Dancing With the Stars partners Xochitl Gomez and Val Chmerkovskiy are a dynamite duo on the dance floor — and even when they’re working hard, they’re making sure to have fun! The team sat down with J-14, where they spoke about what they’ve learned from one another, and how Xochitl helped Val “redefine” his relationship with fun. Keep reading for our exclusive interview.

Going into DWTS, Xochitl came in with one thing in mind: fun.

“Almost like the first second I walked in, I’m like, ‘I wanna have fun. That’s the key thing,'” she told J-14 exclusively. “And it’s like the second there isn’t fun, I start questioning things like, ‘Why did I choose this?'”

She continued, “To have fun is the most important part of anything for me, because if I really enjoy what I’m doing, then I’m not only happy to be there, but it motivates me to do better and to keep going. So I think that’s the one thing I taught Val.”

For his credit, Val attests to Xochitl’s philosophy of fun.

“She definitely helped me redefine my relationship with fun,” he confirmed, before explaining that before Xochitl that he’s been “programmed to keep fun outside of the workplace,” as it makes him question whether he’s “working hard or not.”

“I mean, at the end of the day it’s about the final result,” he added. “And our fusion of both of our methods, if you will, have now created a room that’s productive, focused and rooted in fun.”

As for what Xochitl learned from her dance partner, Val joked that he’s taught the Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness star about “humility” and “sarcasm.”

“I teach her the thing that I probably am the most qualified out of all the things in my life to teach,” he said of teaching Xochitl to dance. “I’ve dedicated my life to [dance], so I’m proud to do it, and I’m proud to do it with someone that cares, right? S it’s all reciprocation. Like, I’m only as good as the person that I’m working with, and she makes me look amazing all seasons.”

“It’s been a pleasure,” he said, adding, “It’s been a whirlwind of productive time spent and fun time spent.”

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