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Martina Navratilova to Compete on 'Dancing with the Stars' - Watch Full Announcement: VIDEO


Not sure when announcement of the Dancing with the Stars cast became such an 'event', but there was a big to-do on Good Morning America this morning.

Other competitors include Jack Wagner, Melissa Gilbert, Donald Driver, William Levy, Sherri Shepherd, Katherine Jenkins, Gavin DeGraw, Roshon Fegan, Maria Menounos, Jaleel White, and Gladys Knight.

Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. I saw this on TV Line's website (, which has a listing of the complete cast, as well as naming the cast's dance partners.

    I'll ask, here, the same question I asked there, as well as at

    Why is Martina Navratilova’s dance partner male? She came out of the closet decades ago. Can the producers not find a female “professional partner” to dance with her?

    (According to TV Line, Navratilova' partner is Tony Dovolani.)

    Posted by: Eric Payne | Feb 28, 2012 10:34:12 AM

  2. William Levy - yum! If they put him in a shirt, I'm boycotting.

    Posted by: Brian | Feb 28, 2012 10:40:24 AM

  3. I love that "cultural icon" means lesbian now...

    Posted by: Eric | Feb 28, 2012 10:41:28 AM

  4. Perhaps DWTS doesn't want to have token gay people but rather pairs. So this seans they have Melissa Gilbert and Martina Navratilova at the same time.

    Posted by: Charlie | Feb 28, 2012 10:43:40 AM

  5. it is very important info

    Posted by: | Feb 28, 2012 11:07:02 AM

  6. But where are the stars..?

    Posted by: Rex Mundi | Feb 28, 2012 11:11:16 AM

  7. @Eric Payne: They're dancing, not having sex. Why would her dance partner need to be female?

    Posted by: Rex Mundi | Feb 28, 2012 11:13:43 AM

  8. Even for her age, Martina Navratilova is in excellent shape & a fierce competitor. She will bring it to the dance floor.

    Posted by: Marcito | Feb 28, 2012 11:15:21 AM

  9. @Rex Munch - If she went out dancing in her private life, what gender would her dance partner be? As you said: They're dancing. Not having sex. So why should her dance partner be male?

    @Charlie - it's Sara Gilbert, Not Melissa, that's gay. Melissa just getting out of a 20+ year marriage from actor Bruce Boxleitner.

    Posted by: Eric Payne | Feb 28, 2012 11:22:31 AM

  10. @Eric Payne: But this is not her dancing at a club. This is a competition based on traditional forms of dance, where all dancing partners need to be judged based on the same criteria.

    A lesbian doing the tango with a man is not some affront to homosexuality.

    Posted by: Rex Mundi | Feb 28, 2012 11:26:01 AM

  11. If you're interested in seeing same-sex pairs on DWTS in the future, sign and share this:

    The Stir had a good post in late 2011 about some of the issues popping up in these comments (like whether the "traditional" aspect matters):

    Posted by: E Morrison | Feb 28, 2012 11:49:58 AM

  12. @Rex Mundi - All I'm asking is why she's partnered with a male professional... but now, I also wonder why you're adamant the couples on this show be mixed-gender teams.

    Obviously, Martina is okay with it, or she wouldn't be doing the show. I just want the backstory... was a female partner even considered?

    Part of the beauty of a good dance team is the translation of sexual chemistry/tension between the couple being translated into the movement of the dance. With a male partner, Martina is going to be starting each dance in a "negative" position... "negative" meaning that chemistry will be absent her performance.

    Posted by: Eric Payne | Feb 28, 2012 11:54:04 AM

  13. For me, the issue is less about the idea of tradition, and more about the fact that you'd have a big muscular guy like Maksim lifting people over his head and competing against two much smaller women.

    Posted by: Rex Mundi | Feb 28, 2012 11:54:30 AM

  14. I'm pretty sure Martina had some say in the gender of her dance partner. Personally I think a male dance partner will bring out the competitive side of Martina. I'll watch the show for her but only her.

    Posted by: OS2guy | Feb 28, 2012 12:32:20 PM

  15. Funny, how when it's a lesbian it's suddenly "not so important" that she's paired up with another female, since they're just dancing not having sex.

    I'm sure those people would be singing a different tune, if a gay male was on the show.

    Posted by: Kamikapse | Feb 28, 2012 12:46:54 PM

  16. @KAMIKAPSE: I assure you, I'd feel the same way. Who doesn't love seeing a gay man dancing with a scantily-dressed, overly tan woman? That's the principle of a great number of gay bars in this world.

    Posted by: Rex Mundi | Feb 28, 2012 12:51:15 PM

  17. What ever happened to Louis Von Amstel? This is the second season he's not in. Given that he's the only openly gay dancer on the show, I find that to be sad.

    Posted by: Sarina | Feb 28, 2012 12:56:25 PM

  18. @Kamikapse -- Lance Bass did the show, with a female partner... which was ironic given he was added to the cast because of the publicity of his coming out...

    He didn't win. I believe actress/model/former reality game show host Brooke Burns won.

    Posted by: Eric Payne | Feb 28, 2012 1:41:21 PM

  19. Is it a rule that one Disney Channel star has to be included in the cast? Thankfully, Selena Gomez has more sense than to sign up for this.

    Posted by: Keith | Feb 28, 2012 1:52:05 PM

  20. I've never watched the show, but I am a huge admirer of the great Martina Navratilova, and I will make it a point to watch this season.

    P.S. It would've been kinda funny if they'd hired Chris Evert to compete on the same season...

    Posted by: Andy | Feb 28, 2012 1:56:52 PM

  21. So it's her and 11 people who I've never heard of or known about? Well that sounds fascinating.

    Though I saw her play a couple years back, and though her lines were a bit canned, she was charming. Also met her at a charity event in 1992 shortly after she came out, and she was the same. And the amount of knowledge that I have about tennis could fit into a very tiny little bottle.

    Posted by: Paul R | Feb 28, 2012 2:00:05 PM

  22. Ballroom dancing is a sport/activity that is defined by male/female pairings. This is because male and female bodies have differing (and hopefully) complementary strengths and weaknesses. Also, some of the dances have specific moves for the dancer of one sex or the other. While it may be anathema to identify things in this way for the gays, if a same-sex pairing was allowed, there would have to be constant clarification as to which partner is the "man" and which is the "woman" in any particular routine. As has been said above, it's not about what these folks do in their bedrooms, it's about how things work on the dancefloor.

    Posted by: Jere | Feb 28, 2012 3:19:36 PM

  23. Wow.. Is there a nice way of saying those are not really stars? They've gone down a level for sure.

    Posted by: MKe | Feb 28, 2012 4:22:05 PM

  24. Unless she's dancing with a woman, I won't be watching. Tired of enabling bigotry.

    Posted by: Randy | Feb 28, 2012 4:36:57 PM

  25. @Randy: And I'm tired of people seeing bigotry everywhere they look. Stop playing the victim.

    Posted by: Rex Mundi | Feb 28, 2012 5:46:05 PM

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