Wednesday, September 9, 2009

'Dancing With the Stars' couples

Tom DeLay is a former House majority leader who resigned after being indicted on campaign-finance violations in 2005. He was first elected to Congress in 1984, and when Republicans took control of the House, his colleagues elected him majority whip and later majority leader. His leadership was characterized by his aggressive "Grow the Vote" method of party discipline, where he never lost a vote, leading the Washington Post to nickname him "The Hammer." He and his wife, Christine, also served as foster parents and founded a community in Texas that serves as a safe, permanent home for abused and neglected children. DeLay is currently president of First Principles LLC, a strategic political consulting firm based in Washington, DC, and Houston. He teams up with two-time "Dancing With the Stars" champion Cheryl Burke, who returns for her eighth season.

Professional snowboarder Louie Vito is an elite U.S. snowboarder favored to make the 2010 Olympic team. Competing in both the Pipe and Slopestyle disciplines, Vito continues to train for the Grand Prix qualifying. The 21-year-old native of Bellefontaine, OH turned pro in 2006 and has competed in multiple Winter X-Games competitions. He joins Chelsie Hightower, who returns for her second "Dancing With the Stars" season.

Regarded as one of the most successful wide receivers in the history of the NFL, former Dallas CowboyMichael Irvin is a three-time Super Bowl champion and former broadcaster for ESPN's "NFL Countdown." Known as "The Playmaker" and one of "The Triplets" alongside fellow Cowboys Troy Aikman and Emmitt Smith, Irvin was a recipient of the Dallas Cowboys' Ring of Honor in 2005. In 2007 he was inducted into the Professional Football Hall of Fame and has appeared in various television shows, as well as co-starring in "The Longest Yard" with Adam Sandler and Chris Rock. Last fall Irvin executive-produced/hosted the reality TV series "4th and Long" for Spike TV, in which one football hopeful was given a shot at making the Dallas Cowboys roster. Most recently he appeared on the Hall of Fame inductions on the NFL Network, and he hosts his own radio show in Dallas for ESPN Radio. He teams with "Dancing With the Stars" Season 8's Professional Dancer Competition winner Anna Demidova, who makes her debut.

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