PEOPLE caught up with Hernandez, 16, after the show, and the Olympic gold medalist opened up about how her mom reacted to her performance of “Cell Block Tango” from Chicago.
“She thought it was awesome,” revealed the gymnast. “I showed her a little clip we had from practice and I said: ‘Okay, mom, this dance is like, very sexy.’ And she said: ‘You go out there and give it your all! When are you going to be able to do anything like this ever again? I support you. Just go for it!’ ”
“How many people get to dance argentine tango with Val?!” chimed in Chmerkovskiy, 30.
As for how Chmerkovskiy pulls off more risqué dance moves with Hernandez’s age, the pro dancer told PEOPLE it’s about striking the right balance.
“You never want to cross the line,” he said. “Sexy is strong and confident … it’s classy.”
Hernandez, meanwhile, said she felt “totally in character” on Monday night.
“I was excited to do the dance and it was fun,” she added. “I was channeling my inner Velma.”
Dancing with the Stars airs Mondays (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.