• Kristyn Burtt

Laurie Hernandez Hasn’t Forgotten Any Of The Lessons Val Chmerkovskiy Taught Her

Updated: Jun 6


Laurie Hernandez might be one of the most famous 17-year-olds in the world, thanks to her Olympic medals in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio and her Mirror Ball Trophy win in Season 23 of Dancing with the Stars. Her high profile and success have not changed this young woman one bit, though. She made sure she was on hand to help raise money for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation in the upcoming CBS special, Jump, Jive & Thrive.


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In addition to her presenting duties on the TV show, she performed in a number choreographed by Val Chmerkovskiy and Jenna Johnson. It brought back memories for the athlete of her wonderful time on DWTS.


“It was incredible working with Val again. It was kind of bittersweet, though. I thought, oh my, we are doing this again!” she shared with Dance Dish at the TV taping. “The dancing was inspired by Salsa and Cha-cha. I feel comfortable doing those dances and it starts with some gymnastics and then it turns into ballroom — it’s really neat.”


Jumping back into rehearsals for the piece reminded her of all of the technique she learned from the DWTS pro last fall.


“Surprisingly, yes! The technique came back pretty quick,” Laurie said. “I also watched my videos again just to make sure that I still had it.”

Hernandez believes her technique stayed intact, thanks to Val’s strong teaching skills during her time on the show.


“He looks at the big picture, but he’s also very good at looking at the itty-bitty details which are important,” she explained. “Some things that people might not be able to catch, he catches them. I think that’s important because it’s something we remember forever.”


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Something she will also take with her forever is the lesson she learned about herself from working with Val and coming on the show after a whirlwind experience in Rio.


“I think the biggest thing I took away with me was to be grateful,” she summed up. “My partner always said, ‘You know what, you get another week to dance. You get to be on the show. You get to do so many different things, so be grateful.’ Once the show was over, I thought, this happened so fast. I learned to take in every moment.”

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