'Dancing With the Stars': Can the New Cast Really Dance?

Ready to rumba? Melissa Rycroft goes backstage at the final rehearsals.

February 8, 2009, 4:19 PM

March 22, 2010 — -- The new season of "Dancing With the Stars" kicks off tonight, and 11 celebrities and their dancing partners are getting ready to waltz, cha cha and hit the floor.

The star-studded cast includes actors, musicians, and athletes. And there's even a man from the moon, but former astronaut Buzz Aldrin says dancing is nothing like walking on the moon.

"It's flat, it's not dusty, it's not gray," he joked.

Will he be doing the moonwalk on the dance floor?

"Well I don't know," he said. "We might do something backwards."

Reality television star Kate Gosselin says her children -- all eight of them -- have been very supportive. She and professional partner Tony Dovolani are racking up a lot of air miles flying back and forth to Pennsylvania to practice in her basement.

"They transformed her basement into a dance studio. It's really great to practice in there," Dovolani said.

And Gosselin said he fits right in with the twins and sextuplets.

"He's equal to five kids himself!" she joked.

Actress Pamela Anderson says she loves dancing in high heels.

"I asked for higher heels, now I feel better," she said. "I feel balanced now that I'm a little higher."

But will we see her dancing in that famous red Baywatch bathing suit? No, but she says she's enjoying every minute on the dance floor.

"I'm really excited about doing it," she said.

And as always there are the athletes, even an Olympian still glowing from Vancouver.

Evan Lysacek's partner Anna Trebunskaya said "he knows how to wear sequins and be proud of it."

"I'm no stranger to a sequin," he joked. "I'll tell you that!"

Sportscaster Erin Andrews, who just last week saw her stalker go to jail, finally has a reason to smile.

"I'm so excited," she said. "I just saw Pam Anderson for the first time, so it was like oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh."

Comedienne and host Niecey Nash thinks her partner Louis Van Amstel is her biggest advantage.

This is my greatest advantage right here," she said. "It's the truth."

Watch the "Dancing With the Stars" two-hour season premiere tonight at 8 p.m. ET.

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Shannen Doherty says she's dancing for her father, who has been very sick.

"My father, on Christmas, had a massive stroke," she said. "He's had eight heart attacks, quintuple bypass heart surgeries and dialysis. [He's in] really bad health. He got really excited about 'Dancing With the Stars' and wanted me to do it. I'm thinking that's going to help a lot for me."

Actor Aiden Turner just left the soap opera "All My Children" after seven years. He was a chef before he was an actor and even went to culinary school and said "I do know how to whip up a few dishes here and there."

The ingredients for the perfect dance?

"A very good partner, some perseverance and determination," he said. "And also a big smile."

"I think this is going to be an amazing season," Nash said. "They have got the gamut covered. They've got astronauts, Baywatch babes, and mothers of multiples, Pussy Cat Dolls -- it's all kind of stuff going on out on this dance floor."

CLICK HERE for photos of the cast and check out the stars and their professional partners below:

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