Dancing with the Stars 2018 Focuses on Athletes
Dancing with the Stars has brought ballroom dancing into people’s homes for 25 seasons now. While dozens of different celebrities have graced the dance floor on the show, for the 26th season, DWTS is going something a little different. All of the contestants are athletes. While current or former athletes have been on the show before (and, in fact, 10 have won!), this is the first time the entire cast is made up of those who used to professionally compete.
The lineup for this season is mostly made up of former Olympians, although the NBA, MLB, NFL, and college women’s basketball are all represented. Here’s a full rundown of the contestants:
- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, former NBA player
- Jamie Anderson, Olympic snowboarder
- Jennie Finch Daigle, Olympic softball player
- Johnny Damon, former MLB player
- Tonya Harding, Olympic figure skater
- Chris Mazdzer, Olympic luger
- Mirai Nagasu, Olympic figure skater
- Josh Norman, NFL player with the Washington Redskins
- Arike Ogunbowale, college women’s basketball player
- Adam Rippon, Olympic figure skater
Each of these athletes will be paired with one of the professional dancers from past seasons.
Athletes and Dancing
It shouldn’t come as any surprise that athletes do well at ballroom dancing. They certainly have the strength and stamina to pull off many of the more advanced dance moves. Some sports even incorporate dancing. Figure skating, ice dancing and gymnastics all include some moves that are taken straight from the ballroom dancing playbook.
Does that mean some contestants may have an edge over others? While it’s true that Adam Rippon, Mirai Nagasu and the other figure skaters may have some experience with dance, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re going to easily win. Looking at previous winners, two figure skaters and two gymnasts have won, but so have three NFL players. In the world of ballroom dancing, it’s anyone’s game.
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