Tuesday, February 19, 2008

ABC reveals 'Dancing with the Stars' sixth-season cast

ABC has revealed the identities of the 12 celebrities and professional dancers who will be waltzing their way into primetime when “Dancing with the Stars'” sixth season premieres with a 90-minute performance episode on Monday, March 17 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

The sixth-season celebrity cast announcement was made by a trio of former “Dancing with the Stars” second-season contestants, including tenth-place finisher Kenny Mayne, fourth-place finisher Lisa Rinna and runner-up Jerry Rice - during Monday night’s live “Dance War: Bruno vs. Carrie Ann” finale broadcast on ABC. The names of the professionals they would be paired with were released on Tuesday morning.

They are:
Fabian Sanchez with Oscar-winning actress Marlee Matlin
Louis Van Amstel with Elvis’ former wife, actress Priscilla Presley
Edyta Sliwinska with NFL all-star Jason Taylor
Derek Hough with actress Shannon Elizabeth
Julianne Hough with comedian Adam Carolla
Mark Ballas with Olympic gold medalist figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi
Johnathan Roberts with tennis pro Monica Seles
Karina Smirnoff with hip-hop artist Mario
Anna Trebunskaya with actor Steve Guttenberg
Cheryl Burke with Latin heartthrob Christian De La Fuente
Kym Johnson with comedian Penn Jillette
Tony Dovolani with Tony award-winning actress Marissa Jaret Winokur

Both Sanchez and Dovolani are members of the Fred Astaire Dance Studios family. This is Sanchez’s first time on the show; Dovolani has participated many times before, being paired last season with actress Jane Seymour."Talk about diversity," “Dancing with the Stars” judge and “Dance War” coach Bruno Tonioli said following the cast announcement. "Well that makes it more interesting," agreed fellow “Dancing” judge and “Dance War” coach Carrie Ann Inaba. "Because you never know what's going to happen. It's unpredictable that way." There was one popular professional dancer whose name was demonstrably absent from the list - Maksim Chmerkovskiy. Chmerkovskiy reportedly “needs a break” and is skipping “Dancing with the Stars'” spring 2008 installment.

Following” Dancing with the Stars'” March 17 premiere in its regular Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT time slot, ABC will air” Dancing with the Stars'” first sixth-season results show broadcast on March 25 at its regular Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT time.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Sean Hayes won't be 'Dancing with the Stars'

Former “Will & Grace” star Sean Hayes apparently won't be lacing up his ballroom shoes for “Dancing with the Stars'” upcoming sixth season.

Hayes' representative has refuted a recent report that the actor would likely be competing as a Dancing with the Stars' sixth-season celebrity participant, Entertainment Tonight reported recently.

A friend of the 37-year-old previously told In Touch Weekly that Hayes had been approached to appear as a “Dancing with the Stars'” sixth-season celebrity participant.

"He's probably going to do it," the friend told In Touch. "Sean can bust a move with the best of them."

Hayes received a 2000 Emmy award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series thanks to his Jack McFarland character on “Will & Grace,” which ran on NBC from fall 1998 to spring 2006. Hayes most recently co-starred in “The Bucket List” with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman.

Dancing with the Stars 6” will debut with a 90-minute performance episode broadcast on Monday, March 17 in its regular Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT time period. ABC will then air “Dancing with the Stars'” first sixth-season results show broadcast on March 25 in its regular Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT time slot.

Dancing with the Stars'” sixth-season cast will be revealed during ABC's live two-hour finale broadcast of “Dance War: Bruno vs. Carrie Ann” on Monday, February 18 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Maples, Hayes going 'Dancing?’

Marla Maples, the 44-year-old former Mrs. Donald Trump, has reportedly been cast as a “Dancing with the Stars” sixth-season celebrity participant, In Touch Weekly reported Friday.

"She's landed a spot on the hottest show," a friend of Marla's" told In Touch. "She's in great shape, so dancing is only going to make her look even better."

In addition, the friend told In Touch that “Dancing with the Stars'” producers are hoping “The Apprentice” star will appear as a member of the show's studio audience to watch his ex dance - a scenario that seems highly unlikely. Last summer, Maples appeared in ABC's “Ex-Wives Club,” a reality series that helped recent divorcees rid themselves of everything reminiscent of their former significant other in an effort to move forward with their lives. She appeared in the short-lived show with Angie Everhart - the secret saboteur of ABC's “Celebrity Mole Yucatan” - and the former Mrs. Kevin Federline, Shar Jackson. According to a December In Touch report, former “Will & Grace” actor Sean Hayes may also be a part of “Dancing with the Stars'” sixth season cast.

In addition, E! Online gossip columnist Mark Malkin reported last week that Elvis Presley's ex, Priscilla Presley, has "signed on, or is close to signing on" to the show's sixth-season cast. “Dancing with the Stars 6” will premiere Monday, March 17 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC. As in previous seasons, the network is not commenting on sixth-season casting reports. ABC is expected to formally announce the season's cast later this month.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Dancers prepare for Las Vegas competition

A Web site dedicated to the 2008 Cross Country DanceSport Championships (CCDC) is now available to the general public.

Log on to http://www.ccdcfredastaire.com/ to learn more about this prestigious competition, which will be held April 16 to 20 in Las Vegas. Dancers from around the world will gather in Sin City this year to compete at the world-renowned Luxor resort and casino, a visually stunning hotel that is contemporarily appointed with modern amenities.

From American Smooth to Open Cabaret, International Latin to Country Western, the ballroom will be filled with amateur and professional dancers all vying for top honors. Don’t miss out on your opportunity to be part of this exciting event!

“America’s Ballroom Challenge” takes the floor

Starting Wednesday, Jan. 30, PBS began airing “America’s Ballroom Challenge,” an exciting series that brings together top dancers from around the world who compete across dance styles for the title of “America’s Best.” Dancers from within the Fred Astaire family are participating in the competition.

The series is returning for a third season with five one-hour episodes. Shot in high definition at the world’s largest ballroom dancing competition in Columbus, Ohio, “America’s Ballroom Challenge” airs Wednesday nights through Feb. 27 from 8 to 9 p.m. ET.

Hosted by actress and dancer Jasmine Guy and seven-time U.S. National Latin Dance Champion Ron Montez, the first installment of “America’s Ballroom Challenge” will feature the American Smooth competition. In coming weeks, the show will focus on American Rhythm, International Standard and International Latin.

The six finalists in each style will first compete as a group, performing the five standard dances in the category, with expert judges scoring their performances. Then the dancers will have an opportunity to shine, performing a show dance solo. Each program will end with the crowning of one couple, named champions in that style.

In the fifth and final program, the four champions will compete across dance styles for the coveted title, with each couple performing two pull-out-all-the-stops solos.