"It was a little awkward in the beginning, but once we started, it was great," Smirnoff tells PEOPLE
It appears Karina Smirnoff and Maksim Chmerkovskiy have buried the hatchet.
The formerly engaged pair, who didn’t have much interaction after calling it quits in September 2009, shocked viewers on Monday night’s Dancing with the Stars when they not only shared a routine together but looked happy about it.
“It was so fun,” Smirnoff, 35, told PEOPLE backstage after the show. “It was drama-less and so refreshing. I enjoyed it. I really did.”
Smirnoff – who says she was shocked when she opened an envelope and found out that Chmerkovskiy, 33, would be joining her and partner Jacoby Jones – admitted, “It was a little awkward in the beginning, but once we started, it was great.”
Moving forward, the exes are in a friendly place.
“It’s back to where it should be – professional and fun,” Smirnoff says. “We’re wearing heels, rhinestones and spandex. Let’s put everything into perspective.”