Peta Murgatroyd is currently partnered with singer Nick Lachey on season 25 of Dancing with the Stars while her husband Maksim Chmerkovskiy dances with Nick’s wife Vanessa. The pro dancer is blogging about her experience on the ABC reality dance competition exclusively for PEOPLE. Follow Murgatroyd, 31, and Nick, 43, on Twitter!
Rehearsals have been going great. I feel like I say that every season but I’m very happy with Nick. He’s come into this competition wanting to give it his all and win the Mirrorball. He’s got his brother’s Mirrorball hanging over his head, but he doesn’t let that get to him. He’s one of the very few partners that I’ve had that hardly ever gets on his phone. He’s always in front of the mirror, ready to learn, and he doesn’t want to take any breaks.
It’s really interesting and a new dynamic for Maks and I to be partnered with another married couple. But Nick and Vanessa both have a job to do, and they both are working so hard, so it hasn’t been a distraction having them at the same rehearsal studio. In fact, I think it’s an advantage to have married couples paired together. I know we’re all going home and showing each other the dances we’re working on at night, and we talk about what’s working and what’s not, and that helps.
I think it is great that they are going home and both are sore and both know what they other is going through, because it can be amazing when your partner knows exactly what you’re going through and how to support you because they need that support, too. I actually think this will be good for their marriage.
What’s great about working with Nick is that we both have young kids at home. We know that we can’t put in double the rehearsal hours because we need to get to our families, so we really work hard for four or five hours a day and make the most of the rehearsal time.
I literally don’t do anything else, I go to rehearsal and then I go home and take care of my child. And Shai is older now, he’s 8 months, and I feel like he is more self-sufficient now, and I can bring him to rehearsals more often without worrying he’ll be crying. And I’m also getting more comfortable with leaving him with the nanny or family. I actually think I’m a better mother because I’m out working and doing things that make me happy.
RELATED VIDEO: Maksim Chmerkovskiy Shares Adorable Video of Son Shai Climbing Steps as He Turns 8 Months Old
I think there are some people you already know are going to be amazing: [YouTube’s dancing violinist] Lindsey Stirling and [Grease Live and Hamilton star] Jordan Fisher are people I’m already looking at as the frontrunners because of the experience they have, but I think Nick is going to have all the performance elements down because of his years on stage. It’s just going to be about getting his technique down.
PEOPLE’s special issue, 25 Seasons of Dancing with the Stars, is available now.
Nick is talented and has a lot of rhythm from his music background, which definitely helps, but he’s not a dancer. I think people are going to assume he’s going to come in with an advantage because of his boy band background, but, as Nick has told me, they didn’t really do a lot of actual dancing. It was arm movements and microphone choreography, but really only once did they do actual dancing. But I like starting from scratch, because I can mold him and teach him the way I want to.
WATCH: Interviews With Pros, Judges, Creators & More — Get Your Dancing with the Stars Fix!
We have a cha cha, and it’s super fun and cheeky and sexy. It’s a great routine to introduce Nick to the show. But we have ballroom up for next week, so we’re already working on frame and posture so we can start out strong going into week 2. First we have to get through tonight’s dance. I think it’s going to be great, though.
Season 25 of Dancing with the Stars premieres Monday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.