There’s even more reasons to get excited for Season 23 of Dancing With the Stars, as the already impressive celebrity cast just added another name to their list.
The first athlete born in the 21st century to win an Olympic gold medal will join the cast for the upcoming season. Olympic gymnast Laurie Hernandez, who won gold with the Final Five in the team all-around competition at the 2016 Olympics, has agreed to appear on Dancing With the Stars for the series’ 23rd season. The 16-year-old has officially signed on, according to sources close to the athlete.
It’s been a week since Hernandez returned from Rio de Janeiro, where she recorded impressive victories for Team USA. In addition to winning the gold in the team all-around competition, Hernandez also took home the silver for her performance on the balance beam.
It remains to be seen whether series veteran Mark Ballas will return for the upcoming season, but we think that he would actually make a perfect dancing partner for Hernandez, who seemed to have won his heart with her performance at the Olympics. “I absolutely adore @lzhernandez02 just gorgeous,” Ballas tweeted in early August. “#starpower #needadanceteacher? #RioOlympics2016.”
The complete list of cast members is kept under wraps and will not be revealed until the end of the month on Good Morning America, with ABC refusing to acknowledge any form of speculation regarding names. Although not yet officially announced, multiple sources have already confirmed the involvement of Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte, Maureen MecCormick, who played Marcia Brady in The Brady Bunch, singer-songwriter Kenneth Edmonds, the lovely Amber Rose, The Fosters star Jake T. Austin, General Hospital’s Emma Samms and Terra Jole from Little Women: LA.
Those are just the few names that will be joining Hernandez on the dance floor, with actress Beverley Mitchell still in talks over a potential appearance. The list of pros on the other hand, consists of Derek Hough and his sister Julianne, who will both return as judges.
Maksim and Val Chmerkovskiy, Emma Slater, Witney Carson, Sharna Burgess, Artem Chigvintsev, Lindsay Arnold, Sasha Farber, Gleb Savchenko and Allison Holker will also return to the dance floor. The new season of Dancing With the Stars premieres on Monday, September 12, 8 PM Pacific Time on ABC.