11:20 AM EDT 09/27/2016


Valentin Chmerkovskiy

Laurie Hernandez Pretended to 'Smell a Really Good Quesadilla' for Her Passionate DWTS Tango Dance

Originally posted 09/26/2016 10:20PM

Laurie Hernandez is crediting her love of quesadillas to helping her succeed on Monday evening's episode of Dancing with the Stars.

The 16-year-old Olympic gymnast had to dance a passionate Tango for week 3, which required the teen to channel unfamiliar emotions.

"Marilu, because she has much more experience than I do just in life in general, she'll be able to show off those emotions when she's dancing," Hernandez told cameras during rehearsals. In earlier rehearsal footage, pro partner Val Chmerkovskiy instructed Hernandez, "put this hand on my face," which caused her giggle.

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Dancing With the Stars

Dancing with the Stars' Valentin Chmerkovskiy Is Hot and Shirtless in His First PEOPLE Video Blog

Originally posted 09/19/2016 05:55PM

Dancing with the Stars pro dancer Valentin Chmerkovskiy is chronicling his season 23 experience exclusively for PEOPLE. Follow Chmerkovskiy, 30, and his partner, Olympian Laurie Hernandez, 16, on Twitter!

"This is my first vlog so I'm going to try and do a good job and give you a little more content than just me in my trailer saying politically correct things," Chmerkovskiy says in his first video blog after a minute of goofing off for the camera.

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Laurie Hernandez Teaches Her DWTS Partner Valentin Chmerkovskiy a Gymnastics Routine After Meeting the Pro

Originally posted 09/09/2016 06:35PM

<> Olympic gymnast Laurie Hernandez couldn’t contain her excitement after meeting her Dancing with the Stars pro partner Valentin Chmerkovskiy for the first time.

"This is so cool," says Hernandez, 16, after giving Chmerkovskiy a hug in a video shared by E! News.

"Look at you, I was just watching you on TV," Chmerkovskiy, 30, tells Hernandez as he twirls her around.

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16-Year-Old Laurie Hernandez on Balancing Olympic Press Tour, School and DWTS: 'I Don't Need a Break'

Originally posted 09/07/2016 06:15PM

Laurie Hernandez conquered her first Olympics and now she's ready to compete on Dancing with the Stars.

Though the gold and silver medalist has a full plate following the Rio Olympics – including high school, the Olympic press tour and training for DWTS – the 16-year-old exclusively tells PEOPLE, "I don't need a break."

"I used to always watch Dancing with the Stars with my family. Right after workout we would just come home and put the show on," she tells PEOPLE.

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Who Do the Dancing with the Stars Cast Members Consider Their Biggest Competition? (Hint: She's Small but Powerful)

Originally posted 09/07/2016 03:20PM

She might only be five feet tall, but Laurie Hernandez has her Dancing With the Stars cast members shaking in their dancing shoes.

The 16-year-old, who earned gold and silver medals at this year's Rio Olympics and is now competing on live television for her shot at winning the Mirror Ball trophy, might be the biggest competition on season 23.

"I think Laurie obviously is the one everyone's got their eye on," race car driver James Hinchcliffe told PEOPLE of who he views as the potential frontrunner. "Half of what her profession is is dance anyway. And she's such a great personality, such a fun person, great character, huge smile. It's easy to love her so on the dance floor and off in the vote world, that's gonna be tough for sure," the 29-year-old added.

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Dancing With the Stars

Dancing with the Stars' Laurie Hernandez and Amber Rose Impress in Early Rehearsals

Originally posted 09/01/2016 12:30PM

And the Chmerkovskiy brothers are off!

Dancing with the Stars pros Maksim Chmerkovskiy, 36, and Valentin Chmerkovskiy, 30, began rehearsing for the hit ABC competition reality show's upcoming 23rd season this week. And judging from Instagram videos they each posted of their early practice sessions, it looks like the rival Chmerkovskiys might be off to an early lead.

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See the Dancing with the Stars Audition Tapes for Derek Hough, Maksim Chmerkovskiy and More Before They Were Pros

Originally posted 08/31/2016 07:55PM

Before Derek Hough, Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Valentin Chmerkovskiy were Mirror Ball winners, the Dancing with the Stars pros were talented hopefuls auditioning for a shot on the ABC reality competition series.

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Dancing With the Stars

Dancing with the Stars: Season 23 Pro Dancers Revealed

Originally posted 08/23/2016 03:15PM

The first official casting news for season 23 of Dancing with the Stars has been announced!

Longtime pro dancer Val Chmerkovskiy stopped by Good Morning America on Tuesday and revealed some of the professional dancers who will be returning to the ABC reality dance competition in September.

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People Picks

Dancing with the Stars' Val Chmerkovskiy on Marla Maples: 'She's So Much More than Donald Trump's Ex-Wife

Originally posted 04/12/2016 09:20AM

Valentin Chmerkovskiy has a ton of respect for Marla Maples – and not just for her skills on the dance floor.

"I want to commend Marla on her grace," Chmerkovskiy told reporters after Monday's episode of Dancing with the Stars of this week's eliminated contestant. "I hope she leaves with a great feeling. She had a great showing, and it was sad that she had to go."

Chmerkovskiy – who, along with his partner Ginger Zee, tied for Monday's highest scores – thinks there's one aspect of the show that Maples dealt with particularly well: being introduced as "the former Mrs. Donald Trump" week after week.

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Maks and Val Chmerkovskiy Set Out to Answer an Age-Old Question: Which Brother is Better Looking?

Originally posted 02/12/2016 10:00AM

Dancing with the Stars' favorite bare-chested bros, Maksim and Valentin Chmerkovskiy, are officially headed out on tour together – and they have a very brotherly reason for being excited to hit the road together.

"We are going to tell the story of how we got where we are," Maks says in the current issue of PEOPLE of their upcoming autobiographical show. "I'm excited to set the record straight: Who is taller? Who has better hair? Who has better hair? Who is better looking? All those things are very important."

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