Former Gov. Rick Perry is joining the new season of “Dancing With the Stars.”
Texas’ longest-serving governor will be a contestant in the 23rd season of the dance competition show, which premieres Sept. 12 on ABC. Perry will be paired with professional dancer Emma Slater, the network announced Tuesday morning.
Entertainment Tonight broke the news Monday, and in a round of media appearances shortly before the lineup announcement, Perry declined to comment on the rumors. But he did suggest that the show would help him with dancing at his daughter’s upcoming wedding and that it would be an “extraordinary platform” to draw attention to two issues he has long been passionate about: the military and veterans.
“I just hope I don’t forget my dance steps, were I to be on this program, after the third lesson,” Perry said on Fox Business News, riffing off his infamous failure to remember the third federal department he wanted to eliminate during his 2012 presidential campaign.
Perry would not be the first Texas Republican to appear on the show. Tom DeLay, R-Sugar Land, the former majority leader of the U.S. House of Representatives, was a contestant during the ninth season, though he left the competition early due to foot injuries.
Perry’s dancing credentials are not entirely known. In one memorable moment during his tenure in office, he broke out in dance around a menorah with rabbis and then-state Rep. Elliot Naishtat, D-Austin, while celebrating Hanukkah at the Capitol.
Since stepping down as governor in 2014, Perry has not shunned the spotlight. He unsuccessfully ran for president last year and went on to campaign for U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, then Donald Trump, now the Republican nominee.
This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at https://www.texastribune.org/2016/08/29/perry-joining-new-season-dancing-stars/.
The other 12 new dancing stars along with Perry are: Amber Rose, Calvin Johnson Jr., Jake T. Austin, James Hinchcliffe, Jana Kramer, Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, Laurie Hernandez, Marilu Henner, Maureen McCormick, Ryan Lochte, Terra Jolé and another Texan, rap star Vanilla Ice. Dancing with the Stars Season 23 premiere is Monday, Sept. 12 at 7 p.m. on ABC.