Kristi Yamaguchi is set to make a return to the Dancing With the Stars ballroom nearly 10 years after she won the mirrorball trophy with pro partner Mark Ballas. While she is not a contestant on the landmark 25th season of the ABC celebrity ballroom competition, the 46-year old former Olympic figure skater will participate in her first judged performance on the DWTS dance floor in nearly a decade as part of a special star-studded trio dance competition.
Kristi Yamaguchi will reunite with Mark Ballas as they team up with Season 25 competitor Lindsey Stirling to dance a jazz to the song “Let’s Face The Music And Dance.” In an interview with The Mercury News, Kristi admitted she was nervous about making a return to Dancing With the Stars after so many years away from the ballroom. But after a couple of lengthy rehearsals with Mark and his current partner, Kristi admitted she instantly reconnected with Ballas as part of Team Stark.
“We connected on so many levels back when I was on the show,” Kristi said.
“Obviously, we’re older now, but we pretty much slipped right back into a routine. It felt good. And Lindsey is an incredible dancer and a really hard worker.”
Kristi Yamaguchi has remained a devoted Dancing With the Stars fan. While this week will mark her first return to the show as part of a judged dance routine, in 2010, Kristi appeared as a team captain for a special competition in honor of the show’s 200th episode.
Although Yamaguchi has noted that the production value of the show has skyrocketed since her season, one thing that hasn’t changed is the hard work and sweat that goes into the routines. Yamaguchi even joked that she needs the anti-inflammatory meds to kick in.
Please anti inflammatory kick in...please fast! #welcomebacktoDWTS— Kristi Yamaguchi (@kristiyamaguchi) November 4, 2017
In addition to Kristi Yamaguchi, five other Dancing With the Stars champs and runner-ups will return to the ballroom for the trio dances, including fellow Olympian Laurie Hernandez (Season 23), Alfonso Ribeiro (Season 19), Corbin Bleu (Season 17 runner-up), Kelly Monaco (Season 1), and last season’s winner, Rashad Jennings,
Kristi Yamaguchi was the winner of Dancing With the Stars Season 6 back in 2008, beating out a list of celebs that included Priscilla Presley, Shannon Elizabeth, and NFL defensive end Jason Taylor. Kristi’s final three dances were all perfect scorers and she remains one of the most popular Dancing With the Stars contestants of all time.
You can see Kristi Yamaguchi competing on her original season of Dancing With the Stars below.
Dancing with the Stars airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
[Featured Image by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Dizzy Feet Foundation]