ballas is not returning to the ballroom this season but i’ll be fine.
Disclaimer: I am not a dancer and know next to nothing about technique but there’s more to DWTS than the technique. The show allows you to learn some dance styles, get to know your favourite celebrities better, learn about the stars you had no clue existed, get mesmerized by the amazing professional dancers and obviously get your weekly dose of reality TV drama.
Here’s the season’s celebrities and their professional partners (with a little elaboration on some of the pairings): Star of Brady Bunch Maureen McCormick paired with Artem Chigvintsev, Former Texas Governor Rick Perry paired with Emma Slater, Retired wide receiver Calvin Johnson paired with Lindsay Arnold, Hip-hop artist Vanilla Ice paired with Witney Carson, Star of One Tree Hill Jana Kramer paired with Gleb Savchenko, Indy race car driver James Hinchcliffe paired with Sharna Burgess, R&B singer-songwriter Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds paired with returning pro Allison Holker, Star of Wizards of Waverly Place Jake Austin paired with new pro Jenna Johnson. I am really excited for Jenna and I look forward to seeing what she brings to the ballroom as a pro.
Reality Star of Little Women: LA Terra Jolé paired with Sasha Farber
This pair is one I’m looking forward to but I’m slightly nervous about. Terra is the first little person to be on DWTS, so it will be very inspiring to learn more about dwarfism while celebrating Terra’s amazing abilities. Terra who is a new mum has a vibrant and energetic personality, so her partnership with the very talented Sasha should be great to watch. I am keeping my fingers crossed for this team. PS: I’m a huge Sasha and Little Women:LA fan, so I might be slightly biased.
Model Amber Rose paired with Maksim Chmerkovskiy
After winning the mirror ball with Meryl Davis on season 18, Maks decided to leave the show. However, he is now back in the ballroom and sure to deliver a stellar performance. It is no secret that Maks is an excellent dancer and choreographer, but he also has no problems sharing his opinions with the judges. His partner Amber Rose is also a vocal person, so I’m interested to watch their dynamic as a duo this season. I look forward to seeing them in the ballroom and seeing how far they go this season.
Star of Taxi Marilu Henner paired with Derek Hough
Derek is DWTS royalty – He is an Emmy winning choreographer and has won 6 seasons of DWTS. After taking a break from the show last season, he decided to come back to season 23 in addition to preparing to star on Hairspray Live. This is definitely going to be one busy season for Derek but it’s nothing that he isn’t used to. His choreography is nothing short of exquisite and I am always thrilled to watch him dance.
Olympic Gymnast Laurie Hernandez paired with Valentin Chmerkovskiy
I’m really looking forward to seeing this pair kill it in the ballroom week after week. Laurie has shown from her performances at the 2016 Olympics in Rio that she has great coordination and good movement. Although because she is 16 years old, it will be interesting to see how she deals with the pressure of being live every week, in addition to the strict restrictions for young celebrities on the show. In addition to the show, she will be also participating in the Kellogg’s Tour of Gymnastics Champions. Val will probably be a great partner for her because not only is he a good teacher and choreographer, he has experience dancing with a minor (Zendaya, Season 16). Suffice to say, I expect dance magic from this pair every Monday night (Now you know what team I’m rooting for).
Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte paired with Cheryl Burke
This is easily one of the most talked about pairings so far of DWTS. After Ryan’s Rio 2016 robbery scandal, there have been questions as to why the Olympian gets a spot on DWTS. Ryan is definitely going to be dancing to win America’s heart – and some redemption – after the issues at Rio, and returning pro Cheryl Burke is the best person to guide him through the process. Will America be on Ryan’s side? Or would he be voted off early in the season? I have no idea, but I definitely cannot wait to find out.
Watch the season 23 of Dancing With The Stars, Mondays at 8pm on ABC to see how these couples do. The first episode airs September 12th. Who will be this season’s mirror ball champion? I can’t wait to find out. See you on Mondays!