The 18th season of "Dancing with the Stars" shook up ABC last night, throwing the spotlight on a cast of contestants who could turn this into one of the most memorable seasons yet. 

Not only do we have people like Olympic ice dancing gold medalists Meryl Davis and Charlie White, "Price is Right" host Drew Carey, former-pro hockey player Sean Avery, double-amputee snowboarding champ Amy Purdy and "Star Wars" star Billy Dee Williams all competing — but we've also got Candace Cameron Bure from "Full House" and Danica McKellar from "The Wonder Years." 

McKellar, who was described by her dance partner Valentin Chmerkovskiy as "geeking out" after last night's successful first performance, has had a successful career post-TV promoting math education for girls. A successful author of several books on the topic, she's hoping her participation on the program will inspire others to take on difficult challenges. 

"When I was offered 'DWTS' it was certainly daunting to me, but I remember what I tell my readers, and I knew that I could not shy away from this opportunity," she told Fox News. "I’m really excited to be on the show for the experience I will have, and so yes, if more people become aware of my books and more girls get the benefit of becoming confident in math because of it, I will be doubly thrilled."

Last night was also another opportunity for viewers to once again be exposed to a healthy and extremely fit Drew Carey. Since early 2010, the 55-year-old has lost more than 80 pound via a diet high in vegetable and low in fat, plus plenty of exercise. For "DWTS," he's looking to make his frame even smaller. 

"I thought, oh, this would be a great way to lose the 10 pounds, is to be on Dancing With the Stars," Drew told "Entertainment Tonight."

"Wait until we do the other dances — you're screwed," Cheryl joked in response.  

Of all the performances last night, perhaps none was as emotional or inspiring as that of double-amputee Amy Purdy. The snowboarding champ lost both of her legs and kidneys at 19 to meningitis. Using prosthetics last night, she said her appearance in the competition is "a great opportunity to show people not so much what I personally can do, but rather to show them that the only true disability is in our minds."

Check out a recap of last night's premiere below. 

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Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.

'Dancing with the Stars' kicks off with fit Drew Carey, geeky Danica McKellar
Double-amputee snowboarding champ Amy Purdy also a highlight during the premiere of the dance competition's 18th season.