127649_2575 - First Rehearsals - Dancing With The Stars - ABC.com
Here are the first rehearsal photos, which shows Melissa giving Maks the DVD set and her autobiography. I could see Maks watching some of it, though I doubt he'd ever sit through the entire series.
I can sort of see how Maks, or someone in his position, has never even heard of her. While Melissa has stayed active and continued making a presence on the small screen (something a lot of the "stars" can't claim), I don't know that she's done anything huge that would have given her as much name recognition as Little House did. That show was before my time, but my mom remains a huge fan of it, and I loved the Little House books as a kid, so I knew of Melissa that way. But if it weren't for that, I'm not sure I'd be all that familar with her. Although I can relate to you on the old feeling, when I think how young I was when I watched Family Matters for the first time in its first season, and seeing little Steve Urkel all grown up. I wonder if we don't get the Urkel dance if he'll at least polka?
As for dances, we're up to Jack, Martina, and Sherri confirmed for the foxtrot (and by the looks of the photos it seems like Donald has the foxtrot, too). Maria and Melissa are the only celebs I've seen so far confirmed for the cha cha. I don't know what the week 2 dances will be, but it looked like Martina was practicing jive kicks in those photos (I'm no expert so I could be way off). It'll be interesting if having a second week of performances helps or hurts the couples, depending what their dances are. I think fanbases are really going to be more important these first few weeks than they've been in the last few seasons, especially with the cast seeming to be the most well known in a long time.