Lisa Vanderpump and Gleb Savchenko
04/02/2013 at 10:10 AM EDT
Gleb Savchenko is not only one of the new pros added to season 16
's Dancing with the Stars
cast, but he's also partners with glamorous Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
star, Lisa Vanderpump.
Read on to learn five things about the sexy, Russian, 6"1' animal lover, including what he thinks of Vanderpump, partying and making his private life public. 1. Despite Vanderpump's lavish lifestyle, he calls her down-to-earth and humble
"Lisa is a very kind person with a great sense of humor," Savchenko, 30, tells PEOPLE of our DWTS blogger
. "She's a very hard worker. She's just an awesome person. I knew who she was from Housewives
... but I didn't really
know what kind of personality she had and everything. What's shown on TV is one thing ... [but] she's a normal person and she's really easy to work with. We just have a good time. She's open to everything when it comes to choreography. We developed a connection from the very first day."
2. He's a private person
"I've been married for six years, but it's just something I'm not really talking about that much," Savchenko says of wife, Elena Samadanova who is also a dancer (but isn't on DWTS
). "If someone asks me, I'll say, 'Yes, I am [married],' because I don't want to lie. I want to be honest, but it's not something I'll just go and talk on every single corner about. But I'm very happy."
3. He's been independent since his mid-teens
"I have a sister who lives in Italy," Savchenko says. "My father and mother are originally from Russia and live in the Ukraine at the moment. I left home when I was 16. I lived by myself and supported myself. Nobody really helped me. I got used to it. I'm very close to my family, but it's not like I miss them or really attached to them."
4. Going out isn't one of his priorities
"I'm not really a party person," Savchenko said, while mentioning that a passerby next to him laughed when they overheard him explaining his laid back lifestyle. "I like to have a good sleep because we're dancing all day and we start early in the morning. I like to live a healthy life. I like to go to the gym and the beach. I like to get a suntan and lay by the pool. I don't really drink alcohol that much. I'm telling the truth."
5. He loves everything about Los Angeles – even the traffic
"L.A. is my favorite place in America," he says. "You can't beat the weather. It's not a city with a lot of tall, concrete buildings and everything just kind of in one place. You can see the blue sky and you have fresh air." Adds the ballroom expert, explaining that he's currently on the hunt for a Ford or Dodge vehicle, "I love driving. You can drive everywhere in L.A. People say, 'Oh, your life is terrible, there's traffic.' But I'm from Moscow originally, and to get from one place to another place can take two-and-a-half hours. It's actually really
bad traffic, so I feel like in L.A., there's no traffic. It's easy. I just love this city."