The DWTS pro says that the winner of this year's Mirror Ball trophy 'came in as this little girl and became a woman'

By K.C. Baker
Updated June 07, 2015 01:25 PM
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Credit: Michael Simon Photography

Rumer Willis didn t just win the Dancing With the Stars competition this season.

The 26-year-old dance champ also came into her own on the ABC reality competition, according to DWTS pro dancer Tony Dovolani and her partner, Val Chmerkovskiy.

“She came in as this little girl and became a woman on the show,” Dovolani told PEOPLE Saturday after performing in Sway: A Dance Trilogy in Manhattan with his DWTS costars.

“You know what’s funny?” he continued. “She was known as Demi Moore and Bruce Willis‘s daughter, but on this show she became Rumer, which is nice.”

Chmerkovskiy, who also scored the coveted Mirror Ball trophy as her pro partner, said he couldn t agree more. “I was really glad that she was able to come into her own and find her own light.

“When I met her I was pleasantly surprised with first of all, the sense of gratitude that she had,” he said. “Her work ethic is incredible. So is her passion for what she does. She is a humble individual and I was really looking forward to the world kind of seeing that and celebrating that.”

The actress/singer (who gave the audience an impressive rendition of Britney Spears’s “Toxic,” said she is thrilled – and grateful – that learned a lot about herself and found a new passion in life.

Her famous parents, Bruce, 60, and Demi, 52, and her two sisters, Scout, 23, and Tallulah, 21, definitely saw a big change in her, she said.

“They’re just excited for me now because I feel like in a lot of ways they have never seen me be so passionate or be so driven or have such motivation toward something,” she said.

She loved dancing on the show so much that she has joined the Dancing with the Stars: Live! Perfect Ten Tour this summer, which kicks off June 13 in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

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“They can’t get rid of me just yet,” she said, laughing. “I love being here with them. I love everybody.”

She said she would love to take what she learned on the show to Broadway – or to a musical on the silver screen.

Maybe Pitch Perfect 3?

“Right?” she said, laughing.

“I definitely want to make it part of hopefully whatever career opportunities come up for me,” she said. “That’s one of the most beautiful parts of being in this position. I’m just excited to see what comes next.”