There are so many reasons to be excited about Dancing with the Stars season 31. The beloved ballroom dancing competition is making a big move to Disney Plus, making it the first live series featured on the streaming service. Host Tyra Banks is joined by former Mirror Ball winner Alfonso Ribeiro. There won’t be any commercials — for now, at least. And most importantly there are 16 teams of celebrities and their professional partners who will usher in a new era for the beloved dancing competition.
Let’s get to know a little bit more about the celebrities and their professional partners ahead of the competition.
Joseph Baena and Danielle Karagach
Joseph Baena is a Los Angeles native. He’s a fitness model and actor, known for his work in Called to Duty: The Last Airshow, Encounters, Bully High and Terminator 2 Remake with Joseph Baena: Bad to the Bone. Looks like bodybuilding genes run in the family — his dad is Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Daniella Karagach is the current Dancing with the Stars champion after her big win with the NBA’s Iman Shumpert in season 30. She reached the finals of season 29 while dancing with Nelly. Her numerous accolades include being a three-time US National 10 Dance champion, UK Open champion and a 2022 Emmy nominee for outstanding choreography.
Selma Blair and Sasha Farber
Selma Blair is a multi-hyphenate performer, author, advocate and entrepreneur. She’s known for her role in Cruel Intentions and appeared as Kris Jenner in The People vs. O.J. Simpson. She was nominated for a Best Spoken Word Recording Grammy Award for her reading of The Diary of Anne Frank and her recent appearance in the documentary Introducing, Selma Blair has been honored at numerous film festivals, including the SXSW Festival. The documentary chronicles her journey with multiple sclerosis and her stem cell treatments.
Russian-born Sasha Farber grew up in Australia, where he started dancing at the age of 13. He was a two-time Australian Latin Championships winner by the time he was 17. He’s been a recurring choreographer on So You Think You Can Dance and appeared as a feature dancer on Broadway and the West End. He’s been part of the Dancing with the Stars family for seven years, reaching the finals two seasons in a row.
Wayne Brady and Witney Carson
Five time Emmy winner and Grammy nominee Wayne Brady is an actor, producer, singer, songwriter and TV personality. He’s well known for Whose Line Is It Anyway? and other television and game shows, including Let’s Make a Deal and Comedy IQ. He also hosted his own daytime talk show and was the season 2 winner of The Masked Singer.
Witney Carson started dancing at the age of 3. She was in the Top 6 of So You Think You Can Dance season 9 and after her success there she ended up landing a spot as a troupe dancer in Dancing with the Stars seasons 16 and 17. It wasn’t until season 18 that she had a chance to strap on her dancing shoes as a pro in season 18 with her partner, Cody Simpson.
Sam Champion and Cheryl Burke
Sam Champion is a Good Morning America contributor and weather anchor for WABC-TV in New York. He started at Eyewitness News in 1988 and eventually went on to work at GMA and The Weather Channel, where he developed and hosted their four-hour morning show. A four-time Emmy winner, Sam also has a Peabody Award for his coverage of Hurricane Sandy.
Cheryl Burke has been dancing for well over 25 years. She quickly became a standout in the early years of Dancing with the Stars, taking home the Mirror Ball trophy with Emmitt Smith and Drew Lachey. She created a live stage show, Love on the Floor, that featured professional dancers and Olympic and World Champion ice skaters. The show made its global debut in 2016 and played to packed houses during the premiere in Tokyo. She’s also hosted several podcasts, including a podcast with her former dance partner and Backstreet Boys member AJ McLean, and she currently has her own podcast, Burke in the Game.
Charli D’Amelio and Mark Ballas
Charli D’Amelio is known as the "reigning queen of Tik Tok" after becoming the first person to hit 100 million followers on the platform. She and her family star in The D’Amelio Show docuseries on Hulu. She’s been named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 List and Fortune’s 40 Under 40 and she has partnered with several luxury brands like Louis Vuitton and Prada.
Two-time Mirror Ball trophy winner Mark Ballas has been nominated for an Emmy for his choreography on Dancing with the Stars. He’s also got an extensive theatrical background that includes Kinky Boots and Jersey Boys on Broadway. Mark trained at The Italia Conti Performing Arts School in London. In addition to dancing, he’s also a singer-songwriter and can play several instruments. He and wife BC Jean make up the indie music duo Alexander Jean. After taking several seasons off, Mark is back on Dancing with the Stars and looking for his third victory.
Heidi D’Amelio and Artem Chigvintsev
Heidi D’Amelio is probably best known in her role as Mom to social media icons Charli and Dixie D’Amelio. She stars in the family’s reality series The D’Amelio Show on Hulu. Prior to becoming a mom, however, she was a model and fitness trainer. She works hard to use the family’s platform to bring awareness and raise money for childhood cancer and natural disasters.
Artem Chigvintsev discovered his passion for dancing at the age of 13 after enrolling in the local dance academy. Prior to that, young Artem used to ski to school in what used to be the Soviet Union. After years of training and hard work he landed a spot on Strictly Come Dancing in 2010, and then he made the leap to Dancing with the Stars in 2014, where he appeared with a number of high profile partners. He won season 29 with partner Kaitlyn Bristow from The Bachelorette and has received an Emmy nomination for his choreography on the show.
Jessie James Decker and Alan Bersten
Jessie James Decker
Jessie James Decker is a singer-songwriter, TV personality and lifestyle influencer and bestselling author. As a fashion designer, she developed the Kittenish line and sells it through her three retail stores and looks to expand her footprint in the future with more locations. Her second studio album, 2017’s Southern Girl City Lights, hit the top of the Billboard Top Country Albums chart upon its debut.
Alan Bersten won the Mirror Ball in season 28 with The Bachelorette Hannah Brown. He’s a Minnesota native born to Russian Jewish immigrants. He holds Youth Championship and Under 21 National titles, but one of his proudest moments was becoming a mentor for the first-ever Dancing with the Stars Juniors. He’s been part of the show’s travelling tour for seven seasons.
Trevor Donovan and Emma Slater
Trevor Donovan grew up in Mammoth Lakes, Calif., and his passion for skiing landed him a spot on the US teen ski team. His breakthrough role came as a series regular on 90210. He then went on to star in several shows and TV movies for the Hallmark Channel and GAC network. He’s the author of three children’s books and is a passionate advocate for several causes including Habitat for Humanity and his own anti-bullying program, Team Upstanders.
Emma Slater grew up in a medieval English town, where she started dancing at the age of 5. She toured the UK, UAE and South Africa as part of the Simply Ballroom production when she was 16. She also took home the top spot in the 2005 British Under 21 Latin American Championship. Later, she appeared in George Michael’s "Round Here" music video and also starred in Mamma Mia! with Meryl Streep. She’s still very active in theater and has toured the world with several productions.
Daniel Durant and Britt Stewart
Daniel Durant is best known for his role in the Oscar-winning film CODA. He was born in Detroit and attended the Minnesota State School for the Deaf. In 2012, Daniel moved to Los Angeles to join the Deaf West Theater, where he appeared in several productions such as Cyrano and Flowers for Algernon. He’s also starred in the hit Netflix series You. In addition to his numerous roles and accolades, the city of Duluth, Minn., proclaimed April 4 to be Daniel Durant Day for his role in CODA.
Britt Stewart started out as a principal dancer in all three High School Musical movies and eventually she went on to become one of Katy Perry’s backup dancers for three years during Perry’s Prismatic Tour. After touring with Perry and appearing in Perry’s Super Bowl halftime show, she joined the cast of Dancing with the Stars as part of the troupe and travelling tour. In season 29 she became the first Black female pro dancer in the franchise. She’s a passionate artist, educator and dance arts supporter; she’s the president of the Share the Movement organization that helps make dancing accessible to BiPOC youth.
Teresa Giudice and Pasha Pashkov
Best known as a member of The Real Housewives of New Jersey, Teresa Giudice graduated from Berkeley College with a degree in fashion marketing and management. She’s also a bestselling author; in addition to her bestselling cookbooks, she has written two memoirs, including Turning the Tables: From Housewife to Inmate and Back Again. Her most valued role is as the mother to her four daughters.
Pasha Pashkov joined Dancing with the Stars in season 30 with Bling Empire’s Christine Chiu as his first partner. Pashkov was born in Russia and started dancing at the age of 10 before moving to the US when he was 15. Pasha holds titles in US National Professional Latin Show Dance and British Open to the World, among others. He’s married to fellow Dancing with the Stars pro Daniella Karagach.
Vinny Guadagnino and Koko Iwasaki
Vinny Gaudagnino catapulted to fame thanks to MTV’s Jersey Shore. Since then, he’s appeared in the Food Network series Guadagnino & Me Eat America and MTV2’s Joking Off, along with the return of the Shore crew in Jersey Shore: Family Vacation. He’s also done a residency at Chippendales Las Vegas and written two bestselling books, including his most recent book, The Keto Guide Cookbook: Delicious Recipes to Get Healthy and Look Great.
Koko Iwasaki was born in Japan and moved to the US when she was two. She started dancing at the age of 3 while living in South Florida and eventually turned pro at 16. She’s worked with a number of high profile stars such as Rhianna, Adele, Nicki Minaj and Camila Cabello, and she toured as a troupe dancer with travelling productions of So You Think You Can Dance (she was the runner-up on the show in season 14) and Dancing with the Stars Live.
Cheryl Ladd and Louis Van Amstel
Cheryl Ladd has enjoyed an illustrious career since her breakout role as a member of the Charlie’s Angels trio. Over the years she’s enjoyed roles across all genres for different studios, including the Hallmark Channel, Lifetime and Disney, while also appearing on a number of shows like Ray Donovan, Ballers and American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson. She’s also appeared on Broadway and she’s an ambassador for Childhelp.
Louis Van Amstel
Louis Van Amstel is a three-time World Dance Champion and has been nominated for an Emmy for his choreography. He’s returning to Dancing with the Stars season 31 after taking several years off. He was the first Dancing star to appear as a choreographer on So You Think You Can Dance, opening the door for a number of future crossovers between the shows. He developed a fitness program called La Blast, which helps to promote fitness and make working out fun.
Jason Lewis and Peta Murgatroyd
Jason Lewis is widely known for his role as Smith Jerrod from Sex and the City. He also starred in the NBC series Midnight, Texas. Over the years, Lewis has appeared in a number of shows such as CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Animal Kingdom, How I Met Your Mother and Charmed.
Peta Murgatroyd started her dancing career in ballet but moved to ballroom dancing after an injury. In 2002 she was the W. A. Amateur Latin State Champion and came back to win again in 2003. She’s a two-time Mirror Ball winner and now she’s balancing her dancing career and beauty line with motherhood with help from her husband, former Dancing with the Stars pro Maksim Chmerkovskiy.
Shangela and Gleb Savchenko
D.J. "Shangela" Pierce is drag queen and co-host on the Emmy-nominated HBO series We’re Here and recently announced her Fully Lit Tour. Her last tour took her to over 184 cities to play her comedy and cabaret show for sold out crowds. She’s appeared in a number of TV shows and movies over the years, including A Star is Born with Lady Gaga. She was named to the Time 100 Next List in 2019. Pierce works to promote awareness for a number of causes, including Feed the Queens, and appeared at the SMU LGBTQ Symposium to spotlight the community on campus.
Russian-born Gleb Savchenko started dancing at 7 and won his first international dance competition at 14. He’s been listed in the top 10 in the world ranking for Latin American dance, which is his specialty. He’s appeared on the UK, Russian and Australian versions of Dancing with the Stars and he’s also served as a choreographer for So You Think You Can Dance.
Jordin Sparks and Brandon Armstrong
Jordin Sparks has shot to fame as a multi-platinum and Grammy-nominated artist after her big win on American Idol season 6. Her first three singles were in the top five on the Billboard charts and she still holds records for top songs by American Idol performers. In addition to her own music, she co-wrote Ariana Grande’s hit "The Way" and has performed the National Anthem in front of huge crowds at the Super Bowl and other major sporting events. Jordin has performed on Broadway, starring in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights and she also starred in the movie Sparkle with Whitney Houston. These days she balances music, TV, film, charity work and being a mom to son DJ.
California-born Brandon Armstrong moved to Utah at the age of 12, where he danced with Mark Ballas, Corky Ballas and Shirley Ballas. He appeared in the Las Vegas production of Showstoppers and Baz. He started on Dancing with the Stars in season 24 as a member of the dance troupe and became a pro in season 27. Over the years his partners have included The Supremes’ Mary Wilson and Real Housewives’ Kenya Moore.
Gabby Windey and Val Chmerkovskiy
Gabby Windey is an ICU nurse who worked through the pandemic at the University of Colorado Hospital. She was a cheerleader for the Denver Broncos early in her career and an appearance on season 26 of The Bachelor led to her becoming one of the co-leads of The Bachelorette season 19 with Rachel Recchia.
Two-time Mirror Ball winner Val Chmerkovskiy (and brother to Maksim) joined the show in 2011. He’s a 14-time US National Champion and two-time World Dance Champion who quickly became a Dancing with the Stars fan favorite. He co-founded Dance with Me Studios, which focuses on Latin and ballroom dance. He also founded Dance with Me Juniors, focusing on inspiring kids to stay healthy and active. Val is also a classically trained violinist and has performed at Carnegie Hall and the Lincoln Center.
You can catch Dancing with the Stars season 31 this fall on Disney Plus.