mirrorball trophy

Fifth Harmony’s Normani Kordei Joins Dancing with the Stars — Plus 2 More Pros Return!
PEOPLE also confirms dance pros Sharna Burgess and Jenna Johnson will be returning

She’s gonna put in work, work, work, work, work! Fifth Harmony‘s Normani Kordei is joining the cast of Dancing with the Stars, PEOPLE has learned exclusively.

Though ABC has no official comment on the news ahead of the full cast reveal on Good Morning America next week, a source confirms the 20-year-old member of the hit girl pop group and global ambassador for the American cancer society will compete on the dance competition’s 24th season.

A second source confirms that dance pros Sharna Burgess and Jenna Johnson will be returning. The two join confirmed pros Witney Carson, brothers Maks and Val Chmerkovskiy and Maks’ fiancée Peta Murgatroyd, who will hit the dance floor just two and a half months after giving birth to son Shai Aleksander.

PEOPLE previously confirmed that Olympic medalist Simone Biles and former A-Team star Mr. T will also be joining the cast.

The upcoming season premieres next month, during the first two weeks of which time Fifth Harmony will be touring in Asia while writing and recording a new album, meaning Kordei’s partner will be flying back and forth with her to rehearse.B

But it’s not the first time a DWTS cast member has joined the competition with an already jam-packed schedule, and in seasons past, the show’s pros have regularly traveled to accommodate their celebrity partners.

On season 22, Wanya Morris competed while Boyz II Men was on a reunion tour, and Ginger Zee juggled the competition with her full-time job as GMA‘s weather anchor and her son Adrian, who was just 13 weeks old when the season premiered. In fact, season 23’s Laurie Hernandez was also on a gymnastics tour throughout the competition and she took home the Mirrorball Trophy — so anything is possible!

Dancing with the Stars premieres March 20 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

DWTS S25 Premiere Week 1 Recap / Review

DWTS S25 Week 1…Here we go..Here we go again

Recaps [Here]

  • Three Musketeers: Carrie Ann, Len & Bruno are back. You know as much as I love Julianne as a judge & I really do, as well as some guest judges, it’s nothing like the seeing the 3 original still kicking after 25 seasons. 
  • Only one judge speaking per couple, ehhh right. lol
  • Next Week: 2 Eliminations & 2 Dances. Monday: Ballroom Night & Tuesday: Latin Night

1.Terrell Owens & Cheryl Burke - Cha Cha (5+5+5=15)

Cheryl was the secret 13th pro, no real surprise, she’s been away for a bit, but they almost always come back (looking at you too Mark Ballas). I’m just gonna put it out there, I’m not the biggest Terrell Owens fan but I won’t let it cloud my judgement of his dancing. I actually think he could do well, DWTS loooves a tall, dark, football player with twinkly toes.. Cheryl is a good pick for him. This was a nice, standard cha-cha for a premiere nothing too exciting, he’s got rhythm & musicality. His footwork was a lot cleaner than expected, obviously could be sharper among other things. He’s kind of flat-footed, but he has the work-hard mentality that could see him trend up mid-season.

2. Debbie Gibson & Alan Bersten - Foxtrot (6+5+6=17) I’m familiar with Debbie’s long career but knowing she struggles with Lyme disease & his pushing herself to the max for this show gives me a whole a new respect for her. Alan has been busting his butt in the troupe & as a stand-in for some seasons so it’s nice to see him get a chance to show his stuff as a pro. Beautiful foxtrot to debut with, her & Alan are cute together. Debbie is very striking on the floor, there are times when she was right on it & then a little stiff and weal posture at times. I can sense a breakthrough coming.

3.Sasha Pieterse & Gleb Savchenko - Cha Cha (6+6+6=18) I have never watched Pretty Little Liars so she’s a virtual stranger to me but I predict she’ll be around for some weeks with the PLL fan-base. She seems to have fun personality. Gleb is not my favorite, he has yet to truly impress me. I think Sasha was holding back her Fierce (prepare for season long Sasha Fierce puns, it’s happening…).She seems to be comfortable out there but hopefully she’ll really let loose sooner than later. There’s a lot more there. Best footwork so far, I just wished they used more of the floor…

4. Drew Scott & Emma Slater - Foxtrot (6+5+5=16) I’m one of the 10 people that don’t watch HGTV, but I do know who the Property Brothers but I don’t have an opinion on them, except Drew is the more attractive one, don’t @ me.  What I do know is Drew got lucky getting paired with reigning champ & DWTS sweetheart Emma. Their popularity should take them far. Easily my favorite choreography of the night so far, it was charming,, on the nose, but pretty jam packed, she made him work more than any other celeb so far. Len is right, that he’s pretty clunky with his feet & hands, hopefully that can be sorted over time. I can’t be too hard on him he had more to do than a lot of celebs. 

5. Barbra Corcoran & Keo Motespe - Cha Cha (5+4+5=14) I’m probably the biggest Shark Tank fan that exist, don’t ask why I just am. So I’m super jacked to see Barabra she’s one of the best and most entertaining sharks. I hope she doesn’t get cut too soon. What can I say about this dance, except I loved every minute of it. I love seeing people live their best life, especially people of a certain age. You got money, power, respect & fame, why not live as much as you can , what’t there to lose? Barbara totally embodies that. This dance definitely had Patti Labelle “In Da Club” vibes. Of course she can greatly improve& I hope she does, but most importantly I hope she continues to have as much fun as possible. 

6. Jordan Fisher & Lindsay Arnold - Tango (8+7+7=22) I’m not a jet setting millionaire so I never saw Hamilton, so I’m not familiar but he’s with Lindsay & that’s enough for me pay attention to him. They seem poised to go really far. He’s charming, cute & has a lot of promise. This tango was fast as we’ve come to like on this show, and pretty sharp. Best footwork, choreography & partnering so far.

7. Nick Lachey & Peta Murgatoryd - Cha Cha (6+6+6=18) Obviously, Nick’s brother Drew won Season 2 with Cheryl but who cares anymore, that was back when the show was less flashy & looked like it was shot on VHS. I’m not really in the mood to hear about this “rivalry” all season. Because, we unfortunately have to focus on Nick vs his wife Vanessa with Maks this season. I was over the competing couples when Alexa Vega & Carlos Pena were on & I’m over it now. It is cute they’re respectively paired with married couple Peta & Maks. Nick is not the most rhythmic celeb, with ironic because Peta is one of the more rhythmic pro’s. He’s stiff but what he lacks in technique, he makes up for in enthusiasm. I’m sensing Vanessa might be the better dancer of the two, at least I’m hoping.

8. Vanessa Lachey & Maksim Chmerkovskiy - Cha Cha (7+7+7=21) I gotta say marriage & fatherhood looks great on Maks. I’m glad my prediction was right, Vanessa is better than Nick. She’s actually really good, one of the best of the night. Maks’ sharp footwork suited her well. Her placement is clean, swift & sharp. One of the most synced partnerships tonight, I want to see her go far.

9. Frankie Muniz & Witney Carson - Foxtrot (7+6+6=19) I haven’t heard much about Frankie since early 2000′s except his car crash some years back but he looks healthy, happy & wealthy (those Malcom in the Middle checks had to be nice). They really benefited from a great, emotional song (Sign of The Times). For someone who once broke his back you couldn’t tell, his extension was really good. To be so shy, Frankie dances very broad, he’s got a great early connection with Witney. Definitely a highlight of the night. 

10. Nikki Bella & Artem Chigventsev - Tango (7+7+6=20) Nikki is about the only name I recognize from the WWE Diva’s. It’ll be interesting to see if she can reign in her dominance to let Artem lead her. Len is absolutely right, her looking down almost ruined the dance, I thought she was uncomfortable at first then I realized she was just watching her feet. When she was in hold it was great, her legs are super long which make for great lines. She’s got great confidence & attack, can Artem contain it? 

11. Derek Fisher & Sharna Burgess - Salsa (6+6+6=18) Derek is Laker legend, I’m excited he’s paired with Sharna who plays no games. NBA players need redemption on this show, Derek might be the guy to do it. His hips & footwork will need work, I think he needs to loosen up more, but he’s super enthusiastic about the whole experience. That ending was super close, Sharna almost ate it..

12. Victoria Arlen & Val Chmerkovksiy - Cha Cha (7+6+6=19) Victoria’s story is remarkable being paralyzed for 10 years, competing in the Paralympics, winning Gold & Silver & learning to walk a year ago & now DWTS & she can’t even feel her legs. Like what are you doing with your life right now? Victoria has a winner’s spirit, she’s incredibly resilient and partner with Val that can take her a super long way. Plus she can actualy dance, there’s no sympathy card in this pairing, Val gave her some challenging choreograph, not just for her situation. The routine was fun, uplifting & matched her spirit and personality. The fact that she can’t feel her legs just blows my mind when watching her dance and sync with Val. The placement was great & clean. These two are ones to watch, she’s got a great story, she’s got Val & she’s got moves. 

13. Lindsey Sterling & Mark Ballas - (7+8+8=22) Lindsey is an incredible violinist who is no stranger to the DWTS stage, having guest performed & she’s also close friends with the Hough / Ballas family already, so this seemed like a natural pairing all around. Obviously great to have Mark and his hair back on the show, he’s a personal favorite with Val. This was by far the single best performance of the night. Quick, sharp & technically sound. Mark took a risk with that hip-hop breakdown but Lindsey murdered it. It was complete flip on what you expected from her as Len noted, something Mark is good for. She’s such a natural and exuberant performer & Mark is such a seasoned pro, it’s a match made in heaven. Honestly, I believe Mark has been robbed many times (Chelsea Kane, Katherine Jenkins, Paige Vanzant) it would be nice to see him win his so long overdue 3rd mirrorball trophy & Lindsey might just be the partner to get it done. Tied for the top with Jordan & Lindsay

Honestly it’s so many celebs that I enjoyed Week 1, I can’t honestly imagine what 2 I would want go home next week.

Next Week: 2 Eliminations & 2 Dances. Monday: Ballroom Night & Tuesday: Latin Night

Recaps [Here]

Who were your favorites? Who do you think will or should go first?

Naya Rivera Says Glee Costar Heather Morris Has ‘Big Shoes to Fill’ Following DWTS Winner Amber Riley into the Ballroom
Dancing with the Stars season 24 premieres Monday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC

Another Glee alum is stepping into the Dancing with the Stars ballroom — so will Heather Morris be as successful as Amber Riley was?

PEOPLE caught up with Naya Rivera, who recently partnered with Nioxin to promote growth shampoos and treatments for thinning hair, and the actress opened up about how she thinks her former Glee costar Morris will fare on the ABC dance show’s upcoming season 24.

“When I saw the news I was so excited,” gushed Rivera, 30. “I definitely am going to be rooting for her and watching like I was with Amber.”

Riley, 31, previously took home the season 17 Mirrorball Trophy in 2013 alongside partner Derek Hough.

“I feel like Heather’s got some big shoes to fill,” added Rivera. “But I’m not worried about her because she’s a fantastic performer and a great dancer. I think she’s going to bring so much fun to the show. I’m excited!”

Naya Rivera Says Glee Costar Heather Morris Has ‘Big Shoes to Fill’ Following DWTS Winner Amber Riley into the Ballroom
Dancing with the Stars season 24 premieres Monday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC

Another Glee alum is stepping into the Dancing with the Stars ballroom — so will Heather Morris be as successful as Amber Riley was?

PEOPLE caught up with Naya Rivera, who recently partnered with Nioxin to promote growth shampoos and treatments for thinning hair, and the actress opened up about how she thinks her former Glee costar Morris will fare on the ABC dance show’s upcoming season 24.

“When I saw the news I was so excited,” gushed Rivera, 30. “I definitely am going to be rooting for her and watching like I was with Amber.”

Riley, 31, previously took home the season 17 Mirrorball Trophy in 2013 alongside partner Derek Hough.

“I feel like Heather’s got some big shoes to fill,” added Rivera. “But I’m not worried about her because she’s a fantastic performer and a great dancer. I think she’s going to bring so much fun to the show. I’m excited!”

Nick and Vanessa Lachey Are Headed to Dancing with the Stars!
Season 25 of Dancing with the Stars premieres Monday, Sept. 18 on ABC

It appears Peta Murgatroyd and Maksim Chmerkovskiy won’t be the only married couple in the ballroom on season 25 of Dancing with the Stars.

Nick, 43, and Vanessa Lachey, 36, will be among the celebrities vying for the Mirrorball Trophy when the ABC reality dance competition premieres Sept. 18, a source tells PEOPLE.

The parents of three are the second married couple to compete on the show. Alexa PenaVega came in sixth place and her husband Carlos made it to the semi-finals on season 21 in 2015.

PEOPLE previously reported that Property BrothersDrew Scott and WWE wrestler Nikki Bella will also compete this season.

Exact pairings of celebs and pros have not been revealed, but 12 pro dancers were announced on Good Morning America Thursday. See that full list below:

Alan Bersten
Keo Motsepe
Artem Chigvintsev
Maks Chmerkovskiy
Val Chmerkovskiy
Gleb Savchenko
Mark Ballas
Lindsay Arnold
Peta Murgatroyd
Emma Slater
Sharna Burgess
Witney Carson

Season 25 of Dancing with the Stars premieres Monday, Sept. 18 on ABC.

Will Sasha Pieterse’s ‘PLL’ Costars Support Her at ‘DWTS’ Tapings?
Sasha Pieterse teased if her ‘Pretty Little Liars’ costars will support her at ‘Dancing With the Stars’ and more — read her exclusive interview with Us Weekly

She’ll be bringing her A game! Sasha Pieterse is ready to hit the ballroom — and ready to bring the Mirrorball trophy home.

“I’m 100% competitive. Everyone has been so nice and friendly so that aspect I don’t think will change. But like, I’m going to win,” the Pretty Little Liars alum, 21, exclusively told Us Weekly at the season 25 announcement in NYC earlier this month.

“Sasha is a really hard worker. We literally will have no breaks,” her pro partner, Gleb Savchenko, chimed in. “We’ll go four hours, a straight four hours. She puts on her shoes and takes them off at the end of rehearsal. Standing in high heels.”

She’s already hurting from the strenuous workouts, though. “[I’m] so sore. Ice baths and sore in places that I didn’t even know were possible. That is a challenge, but I feel like it’s awesome and it’s conditioning,” she added to Us. “There is no turning back now, but I’ve been having so much fun.”

Pieterse’s parents were professional dancers, but says that she doesn’t have much experience herself. “I think I have rhythm but all of the technical stuff I don’t so Gleb has been helping me,” she explained. “He’s amazing. He’s such a great teacher and partner.”

Pieterse’s support system also includes her former PLL costars Lucy Hale, Shay Mitchell, Troian Bellisario and Ashley Benson. “I hope [they come],” she told Us. “Their schedules are crazy right now, but I know a bunch of them are planning to, so that will be fun. It’ll be like a little reunion.”

Season 25 of DWTS premieres on Monday, September 28, on ABC at 8 p.m. ET.

Favourite Star Season

There was unanimous agreement that this should be the multi-chapter fic that I should continue so, here it is. The previous seven chapters are available here:


Apologies, I know after so long this is probably a short-ish chapter but I didn’t really know where I was going with it so thought fluff couldn’t hurt.

Favourite Star Season [Valdaya]

Chapter Eight  

Keep reading

Normani Kordei Comes Back Strong in Night 1 of 'DWTS' Finale After Powering Though Painful Ankle Injury

If you didn’t know Normani Kordei had injured her ankle during rehearsals for Dancing With the Stars, you wouldn’t have been able to tell based on her amazing performances on Monday’s first night of the Season 24 finals.

Before their first dance of the night, a pre-taped package addressed Kordei’s ankle injury, which occurred when she was practicing a toe-touch in the dance studio with her pro-partner Val Chmerkovskiy.

“All of my body weight came down on it and it really hurt,” the singer recalled.

“I just feel terrible. This is a week that’s already really intense and she’s never gonna admit that she’s hurt,” Chmerkovskiy told the DWTS cameras in a solo interview.

WATCH: Normani Kordei Dishes on Ankle Injury Ahead of ‘DWTS’ Finals: 'I Can Push Through Anything’

However, when it came time to dance, the Fifth Harmony singer was all smiles as she and Chmerkovskiy delivered a seriously skillful quickstep set to “Check It Out” by Oh The Larceny, and her footwork was as on-point as ever.

“I don’t think your ankle knew it was hurt,” host Tom Bergeron quipped as the couple finished their performance.

Kordei stunned in a skin-tight black bodysuit while Chmerkovskiy bared his chest with an unbuttoned black shirt. However, despite how amazing both dancers looked, some of the judges felt the bodysuit made a few of the dancers’ mistakes all the more obvious.

WATCH: Normani Kordei Responds to Bonner Bolton’s Date Request, Talks Simone Biles’ 'DWTS’ Elimination

“One thing that kind of threw me off a little bit is that you didn’t have your skirt, and so it was very vulnerable for you, so sometimes I did see lack of body contact,” Julianne Hough explained. “And because [we] have such high expectations of you, I definitely saw [mistakes].”

Judge Len Goodman, who has been one of Kordei’s toughest judges, agreed with Hough, adding, “I like the catsuit, you look great in it, [but] costumes are a bit like makeup – they can cover up a lot of mistakes and blemishes,” and that the outfit allowed the judges to see some of the minor flaws.

While Goodman and Hough awarded the couple nines, Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba had nothing but praise for the pair and gave them 10s for a total score of 38 out of 40.

WATCH: Val Chmerkovskiy Dishes on Normani Kordei’s Emotional 'DWTS’ Semifinals Performance

For their second dance, a freestyle routine set to “What the World Needs Now Is Love” by Andra Day, Kordei and Chmerkovskiy delivered a heartfelt performance dressed to the nines, with the singer rocking a flowing white, semi-sheer gown, while her partner looked like a million bucks in a crisp white tux.

As they danced, the couple was joined by a pair of pre-teen performers dressed like their adorable doppelgangers, and the touching routine was as sweet as could be.

WATCH: Normani Kordei Delivers Love Letter to Hometown of New Orleans in Emotional 'DWTS’ Semi-Finals Dance

“Thank you guys for giving me my light. I just wanted to say that to every person in here,” Kordei said as she tried to catch her breath after the dance. “I feel like I’m a different person walking out than when I came in.”

While the couple came just short of a perfect score for their first dance, they made up ground with their freestyle, and walked around with four 10s for a combined score of 78 out of 80 for the night.

Kordei, Jennings and Ross will continue battle it out for the coveted Mirrorball trophy in the second night of the Dancing With the Stars finale on Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.

For more on Kordei’s recent ankle injury and how she powered through it, check out the video below.

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‘DWTS’ Pro Sharna Burgess: Derek Fisher and I Have ‘Both Tumbled to the Floor’

Not so smooth moves! Dancing With the Stars kicks off season 25 on Monday, September 18, but pro Sharna Burgess reveals exclusively to Us Weekly that she and partner Derek Fisher have already stumbled. 

“We’ve both tumbled to the floor one time, but he’s actually amazing at making sure I get to the ground safely and then he collapses,” Burgess, 32, told Us of 43-year-old Fisher, who is former pro NBA player.

“As long as she’s safe, we’ll be fine,” Fisher added.

“I’m nervous but, like, anxious slash excited,” Fisher admitted to Us, adding that he wasn’t sure how much his athletic background would help him in the ballroom. “[I’m] used to the quick movements but I think sometimes in sports, you can get away with certain things and still get through the drill but in dance, you can’t do that. Every detail matters so you just have to be really sharp and on point. It’s tough, but it’s fun though to try and figure it out.”

The pair will be dancing the salsa for week one, and revealed they’re trying a brand new move called the “jungle gym.”
“It’s where I just throw myself at him and he has to catch me and throw me around,” shared Burgess, who has yet to win a Mirrorball trophy. “This is how we find new lifts because all the old ones have been done and we have to find new things. That’s how we figure them out.”

Fisher, who most recently was the head coach of the New York Knicks, admitted he’s in it to win it. “I’m competitive waking up in the morning,” he told Us. “I think in order to be at your highest, you have to enjoy the process and dance forces you to enjoy the process. If you don’t, you’re not going to get the results that you want. That has been enjoyable so far.”

EXCLUSIVE: 'Pretty Little Liars' Star Sasha Pieterse Dishes on Joining 'DWTS' & Dream Songs for the Ballroom!
The 21-year-old actress is partnered up with Gleb Savchenko.

Welcome to the ballroom, Sasha Pieterse!

ET’s Katie Krause caught up with the 21-year-old actress on the set of her upcoming film, Honored, ahead of her big Dancing With the Stars announcement, where she dished on how excited she is to be part of the 25th season.

“I’m really glad to be a part of this season,” Pieterse told ET. “They asked me, like, I’d say three or four years ago and I wasn’t able to do it. Scheduling was a nightmare and they said that they’d come back around. And they came back around, which was so awesome and this is the 25th season!”

The Pretty Little Liars star will be dancing with Gleb Savchenko to compete for the coveted Mirrorball Trophy this season.

As far as what part of the ballroom journey she’s most looking forward to, the actress told ET that her parents were professional dancers and she just wants to make them proud.

“That’s actually one of the reasons we immigrated to America,” she shared. “So I think that part of it, I’m really proud to be able to be a part of that and kind of what they started. And I know my mom cried when I told her. She’s beyond excited, but I think just kind of proving to myself that I can do something totally different, something that I’m not used to. It’s definitely not in my comfort zone… The fact that it’s live, I am losing my mind, like, I’m good at memorizing lines but memorizing dances, it’s gonna be a challenge. It’s gonna be fun.”

The blonde beauty is also excited for her PLL fans to cheer her on during the competition. She also revealed that she and Savchenko already have a stellar team name.

“They’re gonna love it,” she expressed. “They’re gonna go crazy! Actually, we’ve already named our team. Our team name is the ‘A Team’ because, hello! I’m like, we’re gonna do this. We’re gonna get that Mirrorball!”

So will she be dancing to the PLL theme song at any point?

“I never thought about that! Possibly,” Pieterse replied. “That’d be fun, right? Yeah, that’d be really fun!”

While her parents have dance experience, Pieterse told ET that she hasn’t danced since taking ballet when she was three years old. “I don’t think that really counts,” she admitted, but noted, “I got rhythm, I think that’s in my blood.”

As for a dream song she’d like to perform on the show?

“I don’t know. I’m actually in this predicament, because I have to give them music choices,” she explained. “I have to tell them what I wanna do… I was an only child, I grew up around tons of music because my parents were dancers. I mean, I love Queen, I love Abba, I love Eminem and Dr. Dre. Like, I love so many different things. So I think you’re gonna get a good taste of that in all of our dances.”

Pieterse is currently filming Honored alongside Arden Cho, Karreuche Tran and Meghan Rienks. The drama is set to be released in 2018.

Dancing With the Stars returns Monday, Sept. 18 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.

The Photoshoot

Hey Guys! So it has been a while since I posted a fan fic. I wrote this one a few months ago but I was never really happy with it until today when I went back and fixed it up. It’s just a sweet story stemming off the idea of Val and Sharna doing a photoshoot for people. I hope you like it! Sorry if it’s a little long. There is a potential for a part 2 as I have half of it written, so let me know if you guys want to read that. Always love hearing your thought and comments. Let me know what you think! 

Sharna and Val had been dating for 9 months. Publicly for 3 months. In the beginning, they had decided it would be best to keep their relationship in their personal world to see if it was real enough to go beyond. But it had proven itself strong enough. So they decided to become more open with their relationship around the season finale of the previous season of Dancing with the Stars, which Sharna won her first mirrorball trophy. The pair had been nicknamed “The sexiest couple of the ballroom.” Sharna and Val laughed every time they heard it but they couldn’t avoid it. Even their new partners for dancing with the stars teased them with the nickname saying, “They were honored to be dancing with the sexiest couple of the ballroom.”

With the craze of their relationship, People magazine had asked them to come and do a spread for their magazine as their main story of the week. They would also be featured on the cover.

Val and Sharna were standing in her bathroom after the night together. Sharna was standing in a robe and Val had a towel tied around his waist. They were getting ready for the photoshoot. Sharna was applying her makeup and Val was fixing his hair for the day.
“I still can’t believe we’re doing this” Sharna said as she put on her concealer.

“Shar. You have to remember one thing. We are the sexiest couple of the ballroom”

Sharna playfully pushed him. “Why do I even love you so much?”
Val smiled as he walked out into her bedroom, where he went into her closet and took out the suit he brought with him the previous night. He slipped on the suit pants and put on a black button down shirt. He tucked in the shirt carefully to make sure it looked neat. Sharna admired him from the mirror. “Looking hot babe.”

“It’s a big day.”
“It’s just an interview and a photoshoot.”

Val smiled to himself. He neatly laid out the black suit jacket with the black velvet lapel on the bed so it wouldn’t wrinkle as he went to stand back with Sharna. He rubbed her arms from behind and pressed a light kiss into the crevice of her neck. She put on her lipstick and turned to look at him. “Does this look like enough?”
Val held her face and kissed her. “I think you’re going to need a little bit more”
Sharna giggled. “Okay babe. Thanks for the thorough examination.”
An hour later they arrived at the studio where they were greeted by the crew who led them to the parking lot most convenient to their studio. They walked into the main area of the studio and were met by the main employee on their spread. “Sharna! Val!” She gave both of them a kiss on the cheek. “Hi, I’m Mindy. I’m the main contributor on your article. I’ll be interviewing you for a little bit and then we’ll head over to the studio, for the fun part. The photos.”

Sharna and Val smiled. “Lead the way.” Sharna said as she wrapped her arm around Val’s back.

She led them to a room with a table, chairs and a computer. “You guys can sit there.”

Val pulled out the chair for Sharna and then sat next to her. He held her hand and rested them on the table, interlocked.

“So. I supposed we should get right to it?” Mindy said excitedly. “I’m sorry, this is just my first project as the main writer and contributor so i’m really nervous and excited.”

“All good. Ask us anything!” Sharna patted her arm across the table.

“Ok! So when did you guys start dating?”
“We started talking romantically to each other in the middle of December during the Dancing with the Stars tour but our official anniversary is January 3rd.” Val smiled as he remembered the first time they decided they were going to try it out.

“So you guys were friends before?”

“Oh yeah! We were great friends.”

“But you never saw each other in that way before.”

“Circumstances didn’t allow it. But things change.” Sharna smiled.

“Where was your first date?”

Sharna through her head back and laughed. “You want to tell her babe?”

Val smiled and shook his head. “Our first date was a bit of an epic fail, I wanted to take her to a romantic candlelit dinner at her favorite restaurant which I swear I called and they said they were open. But when we got there it was closed. And all other restaurants in the area had full reservations so we just ended up eating take-out salads on a park bench in the pouring rain.”

“We did stop for an umbrella though!” Sharna chimed in.
“Yes. We did stop for an umbrella.” Val turned to her and smiled.

“Under that umbrella in the pouring rain, is where we shared our first real kiss.” Sharna stroked his hand that was clasped in hers with her free hand.

“Real?” Mindy antagonized on.

“We had kissed during the tour. Ya know, for dance. But that was our first real one.”

“Oh ok. So Sharna, your best friend, Peta Murgatroyd, is engaged to the other half on Chmerkovskiy’s.”

“Mhm.” Sharna nodded and smiled.

“Do you guys ever talk about Maks and Val?”
“Val and Maks.” Val cut in and laughed.

Sharna smiled and turned to the interviewer. “We always talk about them. They are our best friends, The men that we love, so they do come up in conversation often.”

“And Val? Do you and Maks, talk about Sharna and Peta?”

“All the time. All the time.”

The questions carried on. Some personal, others not. But they had been fairly private about the details of their relationship up until that point. After finishing her list of questions the Mindy asked if they would be willing to play a game of him or her. They agreed. She handed them each two paddles.

“Ok! Who looks at himself in the mirror more?”

Sharna held up him and Val held up her.

Val laughed “Hey! You take so long to put on your makeup!”

“At least i’m doing something! You just look at yourself!”

Val laughed. “Fair point. Fair point.”

“Him or her? Who talks about each other more?”

Sharna held up me and Val held up Me.

They both shook their heads. “We talk about each other a lot.”
“Who has the better accent?”

Sharna held up me and Val held up her.

Sharna laughed. “Sorry Babe. I think your accent is hot but mines heavier so therefore…”

“I love your accent in everything that we do.” Val squeezed her leg under the table and she did her best not to burst out laughing.

After a few more questions in the game, Mindy led them to the photoshoot area. There were a ton of people with cameras. A green screen. A white draped as a background, and a brick wall with different types of light machines set up. A young man with black hair and blue eyes walked up to them. “Hi. I’m Evan, the lead photographer.” He shook both of their hands.



They both introduced themselves.

“So, shall we get started. I love the outfits, they compliment each other so nicely.” Vals black ensemble was complemented with Sharna’s red dress. “They’re very fitting for the sexiest couple in the ballroom.”

Sharna laughed and Val smiled. Evan led them to the green screen and told them to stand in the middle. The other photographers circled around them to different positions.

“Ok. I’m just going to call out a bunch of different things to do. Just follow me.”

Sharna and Val both nodded.

He walked behind his camera. “Ok. Turn in towards each other please and rest your foreheads against one another. Val look down at her. As she wrapped her arms around his waist. The flashes started coming.

“Ok Sharna, there’s an x on the floor a little head of Val, can you look at it. Val, stay as you are.” More flashes.

“Okay, Sharna right at me. No smile first.”

“Ok. Now smile.”

The flashes were coming from all angles. “Ok. Val you look at me. Smile, laugh, do your thing. Sharna look up at him.” She changed the angle of his camera a couple of times. “Perfect guys. Perfect. Ok. Sharna can you hook your fingers in his shirt. Sort of like you’re unbuttoning his shirt but not really. Yes. That’s great.” More poses were being yelled at them. “Ok. Val. Can you caress her face and kiss her forehead. Awesome.” After a few more flashes they were led over to the brick wall. “Ok. Sharna. You can lean against the wall please. Val, you can stand in front of her resting both your hands on the wall. Sharna looked into his eyes doing her best not to laugh.

“Ok Val. Kiss her.”

Val turned to Evan. “Really?”
“Really. Come on. We’re almost done.”

Val leaned in and kissed her very modestly. Flashes went off.

“Come on Val. You can do better than that!”

Sharna laughed against his lips unable to control herself.

Val kissed her again, only to be prompted by Evan “Come on. More tongue. The both of you.”

Val turned away from his girlfriend. “Ok. Seriously? Val laughed. “What are we, in high school?”

“Val. We are almost done.”

Sharna turned his head back to her. “It’s ok. Babe.” She pulled him back in to kiss her. She wrapped her arms around his waist and pulled him in closer to her. “I love you.” She murmured against his lips.

“You too.”

“Perfect. And one last set over here.” He led them over to the plain white sheet draped against the back wall. “So this is the part, where we just let you go freestyle. The only rule is for you guys to give us cute pictures.”

Sharna pulled Val in and hugged him, resting her head on his chest. He pulled her out and spun her around under his arm, dipping her at the end. Sharna hopped on his back and they posed for the camera.

“Is that good?” Sharna asked.

Before Evan could answer, Val cut in. “There is just one more picture I want us to take.”
“What picture babe?” Sharna answered him.

Val took a deep breath and reached into his pocket. He pulled out the red velvet cartier box and lowered himself to one knee.

Sharna gasped bringing her hands to her mouth. The flashes were going off out of control. If one camera wasn’t flashing, the next one was.

Sharna began crying and shaking.

Val continued as he was beginning to fill up. “Wow. This is- Wow. Sharna, to say I am in love with you is an understatement. You mean everything to me and without you my life would be empty.  Being with you makes me happy and being with you makes me, me. Life would not be the same without you and I want nothing more than to spend the rest of my life with you. Sharna Mae Burgess, Will you marry me and give me the honor of becoming your husband?”

“Yes babe, A thousand times yes” Sharna wiped away her years and held out her left hand for him. He slid the diamond ring on her finger and took her hand in his. He stood up and walked towards her giving her a kiss. He wiped away her tears with his thumb, “I love you.”

“I love you too.” Sharna turned to the rest of the room. “We’re engaged!” Everyone clapped and the last pictures were taken as Val lifted Sharna and spinned his fiancee around.

EXCLUSIVE: Former Paralympic Swimmer Victoria Arlen Joins 'DWTS' -- and She's Paired With a Fan Favorite!
A source tells ET the 22-year-old athlete is stepping foot into the ballroom this season!

Victoria Arlen is making her ballroom debut!

A source exclusively tells ET that the 22-year-old former paralympic swimmer has signed on for season 25 of Dancing With the Stars.

And in even more exciting news, ET has learned she’s paired with a fan favorite: Val Chmerkovskiy!

“Val is beyond excited about his partner this season,” the source said. “He’s completely re-energized and is feeling really optimistic about this season.”

The source adds that Chmerkovskiy is ecstatic and can’t stop talking about how excited he is to work with his dance partner. The source says that in regard to his partner, the 31-year-old pro dancer has said, “God is good.”

Chmerkovskiy came close to taking home the mirrorball trophy last season with Fifth Harmony star Normani Kordei. Although they were frontrunners from the beginning, #TeamValmani placed third, below second place finishers David Ross and Lindsay Arnold and season 24 champions Rashad Jennings and Emma Slater.

As fans of the popular dance competition know, Chmerkovskiy is known for wowing audiences with his creative, jaw-dropping choreography. This season, he’ll have a tremendous story to share through dance, as Arlen’s is truly a remarkable one.

The Boston, Massachusetts, native is currently a television personality for ESPN, as well as an actress, speaker and model who has beat the odds.

When she was just 11 years old, Arlen developed two rare conditions known as transverse myelitis and acute disseminated encephalomyelitis. This caused her to quickly lose the ability to speak, eat, walk and move, and was told by doctors that there was little hope for survival and that recovery was highly unlikely.

Flash forward to 2010, and the impossible was made possible when Arlen learned how to speak, eat and move again. Two years later, Arlen qualified for the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London as a paralympic swimmer with Team USA. She won four medals that year: one gold and three silver.

Then, in 2016, she learned how to walk after spending nearly a decade paralyzed from the waist down.

“On this day, April 29, 2006, my life was forever changed,” Arlen wrote on Instagram earlier this year, sharing pics of her journey. “I never knew how precious life was until I was perfectly fine one day and in a blink of an eye I was laying in a hospital bed, unable to walk, talk, eat, move and fighting for my life. For four years unbeknownst to my loved ones I was trapped in a vegetative state literally ‘locked in’ my own body. Constantly hearing doctors tell my family that it was highly unlikely that I would survive and if I did survive I’d be a vegetable the rest of my life.”

“But, guess what?” she continued. “I had other plans, I wanted to LIVE. It wasn’t easy but through a lot of hard work, hope, faith and incredible support from my family and friends. Little by little I came back to life and not only survived but thrived.”

Arlen and Chmerkovskiy will be competing against Property Brothers star Drew Scott and Emma Slater, who were the first pair to officially be announced on Good Morning America.

The rest of the season 25 cast will be revealed on GMA on Sept. 6, but ET has already learned that Nikki Bella and Vanessa and Nick Lachey are three of the other contenders. ET has reached out to ABC for comment, but the network doesn’t comment on casting rumors ahead of their official announcement.

One week ‘til Dancing with the Stars is back and I back barely contain myself! I swear, one day, I will take dance lessons, get famous, join the show and then fulfil my dream of taking home the mirrorball trophy (and have a showmance with my hot, sexy dance partner from the Soviet Union.)