Dancing with the Stars season 26 ended with an Adam Rippon win. The Olympic skater took home the coveted Mirrorball trophy with the help of partner Jenna Johnson, and this fall, DWTS 2018 returns with Dancing with the Stars: Juniors, a pint-sized spin-off of the popular show.
For the first time ever, Dancing with the Stars: Juniors will pair celebrity kids with professional junior ballroom dancers.
If So You Think You Can Dance: The Next Generation taught us one thing, it’s that junior dancers are great at what they do. Here’s everything we know so far about Dancing with the Stars: Juniors.
Dancing with the Stars: Juniors judges
The judges for Dancing with the Stars: Juniors were announced in July on Good Morning America. Val Chmerkovskiy, the DWTS pro who proposed to Johnson in June, will be bring his expertise as a judge. Joining him is choreographer Mandy Moore and Johnson’s former partner Rippon (who else?).
Rippon was the first openly gay champion of DWTS, and upon winning the all-athletes season this past spring, he told TeamUSA.org, "I think from the Olympics and Dancing with the Stars, I feel so lucky to share my story and share a little bit of who I am with so many people, it’s just awesome." Now, he’ll get to continue sharing this story with DWTS viewers as a member of the judging panel.
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Watch their announcement on Good Morning America below:
Dancing with the Stars: Juniors hosts
The hosts of Dancing with the Stars: Juniors will be Frankie Muniz and Jordan Fisher. Both previously competed on DWTS.
"When they finally called that it was happening, I was so excited because I had such an amazing time on Dancing With the Stars," Muniz told ET. "So, to be able to stay in the family and get to experience it from a different perspective and get to host the new show, like, I was thrilled. And I'm so glad to be doing it with Jordan because we have so much fun together. It's going to be awesome!"
Dancing with the Stars: Juniors cast
Dancing with the Stars: Juniors reportedly casted kids between the ages of 9 and 13.
The celebrity contestants were announced live on Tuesday, September 25, during DWTS. They include two youngsters originally rumored to be competing, Alana Thompson (AKA, "Honey Boo Boo") and Black-ish star Miles Brown.
The celebrity cast members are as follows:
Raven’s Home star Jason Maybaum
Bristol Palin’s son Tripp Palin
Masterchef Junior winner Addison Osta Smith
Black-ish actor Miles Brown
Former NBA champ Scottie Pippen’s daughter Sophia Pippen
General Hospital star Hudson West
Stuck in the Middle actress Ariana Greenblatt
Singer and former Dance Moms star Mackenzie Ziegler
Alana "Honey Boo Boo" Thompson
Stevie Wonder’s son Mandla Morris
Skateboarder Sky Brown
Scripps National Spelling Bee contestant Akash Vukoti
View their profiles on the Dancing with the Stars: Juniors page, and watch their debut group dance with the pros (listed below) on DWTS:
We can't get enough of these talented kids!— Dancing with the Stars: Juniors (@DWTSJuniors) September 26, 2018
Dancing With the Stars Juniors premieres Sunday, October 7 at 8|7c on ABC! pic.twitter.com/zJC5IF08TE
Dancing with the Stars: Juniors promos
Watch the Dancing with the Stars: Juniors promos below:
Dancing with the Stars: Juniors mentors and junior pros
Dancing with the Stars professionals will mentor the junior pairs in the spin-off.
One of these mentors is Witney Carson, who has performed on DWTS for nine seasons so far (she was paired with American luge champion Chris Mazdzer for the all-athletes season).
"It's a good change of pace. I think people will like the kid version of [the show]," Carson told Entertainment Tonight.
View the full list of couples and their mentors below:
Jason Maybaum and Elliana Walmsley, mentored by Emma Slater
Bristol Palin’s son Tripp Palin and Hailey Bills, mentored by Jenna Johnson
Addison Osta Smith and Lev Khmelev, mentored by Keo Motsepe
Miles Brown and Rylee Arnold, mentored by Lindsay Arnold
Sophia Pippen and Jake Monreal, mentored by Sasha Farber
Hudson West and Kameron Couch, mentored by Hayley Erbert
Ariana Greenblatt and Artyon Celestine, mentored by Brandon Armstrong
Mackenzie Ziegler and Sage Rosen, mentored by Gleb Savchenko
Alana Thompson and Tristan Ianiero, mentored by Artem Chigvintsev
Mandla Morris and Brightyn Brems, mentored by Cheryl Burke
Sky Brown and JT Church, mentored by Alan Bersten
Akash Vukoti and Kamri Peterson, mentored by Witney Carson
Dancing with the Stars: Juniors premiere
Episodes of Dancing with the Stars: Juniors will be pre-taped according to International Business Times, which makes this the first DWTS season that will not air live broadcasts.
Season 27 of DWTS returned to ABC on September 24.
Dancing with the Stars: Juniors will premiere Sunday, October 7 at 8:00 p.m. EST. It will be a two-hour episode.
Get ready — these contestants may be small, but they'll bring precision and passion to the dance floor.