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Tonya Harding joins 'Dancing With the Stars'

By Théoden Janes • Apr 14, 2018 at 10:53 PM

Washington Redskins cornerback Josh Norman — who helped the Carolina Panthers get to the Super Bowl in 2015 — is temporarily trading in his football cleats for a pair of dancing shoes.

The 30-year-old, a Greenwood, S.C., native and Coastal Carolina University alum, was revealed Friday on "Good Morning America" as one of the 10 active and retired elite athletes who will be competing in the 26th season of ABC's "Dancing With the Stars."

The new season premieres at 8 p.m. Monday, April 30.

This is considered a special edition of "DWTS," as it's the first time the "stars" all are best-known as athletes.

Joining Norman for the show are Olympians Adam Rippon (figure skating), Jamie Anderson (snowboarding), Jennie Finch (softball) and Tonya Harding (figure skating/subject of 2017 bio dramedy "I, Tonya"), along with Arike Ogunbowale (women's basketball), Chris Mazdzer (luge), Johnny Damon (baseball), Mirai Nagasu (figure skating) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (basketball).

Norman spent four seasons in Charlotte with the Panthers, from 2012 to 2015, during which he famously fought with star quarterback Cam Newton in training camp; had a highly publicized rivalry with New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.; and helped lead Carolina to 15 regular-season games before the team fell to Denver in Super Bowl 50.

He was commonly regarded as the No. 1 cornerback in the NFL during that 2015 campaign, but signed a five-year, $75 million deal with Washington days after the Panthers rescinded his franchise tag the following spring.

It wouldn't be unusual for a football star to do well: Past "DWTS" champions include former NFL running back Emmitt Smith, former NFL wide receiver Hines Ward and former NFL running back Rashad Jennings.

But based on the promos released by ABC that feature clips of interviews with Norman and his professional partner Sharna Burgess (a two-time runner-up on the show), there's going to be a learning curve for the player.

"This'll be my first time in a professional setting," Norman says in one clip. "I did a couple dances and stuff just on my own — just, you know, when I was traveling, I went to Puerto Rico and I did a little, you know, a little pub dance, you know, a little salsarengue kind of thing. You know, I got taught a little bit of the two-step. And she kind of brought it back to me a little bit today. ... (But) I think it's gonna be a little bit more elaborate."

If you want to hear more from him and his partner, have at it:


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