This year, the acclaimed TV show Dancing with the Stars will be starting up its 23rd season. Although it has already chosen its cast, we thought of a few Cal athletes who might make better contestants than Vanilla Ice and definitely than Ryan Lochte.
- Sam Singer, men’s basketball — This point guard is light on his feet, always on the lookout for the right bounce pass or a drive to the net. His dexterity with the ball makes him a good candidate to receive a 30/30 on the jitterbug. Len Goodman would really love this one.
- Toni-Ann Williams, women’s gymnastics — In 2015, Williams, a junior, was named the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year and has continued to perform well for the Bears since then. In particular, Williams has logged much success in the floor competition which will come in handy for the upcoming DWTS season. Furthermore, Williams competed this summer for Jamaica in Rio so she is definitely accustomed to high pressure competitions, and would not back down from the intense environment created on the dancefloor by Len Goodman’s stare. Given her prowess on the vault, one could only imagine the types of stunts that her and long-time professional Derek Hough would be able to pull off. The sky is the limit.
- James Looney, football — As is DWTS tradition, there always has to be a huge football player participating in the competition. At 6 feet 3 inches and 280 pounds, redshirt junior and defensive tackle Looney certainly fits the bill. He has also been known to dance on the sideline during Cal games — now all he has to do is channel these moves into a ballroom dancing scenario. His strength will make it very easy to lift his dance pro for a spectacular ending pose. Looney’s positive mood will be infectious on the dancefloor and the audience will be able to feed off his energy, and we all know that pleasing the crowd is essential to surviving week to week.
- Bailee Huizenga, volleyball — While she is only a freshman, Huizenga has already played an important role on the court in her team’s opening games. Her confidence on the court will definitely translate onto the dancefloor when she gets into the dancing zone. Her athleticism allow her to make big leaps which would especially come in handy in the jive, which involves much movement and bouncing.
- Andrew Seliskar, men’s swimming — According to Cal Athletics, this sophomore medley swimmer was a “consistent and versatile performer” last swim season, which is the recipe for success on the dancefloor as well as the pool. Music appreciation is a part of Cal’s swim culture. The team mostly plays 90s rock at practices, which gives Seliskar a leg up on all the great covers that the show uses for routines. Seliskar is also musically inclined — he started a band with his old club teammates called Seahorse Yesterday. Seliskar would certainly make an intriguing contestant on the newest DWTS season.
Who said Dancing with the Stars was on its way out? With the addition of these few Cal athletes, DWTS is sure to reclaim its former glory days: the days of Kim Kardashian and Mark Ballas, and Julianne Hough and Apolo Anton Ohno.