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Laurie Hernandez, Val Chmerkovskiy’s First Meeting for ‘DWTS’ Involves Plenty of Flips

In it to win it! Laurie Hernandez showed off her Olympic moves for Val Chmerkovskiy during their first meeting for Dancing With the Stars in a recently released preview clip — and the pair are already off to a smashing start.

Both Hernandez, 16, and Chmerkovskiy, 30, look genuinely thrilled to discover that they’re each other’s partners for the hit ABC dancing competition, and don’t hold back their compliments.

Related: PHOTOS: Sexy, Shirtless 'Dancing With the Stars’ Hunks: Derek Hough, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Nyle DiMarco and More!

“This is so cool!” the Olympic gold medalist declares as she hugs the veteran dancing pro. Chmerkovskiy is all smiles as he spins Hernandez around. “Look at you! I was just watching you on TV. Killin’ it.”

Laurie Hernandez and Valentin Chmerkovskiy
Laurie Hernandez and Val Chmerkovskiy pose as season 23 of ‘Dancing With the Stars’ meets the press. Bruce Glikas/Bruce Glikas/Getty Images

“I was so excited to see Val,” Hernandez later reveals in a confessional. “I’m so ecstatic to be his partner because he’s just such a great dancer.”

Related: PHOTOS: Olympic Athletes Turned TV and Movie Stars

The pair immediately take to the (gymnastics) floor, with the athlete showing Chmerkovskiy some of her most impressive floor-routine flips and spins.

“Learning all the choreography for gymnastics will definitely help me win this mirrorball,” Hernandez says with confidence to the camera. “I mean, for my floor routine, everything is choreographed. Everything from where my fingers go and especially my facial expressions.”

Related: PHOTOS: Before They Were on DWTS!

The determined Olympian quickly cut to the chase with Chmerkiovskiy: “So, we’re, like, going to win this thing, right?” she asked him.

Watch the cute video preview above to see what Chmerkiovskiy said! Dancing With the Stars returns to ABC Monday, September 12, at 8 p.m. ET. Check back here throughout the season as Hernandez blogs about her experience with Us!

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