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'Dancing' with the pros: Stars meet their matches

Monday’s “Dancing With the Stars” cast announcement revealed which stars, or reasonable facsimiles, will take the stage for the upcoming season of the ballroom bash. Of course, those celebrities won’t be waltzing solo when the show returns. On Wednesday morning, ABC revealed the other half of the story — the professional dancers tasked with turning each dance floor newbie into a real con
Adam Larkey / ABC / Today

Monday’s “Dancing With the Stars” cast announcement revealed which stars, or reasonable facsimiles, will take the stage for the upcoming season of the ballroom bash. Of course, those celebrities won’t be waltzing solo when the show returns. On Wednesday morning, ABC revealed the other half of the story — the professional dancers tasked with turning each dance floor newbie into a real contender for the mirror-ball trophy.

The pairings are: Sugar Ray Leonard and Anna Trebunskaya; Kirstie Alley and Maksim Chmerkovskiy; Kendra Wilkinson and Louis van Amstel; Wendy Williams and Tony Dovolani; Petra Nemcova and Dimitry Chaplin; Chelsea Kane and Mark Ballas; Chris Jericho and Cheryl Burke; Romeo and Chelsie Hightower; Mike Catherwood and Lacey Schwimmer; Hines Ward and Kym Johnson; and Ralph Macchio and Karina Smirnoff.  

As always, clues to the action to come can be found in the matches. Fans eager to see some outrageous behavior are sure to find some brewing between ballroom’s bad boy, Chmerkovskiy, and the always-outspoken Alley. Looking for early favorites? Consider Disney Channel star Kane and WWE’s Jericho two of the celebs to watch. Both have the good fortune to be paired alongside two-time “Dancing” champs.

Then again, talk host Williams has another idea about who’s in it to win it.

“(Tony) is hot,” Williams said after some of the pairs were named on “Good Morning America. “We’re gonna win.”

The 12th season of “Dancing With the Stars” premieres March 21 on ABC.

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