A former star of the iconic 1980s series The Facts of Life will be paired with two-time mirrorball winner Val Chmerkovskiy for Season 27 of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars.
Nancy McKeon was announced as a competitor on the series on Good Morning America, Wednesday, September 5.
“He is awesome,” said the former teen idol of Chmerkovskiy on GMA. “He’s the most amazing partner, most patience than anybody I know and I’m so lucky.”
McKeon is best known for her role as Jo Polniaczek on the NBC sitcom The Facts of Life.
She has also acted in the TV series Sonny with a Chance, Without a Trace, Touched by an Angel, and the TV movie Wild Hearts, according to People Magazine.
ABC News reported that McKeon also gave a shoutout to Ginger Zee, ABC News chief meteorologist, thanking her for being able to dance with her former partner.
Zee danced with Chmerkovskiy all the way to the finals of Season 22 of the long-running ABC dance competition series.
“Thank you to Ginger for loaning me her amazing partner,” McKeon quipped.
McKeon and Chmerkovskiy have only been training for a short time and already, the television star can see she will be in good, albeit tough hands.
“We’re only on day three, so he’s saving a few things to come at me I think, but [he’s] tough in a good way,” McKeon said.
“Making sure that I have what I need to maybe keep up with him. I’m not certain it’s all going to come together, but we’re going to try.”
The actress also noted that she has two people that are her biggest supporters and the reason she is taking on this challenge, her two daughters Aurora and Harlow.
“They are so supportive and they are so inspiring and they send me texts every day,” the actress said. “They teach me every day. They are two of the bravest little young women I would say that I know, and so I’m trying to show them that mom can be brave, too.”
McKeon’s Facts of Life co-star Kim Fields, who also competed in Season 22, made it all the way to week seven.
Chmerkovskiy will be competing against his fiancée, Jenna Johnson, who won her first mirrorball trophy alongside her partner Olympic medalist Adam Rippon on the special Athletes edition of the series that aired in May of this year.
Chmerkovskiy has won two trophies, in 2015 alongside Rumer Willis, and in 2016 with Olympic gymnast Laurie Hernandez.
For Season 27, the returning pros that will join Chmerkovskiy and Johnson are Cheryl Burke, Sharna Burgess, Emma Slater, Lindsay Arnold, Witney Carson, Sasha Farber, Gleb Savchenko, Artem Chigvintsev, Keo Motsepe, Alan Bersten, and Brandon Armstrong.
Season 27 of Dancing with the Stars premieres Sept. 24 on ABC.