Jewish champ to dance with stars
Waltz up?

Jewish champ to dance with stars

The US reality hit is highlighting the Jewish background of Olympic gymnast and new contestant Aly Raisman

Jewish-American Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman holding a gold medal at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. (photo credit: screen capture, YouTube)
Jewish-American Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman holding a gold medal at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. (photo credit: screen capture, YouTube)

She’s putting the “Jewish Star” in “Dancing With the Stars.”

Olympic champion gymnast Aly Raisman will appear on the next season of the US reality hit, facing off against celebrities including country singer Wynonna Judd and boxer Victor Ortiz.

The cast for the show’s 16th season was announced Monday, with episodes set to begin March 18.

Raisman’s Jewish heritage features prominently in her official bio on the show’s website. The profile reports that the 18-year-old “comes from a Jewish background and famously performed her gold medal-winning floor exercise to the traditional Jewish wedding song ‘Hava Nagila,’ for which she earned worldwide recognition in the Jewish community.”

Whatever the soundtrack to Raisman’s TV appearances, she’s up against some formidable competition — other contestants include Olympic champion figure skater Dorothy Hamill, who presumably can manage some tricky footwork.

Also in the cast are “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star Lisa Vanderpump, and football player Jacoby Jones, who last month won the Super Bowl as a member of the Baltimore Ravens.

Should Raisman outlast her opponents, she won’t be the show’s first Jewish victor. “Dirty Dancing” star Jennifer Grey won the series’ 11th season in 2010. (Update: A knowledgeable reader points out that model and TV host Brooke Burke, who won the seventh season, is also a practicing Jew.)

Aly, if you’re reading this — and why wouldn’t you be? — we humbly propose that you consider the following dance steps. Surely you remember the choreography from your bat mitzvah, and we don’t think this particular number has ever been performed on reality TV.

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