Dancing With the Stars 2013 has a handful of contestants with dance experience, which some fans view as too much of an advantage for the lucky pairs. However, for pro Karina Smirnoff’s Season 17 partner, Corbin Bleu, it’s more about avoiding the preliminary steps than being an all-star right off the bat. (That being said, they did score an impressive 24 points in the premiere!)
When Wetpaint Entertainment caught up with Karina at Entertainment Weekly’s pre-Emmys bash on September 20, 2013 at Fig + Olive in West Hollywood, California, she explained what makes him the perfect partner. She already told us how they met and why he is her “dream partner,” but her logical reasoning makes perfect sense, too.
“You want your partner to have a little bit of dance experience so you don’t have to start from scratch — this is your left leg, this is your right leg, you know? — and that way you avoid the preliminary stuff,” she dished. “And then not mention he’s just a warm, positive personality who is fun to be around. We dork around a lot, we laugh and then we get a lot of work done. too. He was my dream partner for a reason, so that’s why it’s not going to turn into a nightmare!”
So far, rehearsals have been going great. For Week 2 (tonight, September 23), they’re dancing the Jive, and generally, he’s picking up things very quickly — especially the acting.
“He’s great at picking up the story of the dance. Because he comes from the acting world, he wants me to create the story, like it’s a mini movie,” she explained. “Then when I put choreography and steps on top, it makes sense to him. So it’s really good — we work back and forth on creating the story and then he goes, ‘OK, now the steps!’”
Corbin told Wetpaint something similar after the premiere, noting that “they bounce off of each other really well.” Sounds like the perfect pair to us! However, since he doesn’t have a ballroom background, there are a few struggles for the dynamic duo.
“It is hard especially when you have some training in ballet, as great as it is for you to hear music a lot of times, it’s harder because it’s such a different structure and technique that you have to re-teach pretty much everything,” she noted of his experience. “So we’re trying to make it more Latin American and ballroom rather than all proper and, you know, stiff in a way.”
Ultimately, their chemistry shows in their performances, but they also are close friends now. How close? When we asked for a fun fact about him, she responded with a very interesting, almost shocking answer. “He’s going to kill me, absolutely kill me for saying this but it came up in a conversation, which was really funny,” she said. “When he smells hot sauce, his nipples get hard.”
We’ll take your word for it, Karina. Do you like them together on DWTS? Sound off below!
Reporting by Lindsey Jordahl.