The news that Rick Perry will compete on the upcoming season of “Dancing With the Stars” stirred up cha-cha-chatter when it was first reported Monday night, as the imaginations of politicos and average Joes alike lindy-hopped to various conclusions. Will the former Texas governor’s spin on the ABC show bring the mirror-ball trophy to the Lone Star State, or will he say adios quicker than you can say “Paso Doble”? Will Perry’s tango with the celebrity ballroom competition be a dance with disaster? Or can the most famous pair of glasses in Texas boot-scoot to victory? Will we still be able to come up with dance puns by the time the show airs?
No matter your political persuasion or your thoughts on Carrie Ann Inaba’s judging abilities versus those of Bruno Tonioli, Perry’s participation is certainly a curiosity. But don’t write off the former presidential candidate’s chances just yet.
Here are five reasons Perry might beat expectations and join Bindi Irwin and Emmitt Smith in the “DWTS” hall of fame.
1. He’s been to more than a few balls: Let’s not pretend that the art of the dance is completely foreign to political life. As longtime governor of Texas (and lieutenant governor before that), Perry was no stranger to inaugural balls, even if he did try to loosen up the black ties with a Ted Nugent performance in 2007.
2. He knows how to take instructions: As Texas A&M University’s former head Aggie Yell Leader, Perry should be able to get in formation.
3. He’s got dancing shoes: Though “Dancing With the Stars” is a ballroom contest and not a televised honky-tonk, Perry’s cowboy boot collection shows he prefers his feet to be fancy. You don’t swagger around in “Come and take it” boots unless you want people looking at your footwork.
4. He’s got a sense of rhythm: As columnist Ken Herman points out, Perry is a musician, “including talent on the piano and drums.” He sang and drummed with ZZ Top in 2005, in fact.
5. He has a history of public dance performance: Need we remind you of Austin’s premiere menorah-lighting merry-maker?
On the other hand, Laurie Hernandez will definitely win.