Back to work! Jenna Johnson has officially kicked off rehearsals for season 29 of Dancing With the Stars, and she couldn’t be more excited about her celebrity partner.
“I am so ecstatic,” the pro, 26, teased exclusively to Us Weekly on Thursday, September 10, about her mystery partner, who will be revealed during the premiere. “I immediately knew who he was. Just getting to know him these first few days at rehearsals, I cannot wait. I think he’s going to be so unexpected. He’s so into it.”
She noted that the celeb “wants to rehearse” and “has the correct mindset because he really wants to learn how to correctly dance” — two qualities that have really helped move them forward.
“He loves to dance. He loves watching dance, and that’s all you can ask as a teacher or as a partner — is someone who’s really invested in it,” the season 26 winner said. “It’s a dream so far.”
Although Johnson couldn’t be more thankful for the new protocols put in place due to the coronavirus pandemic, there is one big downside: being apart from husband Val Chmerkovskiy. Married pros are not allowed to live together while in production.
“From what I understand, the logic of all of this is the two of us directly affect a celebrity. … So, say that we were living together [and] one of us tested positive, I am now affecting Val, and he is affecting his partner,” she explained when addressing that celebs and pros who aren’t married to other pros are able to go home to their families. “Then they would lose two partnerships rather than — if we were separated and say heaven forbid, I tested positive, it would just affect me and my partner and not two couples or two partnerships.”
Johnson and Chmerkovskiy, 34, tied the knot in 2019 and bought a house during the pandemic. However, their time living inside was cut short.
“We finally unpacked and got settled in. We were loving it, and then we got called and they were like, ‘You know, one of you is going to have to move out,’” the So You Think You Can Dance alum recalled. “There wasn’t much discussion about who it was going to be! I think it was kind of just assumed. He’s the sweetest. He moved into an apartment, but I am so sad. I will admit it. I’m a very needy person when it comes to Val. I love my Val snuggles. I love just, like, touching him. He always jokes because he’s like, ‘You love to be alone, but with me next to you.’ And it’s so true. So I do miss my hubby!”
For more from Johnson and her partner, watch the exclusive video above.
Dancing With the Stars airs on ABC Monday, September 14, at 8 p.m. ET.
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