Only sixteen but her accomplishments are older: Laurie Hernandez has already won an Olympic gold medal, the TV show "Dancing With The Stars," and along the way, the hearts of America. Nonetheless, she freaked out meeting Beyonce and is proud to say she made Kanye smile. She is a huge fan of "Law and Order: SVU," and will be guest-starring in an episode. Laurie Hernandez is basically your average teenager who happens to have a safe in her house with Olympic medals.
Laurie stopped by BUILD Series NYC to discuss her new book, "I Got This: To Gold and Beyond," but the talk was not devoid of "Dancing With The Stars" gossip. After taking home a gold medal in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, the former ballroom dancer landed herself a spot on season 23 of Dancing with the Stars; she was partnered with Val Chmerkovskiy, a winning combination.
Laurie is now on the "Dancing With The Stars" tour, where she shares a bus with Val, and the two are closer than ever. Laurie gave moderator (and fellow Olympian) Tim Morehouse an inside look at her friendship with her "teacher/mentor/brother" Val. "We got very close during the season. My mom has already like adopted him, he's family," Laurie revealed on the live talk show.
Laurie credits Val for everything from her personality to playlist. "He's been amazing. He's taught me so much, [including] to be grateful for every moment, everything and everyone because they're not there forever. And also, that I like R&B music."
Val has inspired Laurie to work on bringing storytelling to her routines. "Just being able to interact with the crowd and show your story through dance, that's what he likes to do. He is always telling me 'it's not about the steps that you're doing, it's the intentions of your step' and it's like 'you're a smart man.'"
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