'Dancing With The Stars' may see Urkel moves from Jaleel White


White says he still hasn't completely unhooked himself from the famed nerd's successful shadow. He said there's a small fraction of fans who want to see a "Steve Urkel suspenders move."

"Did Ralph Macchio break out the crane? Did he? I don't know if he did, did he? " White said, referring to the "Karate Kid" actor and "Dancing With The Stars" season 12 contestant. White's pro dancing partner Kym Johnson smiled and responded, "I think he did at one point."

White said he's not completely shut off from the idea of revisiting his childhood career.

"If something feels organic, I'm all for it," he said.

White will be sharing the dance floor with a few familiar faces including two people he really admires - singer Gladys Knight and Green Bay Packer Donald Driver. Knight is paired with pro dancer Tristan MacManus and Driver will be hitting the floor with pro dancer Peta Murgatroyd.

"Gladys was my first sitcom mom. I mean, how could I have forgotten that," White reminisced. "I was 9 years old. She played my mom on 'Charlie & Company' with Flip Wilson as my father."

White said he views Driver as a real threat since the athlete has been watching the show since it first came on air. He said when they first met, their eyes "locked on almost like two roosters."

"I thought he was going to go out and catch a pass, and I was about to have to try and knock it down," White said.

The 35-year-old actor is not taking the competition lightly. He said he's been tackling the dance steps so hard that he's dropped some serious pounds while prepping for his dancing debut.

"I know my partner and I, we put in a lot of actual work. I'm dripping in sweat by the time I'm done," he said. "I've lost 12 pounds just in the last two weeks. I didn't even think I would get in this kind of shape. It's scary."

Fellow contestant and "Extra" correspondent Maria Menounos has a slightly different take on rehearsals with her partner pro dancer Derek Hough.

"Derek and I just laugh and giggle and wrestle," she said, though she did add it's not all fun and games.

Menounos said she and Hough are preparing the first two dances, the Cha Cha and then the Quick Step. But after that, she's worried about the change of pace as the show progresses week to week.

White said his first two dances will be the Foxtrot and the Jive.

The rest of the cast includes "The View" co-host Sherri Shepherd with pro dancer Val Chmerkovskiy; singer-songwriter Gavin DeGraw with pro dancer Karina Smirnoff; "Melrose Place" actor Jack Wagner with pro dancer Anna Trebunskaya; actress Melissa Gilbert with pro dancer Maksim Chmerkovskiy; actor and model William Levy with pro dancer Cheryl Burke; tennis legend Martina Navratilova with pro dancer Tony Dovolani; Disney Channel star Roshon Fegan with pro dancer Chelsie Hightower; and opera star Katherine Jenkins with pro dancer Mark Ballas.

"Dancing With The Stars" kicks off with a two-hour season premiere on Monday, March 19, at 8 p.m. on ABC7.

Check out photos of this season's dancing pairs rehearsing for Monday's premiere.

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