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Laurie Hernandez: I Need to Work on My ‘Spaghetti Arms’ on ‘Dancing With the Stars’

Val Chmerkovskiy and Laurie Hernandez
Val Chmerkovskiy and Laurie Hernandez on 'Dancing with the Stars'. Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images

Olympian Laurie Hernandez is blogging exclusively with Us Weekly about her quest to take home the Dancing With the Stars season 23 Mirrorball Trophy! Check back each week for her latest update on the competition.

My schedule has been pretty … interesting! Oh geez, I can’t even remember what I did yesterday. We had a tour show Thursday night, and that was in Glendale, Arizona. Then Friday morning I woke up in Arizona, had a dance rehearsal, and then flew to Vegas. Then Val and I had time for a little bit of fun — we went to the iHeartRadio concert!

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Saturday was back to work — I had two gymnastics shows. I’ve done about four gymnastics shows on this Kellogg’s tour so far, and then I do dance rehearsals too. I put them both into their own little categories. We basically just practice dancing whenever we can. We’ll find local dance studios in whatever city we’re in and just rehearse there.

Laurie Hernandez and Val Chmerkovskiy
Laurie Hernandez and Val Chmerkovskiy with Tom Bergeron on ‘Dancing with the Stars’. Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images

Val has been traveling with me basically everywhere. Because we have to travel so much together, we’re getting closer and getting to know each other even more than if I was just going to a dance rehearsal and then leaving afterwards. He’s been great to travel with because I can tell he’s always looking out for me. He’s like a big brother to me! It’s really nice.

So this week we’re doing the tango. And it’s the Face Off, so we’re going up against Derek Hough and Marilu Henner. So basically whoever gets the highest score has immunity for the next week, and whoever doesn’t goes into jeopardy. So we don’t want that!

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I’m not nervous, but that’s because I’m not even thinking about it! I’m just trying to perfect our tango and I’m so excited for it. This is definitely a dance that’s something that I’m not used to, and it’s a step outside my comfort zone. It’s really hard to be all serious in the tango and not break into laughter. Tango is way more serious than a jive. 

Sometimes Val will crack me up, and sometimes I’ll crack him up. It’s 50/50. Val tells me I need to work on making sure I don’t have spaghetti arms! My frame is always slightly off, so I need to make sure my arms don’t get too relaxed and flop around. But I’m working on it.

I’m really looking forward to this week because at the Olympics and in the previous dances that I did, they were very bubbly and they suited me really well. But now the tango’s super serious and I don’t think anyone’s seen that side of me before, so it’ll be exciting to see everyone’s reaction to it!

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I’m also looking forward to what I’ll be wearing each week! Seeing what they do with my hair and my face, transforming every week, it’s pretty cool! This week I’ll be wearing something that’s black — and tango-appropriate. But tune in on Monday night to see what my finished look is!

Watch Dancing With the Stars Monday September 19, on ABC at 8 p.m. ET.

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