A new celebrity cast, and their pro partners, for “Dancing with the Stars” were announced on Tuesday during ABC’s "Good Morning America." Season 18 will feature Winter Olympians and a Paralympian, long distant swimmer, former NHL player (the show’s first), game show host, reality star, former child stars, pop stars, TV and film stars. Now get to know them a little bit better. .
Candace Cameron Bure & Mark Ballas
The former “Full House” actress is also known as an inspirational speaker. She’s the sister of Kirk Cameron who is both very committed to their faith. She’s now married to former NHL star Val Bure.
Danica McKellar & Valentin Chmerkovskiy
She’s the adorable Winnie Cooper from “The Wonder Years.” Danica is not your typical former child star and now TV actress. She graduated from UCLA, summa cum laude, who loves writing about math. McKellar has three best-selling books on this challenging subject. During her time at UCLA, Danica wrote a formula statement titled “The Chayes-McKellar-Winn Theorem.” Later it was published in Britain’s Journal of Physics.
Diana Nyad & Henry Byalikov
This extraordinary long distance swimmer is the epitome of determination, persistence, and patience. If she can attempt numerous times, and finally succeed, swimming in shark and stinging jellyfish infested waters from Cuba to Key West, Florida, this should be a cake walk for Diana.
NeNe Leakes & Tony Dovolani
Reality TV’s “Real Housewives of Atlanta” star is no stranger to other competition programs such as “Celebrity Apprentice.” Nene is currently on “Glee” in a recurring role as the new coach, Roz Washington
Cody Simpson & Witney Carson
Australia’s pop star is now a huge sensation around the world. Not surprising to see Cody is finally, and officially, a part of Season 18. Rumors of him being on the show have been on social media for months.
Drew Carey & Cheryl Burke
“C’mon down you’re the next contestant on ‘The Price is Right’” daytime game show host hasn’t far to walk. His day job is on the same lot where “Dancing with the Stars’” ballroom is located. Carey is a stand-up comedian who had his own TV sitcom “The Drew Carey Show.”
Meryl Davis & Maksim Chmerkovskiy
She’s one half of the Sochi Olympic ice dancing couple who won a gold medal for Team USA. It’s the first time someone from the U.S. won gold since this figure skating discipline was introduced in 1976. Many may consider them ringers, but they’re obviously working with different dance partners and not on ice.
Charlie White & Sharna Burgess
He’s the other half of the 2014 Winter Olympic ice dancing gold medalist champions. Even though pro dancer Derek Hough helped choreograph their short program of “My Fair Lady” during the Olympics, the judges will be tough on this separated ice skating duo.
Amy Purdy & Derek Hough
For the first time a Paralympian joins the celebrity ranks. She’s a snowboarder who lost both her legs after contracting meningitis. Amy isn’t the first contestant with a disability to appear on the show. Heather Mills was its first from Season 4. Currently Amy is training for the 2014 Sochi Paralympics.
Sean Avery & Karina Smirnoff
A former NHL player is the first from his sport to appear on “Dancing with the Stars.” Boxers, figure skaters, tennis pros, women’s soccer, and of course NFLers have tried their hand on the dance floor. Known for his crazy antics on and off the ice, as a professional ice hockey player it will be interesting to see his journey.
Billy Dee Williams & Emma Slater
He's one of the hottest actors from the 1970s. His breakthrough role was in “Brian’s Song.” This pioneering TV movie was the true story of a friendship between Chicago Bears teammates, Gale Sayers (Billy Dee Williams) and Brian Piccolo (James Caan.) Williams later starred in the early “Star Wars” trilogy from the 1980s.
James Maslow & Peta Murgatroyd
Now it’s Nickelodeon's turn to provide Season 18 with its own TV-music star. He’s on the “Big Time Rush” television show and boy band member of the same name.
The season premiere starts on Monday, March 17 on ABC at 8 p.m. ET.