For his first dance, Ross crushed ballroom’s toughest feat, the quickstep, without stepping on dance partner Lindsay Arnold’s feet. Even better, the pair danced to “Go Cubs Go” by Steve Goodman in the Season 24 premiere on Monday night.
That Ross turned out to be pretty great comes as a bit of a surprise after he admitted his only dance experience came in high school when he was “grinding up” on his now-wife.
“There’s some good dancers out there in major league baseball,” he said before his dance, “and I’m not one of them.”
Well, the judges beg to differ.
“It’s not a home run, but I’ll tell you, you got yourself to first base,” notoriously tough judge Len Goodman said (via the Chicago Tribune).
Another judge compared “grandpa,” as Ross referred to himself ahead of his dance, to a teenager on spring break.
In the end, Ross and Arnold earned 28 points out of 40 for their first effort, which doesn’t sound great, but when you put it into context against the highest score (five-time Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles’s tango with Sasha Farber earned 32 points), Ross’s effort suddenly becomes pretty solid.
“Hahahaha, can’t believe how much fun I had,” he captioned a photo of himself and his dance partner in their bedazzled baseball uniforms. “Don’t want to stop, so please vote for us.”
While Ross won’t be returning to the Cubs this season, he’s likely to return for another dance on reality TV next week.
Perhaps no one’s more excited about that than his old teammates, who took a break from their spring training to post their support for Ross on social media.
Ross appears to appreciate their enthusiasm.
“It meant the world to me for you guys to be tuning in, watching and supporting me, Skyping in — I know you guys are super busy,” Ross said in a video message uploaded by the Cubs’ Twitter account on Monday night. “Thanks so much for the support. I love you guys.”