Dancing With the Stars Season 14 is right around the corner and dance pros and their celeb partners are gearing up for the big premiere. Wetpaint Entertainment recently caught up with Mirror Ball champion Derek Hough for an exclusive interview about how he is preparing for the new season with partner Maria Menounos.

Wetpaint Entertainment: What's your day-to-day leading up to the premiere?
Derek: We're doing several hours of rehearsals each day. Interviews for press and for production and I'm working on a couple of fun projects on the side.

How do you feel about being paired with Maria?
I couldn't be happier. She has a great work ethic and a positive attitude that's great to be around.

When did you find out that you were getting paired with Maria?
About an hour before I met her.

Do you have a training process that you go through with your partner that we don't see on camera?
Nope. The cameras are with us every moment of the rehearsal process. What you see on TV is pretty much it.

Maria seemed pretty nervous during the cast announcement, how are you planning on keeping her calm and collected during the premiere?
I don't really have a master plan. I just need her to focus on her routine and try and block out everything else.

Aside from Maria, what other Season 14 cast members are you excited about?
I think its a fairly well rounded cast. Everyone seems to be in great spirits and happy to be here.

Check back tomorrow for part two of our interview with Derek!

Dancing With the Stars Season 14 premieres Monday, March 19 at 8 pm ET/PT on ABC.

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