Dancing With The Stars Season 18: Get to know the cast of ABC's hit dance show

The next batch of dancers are set to take the ballroom floor TONIGHT as season 18 of ABC's "Dancing With The Stars" premieres.

Join us TONIGHT and watch the premiere starting at 7 p.m. on ABC15.

But, before you grab the popcorn, soda and hit the couch, study up on each of this season's contestants.

Who's who when it comes to 'Dancing With The Stars' (in alphabetical order)?

Contestant: Sean Avery
Best known for: Former hockey player and current activist
Dance partner: Karina Smirnoff

On the ice, Avery was often known as the "enforcer" and played for the Detroit Red Wings, Los Angeles Kings, Dallas Stars and the New York Rangers. He is now on the Board of Directors for a nonprofit, Athlete Ally, an organization that raises awareness about homophobia and transphobia in sports.


Contestant: Candace Cameron Bure
Best known for: Role as D.J. Tanner on "Full House"
Dance partner: Mark Ballas

Candace Cameron Bure has grown up from her days on "Full House." The actress has now added author, wife, mom and motivational speaker to her list of jobs. She is outspoken and passionate about her views on faith and family.


Contestant: Drew Carey
Best known for: Host of "Whose Line is it Anyway" and "The Drew Carey Show"
Dance partner: Cheryl Burke

Funnyman Drew Carey has lost a ton of weight since his days on "The Drew Carey Show." He's now serving as host on "The Price is Right," a gig he's been doing since 2007. One of his biggest breaks came in 1988 when he appeared on the television show, "Star search."


Contestant: Meryl Davis
Best known for: Ice skating Olympic champion
Dance partner: Maksim Chmerkovskiy

Uh oh. There is already going to be competition on the ballroom floor as 2014 Gold medalist Meryl Davis will be going up against her ice-dancing partner, Charlie White. The duo has been ice dancing together since they were first paired in 1997. Davis took home two medals during the 2014 Olympics.


Contestant: Nene Leakes
Best known for: Bravo's "Real Housewives of Atlanta" and guest appearance on "Glee"
Dance partner: Tony Dovolani

Nene Leakes was born for television. The entertaining and charismatic reality star has quickly become a fan favorite with guest appearances on BET and as the challenging and hilarious Roz on the hit show, "Glee." Leakes is also an author. Will Nene win the mirror ball?


Contestant: James Maslow
Best known for: Member of band "Big Time Rush"
Dance partner: Peta Murgatroyd

James Maslow not only sings in the band "Big Time Rush," but also starred in the teen TV series known by the same name. He has also collaborated with many industry artists. Will he sing into the hearts of fans?


Contestant: Danica McKeller
Best known for: Role as Winnie Cooper on "The Wonder Years"
Dance partner: Valentin Chmerkovskiy

Not only did Danica McKeller star in TV shows "The Wonder Years" and "The West Wing," did you know that she has also developed a recognized theorem. It's known as "The Chayes-McKeller-Winn Theorem" and was published in a British physics journal. How neat. Will it help her on the dance floor?


Contestant: Diana Nyad
Best known for: Successfully swum from Cuba to Florida
Dance partner: Henry Byalikov

Whoa! We know Diana Nyad has the stamina to dance her way to the finale of "Dancing With The Stars," but will she? Nyad became the first person to swim the 110.86 miles from Cuba to Florida. She's also an author and talented linguist; she speaks three languages.


Contestant: Amy Purdy
Best known for: Professional paralympic snowboarder
Dance partner: Derek Hough

Purdy is currently training in the 2014 Paralympic Games over in Sochi, Russia. She has served as an inspiration to many after losing both of her legs due to Meningitis when she was 19. She is now the top-ranked adaptive snowboarder in the U.S.


Contestant: Cody Simpson
Best known for: Teenage pop star
Dance partner: Witney Carson

Teenager singer Cody Simpson has captured the hearts of teen girls everywhere. He has over 6.4 million Twitter followers, 6.7 million Facebook likes and his YouTube channel has over 200 million views. Will the views help him do well in the competition?


Contestant: Charlie White

Best known for: 2014 Olympic Gold medalist
Dance partner: Sharna Burgess

Olympic ice skating gold medalist Charlie White is going up against his winning ice skating partner, Meryl Davis, and the 10 other contestants. Meryl and White are the longest-running ice dancing partners in the history of the US figure skating. Wow! White has won many Olympic medals. He's currently a student at the University of Michigan and hopes to go to law school.


Contestant: Billy Dee Williams
Best known for: Role in "Lady Sings the Blues"
Dance partner: Emma Slater

Actor Williams' most recent role was in "The Lego Movie," but before that he

starred in several films, including "The Ladies Man," "Undercover Brother," and "Fan Boys." He received the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006 from the NAACP. He also is an artist whose work is displayed in the Smithsonian.

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