Though Dancing with the Stars fans are just hours from welcoming the newest batch of celebrities into the ballroom during Monday night’s season 21 premiere, the competitors themselves took a few all-important first important steps weeks ago when they met their partners and began showing off their moves.
Luckily for this season’s contestants, their initial encounters with the pros and with America’s latest dance obsession were (mostly) stress-free. Sure, they might not have expected to hop straight into the splits or find themselves becoming the center of attention quite so quickly, but nobody said the quest for the Mirrorball Trophy would be easy.
Below, check out all 13 stars at the very beginning of their DWTS journey. Piece of advice: If you’re smart, you’ll follow Paula Deen‘s lead and rustle up some snacks before getting down to business.
Singer Andy Grammer might have originally been paired up with Peta Murgatroyd (who will be sidelined for much of the season due to injury), but he was just as thrilled to find out he would be working with Allison Holker.
And finally, Deen outdid all of her fellow contestants when she welcomed partner Louis Van Amstel into her home for some good old Southern cooking.
Season 21 of Dancing With the Stars premieres Monday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.