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Val Chmerkovskiy and Monica Aldama Compare Coaching Styles, Admit ‘DWTS’ Rehearsals Have Gotten ‘Intense’ (Exclusive)

Getting real! Monica Aldama isn’t used to being the student, but that’s exactly what she is on season 29 of Dancing With the Stars.

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“I think we’re very similar. We’re both very intense,” the Cheer star told Us Weekly exclusively after the Monday, September 14, premiere about her coaching style in comparison to partner Val Chmerkovskiy‘s methods. “We’re both very passionate about what we’re coaching, and we want it done correctly. We want everyone working hard all the time — so [we have] good and bad qualities.”

The Ukraine native, 34, noted that “there is no comparison” between the two when it comes to coaching since she’s “a legend.” He also added that butting heads in the rehearsal studio isn’t a negative thing for them.

Monica Aldama Val Chmerkovskiy Dancing With the Stars
Monica Aldama and Val Chmerkovskiy’s Dancing With the Stars portrait. ABC

“Intensity’s good. Intensity is not a bad thing,” he told Us. “Not everybody can handle it, but it’s a beautiful thing. You don’t want to suppress it.”

The duo also noted that when they get frustrated during rehearsals, they each take a walk to chill. “I excuse myself to the bathroom,” he said with a laugh. “Every time. She’s like, ‘Why you gotta pee like 20 times?'”

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All joking aside, the two-time Dancing With the Stars champ can’t wait to continue working with the athlete and allow her to really let go.

Monica Aldama Val Chmerkovskiy Dancing With the Stars
Monica Aldama and Val Chmerkovskiy on the premiere of ‘Dancing With the Stars.’ ABC

“Next week, we’re doing the Jive, which is a very different flavor dance-wise, and I’m excited to see how Monica copes with this new energy. All of it is very different,” he said. “She has many sides to her the world hasn’t gotten to see yet. I don’t think she’s used to sharing those sides with the world. I think people know Monica from Cheer as this coach, as this really hard [person]. This is one individual, and this is an opportunity for her to relax and not necessarily take all the responsibility for everything and have a good time. So next week’s dance will be a step in that direction even more so, so I’m excited for that.”

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Aldama added that she’s not just the “cold face coach” shown on the Netflix docuseries. “I’m actually very kind and caring,” the former cheerleader said. “I definitely am a very serious person and so hopefully Val can loosen me up a little bit!”

For more from the pair, watch our video interview above.

Dancing With the Stars airs on ABC Mondays at 8 p.m. ET.

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