"DWTS" Announces Season 17 Cast

The cast of Season 17 (photo via abc.go.com)

If you're like any of us nerds at DanceMedia, the end of summer doesn't just mean the end of beach days, but the closing of dance TV staples like "So You Think You Can Dance" and "Breaking Pointe." That is, until you realize fall programming means "Dancing with the Stars" takes over prime time.

The show airs once a week this year (Mondays at 8/7 central), which means they'll have to cram all the dancing, critiques and eliminations into two hours. Most importantly, I hope they don't cut down on guest performances. My favorite part is seeing everyone from New York City Ballet principal Tiler Peck to college dance students take the stage.

Season 17's cast includes:

"Saved by the Bell" star Elizabeth Berkley Lauren and Valentin Chmerkovskiy

High School Musical alum Corbin Bleu and Karina Smirnoff

"Pretty Little Liars" actor Brant Daugherty and Peta Murgatroyd

Comedian Bill Engvall and Emma Slater

Valerie Harper of "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and Tristan Macmanus

Former NY Jets wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson and Sharna Burgess

Singer Christina Milian and Mark Ballas

Bill Nye "...the Science Guy" and Tyne Stecklein

Jack Osbourne (son of Ozzy) and Cheryl Burke

"Jersey Shore" fist pumper Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi and Sasha Farber

"The King of Queens" actress Leah Remini and Tony Dovolani

"Glee" actress Amber Riley and Derek Hough

Who do you think has the rhythm to win Season 17? (Here's to hoping my '90s science idol, Bill Nye, takes home the mirror ball.) Catch the premiere, September 16 on ABC.

Getty Images

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"Nutcracker is a tradition that is ingrained in our hearts," says UBC co-founder Lissette Salgado-Lucas, a former dancer with Royal Winnipeg Ballet and Joffrey Ballet. "We danced it for so long as professionals, we can't wait to pass it along to dancers through this competition."

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Movement was more than a metaphor for the fight for women's suffrage—dancers played a real role, most notably Florence Fleming Noyes, who performed her riveting solo Dance of Freedom in 1914 to embody the struggle for women's rights.

This fall, Middle Tennessee State University director of dance Meg Brooker is reconstructing Dance of Freedom on 11 of her students. A Noyes Rhythm teacher and an Isadora Duncan scholar, Brooker is passionate about bringing historic dance practices into a contemporary context.

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