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The pair of pro dancers, who got engaged in June, spoke about competing against each other on the new season of the ABC reality show.

By Helen Murphy
September 12, 2018 03:47 PM
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Jenna Johnson and Val Chmerkovskiy, both pro dancers on ABC’s Dancing With the Stars, are facing off for the first time as fiancées on the reality competition’s new season.

The couple got engaged in Venice, Italy, in June. The duo had dated on and off beginning in 2015 but began publicly sharing their love story in 2017 — including sharing a passionate kiss on the season 25 finale of DWTS.

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Chmerkovskiy’s proposal in Italy.
| Credit: Jenna Johnson/Twitter

On the upcoming season of DWTS, Chmerkovskiy is paired with The Facts of Life star Nancy McKeon, while Johnson is coupled with Bachelorette favorite Joe “Grocery Store Joe” Amabile.

“It’ll be fun,” Chmerkovskiy, 32, tells PEOPLE about competing against his fiancée. “We’re a team in the household, but on the dance floor my responsibility is really to make sure Nancy has an awesome experience, and part of that experience will, at some point, entail beating Joe, and that will be a really difficult moment to come home to.”

PEOPLE's Ones to Watch Party presented by Maybelline New York at NeueHouse Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA, America - 4 October 2017
Val Chmerkovskiy and Jenna Johnson
| Credit: Eric Charbonneau/LeStudio

It’s a bold statement considering Johnson just won Dancing with the Stars: Athletes with Olympic skater Adam Rippon.

“But it’s gonna be all fun,” Chmerkovskiy adds, “and it’s really all about our partners. Our personal stuff is secondary.”

NANCY MCKEON, VAL CHMERKOVSKIY
Chmerkovskiy and partner Nancy McKeon
| Credit: Craig Sjodin/ABC
JENNA JOHNSON, JOE "GROCERY STORE JOE" AMABILE
Jenna Johnson and Joe Amabile
| Credit: Craig Sjodin/ABC

With the rehearsals for the new season starting up, wedding planning “is kind of at a halt right now,” says Johnson, 24. “But it’s exciting, it’s fun. All I do is scroll on Pinterest and look at things, it’s amazing.”

Of Amabile, Johnson says, “He’s never danced before, but he’s getting better and better everyday.”

“I’m super proud,” Johnson adds, “and I can’t wait to show everyone what we’ve been working on!”

Here’s to some friendly competition! Season 27 of Dancing With the Stars will premiere on ABC on Sept. 24th at 8 p.m. ET.