For nearly seven weeks Laurie Hernandez and partner Val Chmerkovskiy have been wowing viewers with impressive routines and continued progress on “Dancing With the Stars.” While the young Olympian makes the Cha Cha, Paso Doble and whatever else Val and the judges throw her way look like light work, she admits that participating in the ABC dancing competition has been one of her greatest challenges to date.
In a blog posted to Us Weekly’s site, Laurie opened up about the many difficult aspects of competing on “DWTS.” She wrote that not only is it harder than she ever expected to nail down the footwork, but that facing criticism from the judges and her partner makes it that much more frustrating. She noted that while she, and many “DWTS” fans, thought she’d have a leg up on the competition because of her background as a gymnast, dancing and gymnastics are two very different things.
“Coming into ‘Dancing With the Stars,’ I thought it would be a lot easier,” she wrote. “I didn’t think it would be just a breeze, I knew it would be difficult, but I wasn’t expecting it to be this hard. It’s really hard to stay patient with myself and realize this is a whole different world than gymnastics.”
She and Val were presented with a new hurdle in preparing for week 7: a group dance on top of their individual routine. Laurie, 16, is working hard to stay positive, but said that it hasn’t been easy getting everyone that’s left on the cast to come together. She wrote that the individuals in the group have brought a lot of “good ideas,” but that they’ve struggled to nail down one routine with “so many cooks in the kitchen!” One thing she does know for sure is what she and Val have planned for their solo routine.
“We’re doing a 1960s-themed quickstep this week for our solo dance,” Laurie wrote. “Sometimes rehearsal is frustrating because I wish I could get the steps down a little faster even though everyone’s telling me I get the steps down faster than anyone else. It’s kind of weird to hear that, but at the same time, the steps aren’t easy!”
Laurie and Val are continuously called among the top scoring teams on Season 23 of “DWTS.” The pair were the first to score 10s across the board and have never been up for elimination. With luck they’ll be able to continue their hot streak, surviving another round of cuts in week 7. While they weren’t able to pull out another perfect score in week 6, they remain near the top of the leader board.
Tune in Monday, Oct. 24 at 8 p.m. EDT on ABC for more “Dancing With the Stars.”