With “Dancing with the Stars” set to come back for a 30th season this fall, there’s a long list of celebrities who deserve to compete on the dance floor. Below is a list of female stars I think the show should consider inviting to the ballroom to vie for the next Mirror Ball Trophy. Do you agree with my picks? Vote in our poll at the bottom of this post to let us know which you’d most like to see on “DWTS.” And feel free to let us know in the comments what other stars you would like to see when the show comes back in September.
After making her breakthrough as a contestant in the sixth season of “So You Think You Can Dance” in 2009, Ariana DeBose went on to appear on Broadway in “Hamilton,” “A Bronx Tale,” and “Summer: The Donna Summer Musical,” the last of which earned her a 2018 Tony Award nomination for Best Featured Actress in a Musical. She also appeared in Ryan Murphy‘s movie musical “The Prom.” And she upcoming roles in Apple TV+’s “Schmigadoon!” and as Anita in Steven Spielberg‘s adaptation of “West Side Story.” Theater vets have a strong track record in the ballroom, including Mirror Ball champions Alfonso Ribeiro (season 19) and Jordan Fisher (season 25). But having already competed on “SYTYCD,” is she too much of a ringer?
This 23-year-old poet and activist recently made a splash when she recited her poem “The Hill We Climb” at President Joe Biden’s inauguration in January. Then she was highlighted in Time magazine’s “100 Next” list under the category of “Phenoms.” We’ve seen “Dancing with the Stars” strike while the iron’s hot in the past by welcoming breakouts celebs right as their public profiles are on the rise. Just last season included Monica Aldama (who was just coming off the success of “Cheer” on Netflix) and Carole Baskin (riding the wave of the Netflix documentary series “Tiger King”). And a few seasons back American soldier Alek Skarlatos made the finals after he became famous for stopping a gunman aboard a train bound for Paris.
She is no stranger to reality TV. She competed on the first season of “Endurance” on Discovery Kids back in 2002 when she was only 13. Since then she has been seen on MTV’s “The Real World: Cancun” and for five consecutive seasons on its spinoff “The Challenge,” truTV’s “Rehab: Party at the Rock Hotel,” and Paramount+’s “The Challenge: All Stars.” If Mannion would like to try her hand at a different kind of competition show, the results of other reality TV stars who have won the Mirror Ball trophy in the past should encourage her: former “The Bachelor” contestant Melissa Rycroft prevailed in season 15, as did “America’s Next Top Model” champ Nyle DiMarco in season 22 and “The Bachelorette” stars Hannah Brown in season 28 and Kaitlyn Bristowe in season 29.
She started out as a child actress on the sitcoms “The Cosby Show” and “Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper,” after which she went on to star on her own show on the Disney Channel in the early 2000s, “That’s So Raven.” She even recently reprised that role in “Raven’s Home.” Disney kids have done well in the ballroom before — like the aforementioned Jordan Fisher — and of course Disney is the parent company of ABC, which airs “DWTS,” so wouldn’t Raven make a worthy addition? Also, besides acting, she has a career as a singer/songwriter, and musicians have also done well on the dance floor, including past champs Nicole Scherzinger (season 10) and Kellie Pickler (season 16).
This actress may best be known for her role as Jill Taylor on ABC’s long-running 1990s sitcom “Home Improvement,” but she actually has a background in musical theater, starting out as an understudy in a 1974 Broadway revival of “Gypsy” starring Angela Lansbury. If she were to compete, she would be the oldest “DWTS” champion in history, but her song-and-dance background could make her a serious contender like Donny Osmond, whose wit and charm helped him win the Mirror Ball trophy over the younger and higher-scoring Mýa in season nine.
This 18-year-old environmental activist from Sweden is known for challenging leaders all over the world to take immediate action against climate change. She became the youngest person named Time magazine’s Person of the Year in 2018. On paper, she may not appear to be an obvious choice to compete for the Mirror Ball Trophy, but neither was Australian conservationist Bindi Irwin, who was crowned champion in season 21 when she too was a teenager.