Laurie Hernandez: I’m Getting ‘More Nervous’ on ‘Dancing With the Stars’ — But the Olympics Was Worse!

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.

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Last week was awesome. It was the most nervous I’ve ever been before a dance. We hadn’t even got 9s before, and suddenly we got straight 10s! It was insane. I just tried to remember my steps, and then I blinked and it was over! I had a lot of fun while I was out there, because I felt like this very sexy chick in a music video. I really enjoyed myself. And I’m glad we got those 10s!

Laurie Hernandez
Laurie Hernandez Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images

This week I’m still balancing school, dancing and gymnastics. I’m actually studying for the SATs right now, so it’s a mix of SAT prep and regular schoolwork. I had my first math test of the year this week! Since I’m homeschooled, I send in my tests, and after a certain marking period, they send me a report card. I’m starting to like math a little bit better! They say that those who like algebra, they don’t like geometry, and people who don’t like algebra, they do like geometry, so I think I’m one of those people. I like this year! I think I still like science and art better, but geometry is a big improvement over algebra.

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DWTS‘ theme this week is one of my favorites. It’s “My Most Memorable Year,” where every contestant will talk about a meaningful time in their lives. I’m really excited to hear everyone else’s stories because you always learn so much about all the contestants when they talk about something that’s super important to them. I’m dancing to “Rise” by Katy Perry, which is the song she wrote for the Olympics. They sped it up a little and added a few beats just because we’re doing a paso doble, so it’s a little more intense — but like the song already was, it’s very intense and dramatic.

Valentin Chmerkovskiy and Laurie Hernandez on Dancing With the Stars.
Valentin Chmerkovskiy and Laurie Hernandez on ‘Dancing With the Stars.’ Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images

I did pick 2016 as my most memorable year, but it’s more acknowledging what happened leading up to this year. The dance is about how I dedicated my whole entire life to gymnastics, but it wasn’t until this year that I could really come out and show the world what I had been working on since I was 11 years old. 

Everybody just saw the Olympics and saw that I got medals, but they didn’t see all the hard work that went behind it. So that’s what we’re going for this week: Not just to show that I got a silver medal in beam, but all the dedication I put into getting to that point. I don’t think everyone realizes that I was extremely nervous before right I got up on the beam in Rio. We were talking about it yesterday, and I still got jittery just thinking about it! [Dance partner] Val [Chmerkovskiy] said, “Are you OK?” And I said, “I’m still nervous just talking about this!”

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As the weeks go by, I’m starting to get a little more nervous as the competition gets more intense — but I don’t think I’ll ever be as nervous as I was at the Olympics!

Dancing With the Stars airs on ABC Monday, October 10, at 8 p.m. ET. Watch an exclusive clip above from the episode.

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