EXCLUSIVE: Heather Morris defends professional dance experience ahead of 'Dancing With the Stars' debut


Heather Morris may have already taught her partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy "some moves" ahead of their Dancing With the Stars debut, but the former Glee star says she's not coming into the competition with any advantage.

ET's Jennifer Peros caught up with Morris, a former backup dancer for Beyoncé, in New York City on Wednesday, where she insisted that despite her dance experience, "the competition is completely fair."

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"We did a couple little moves," Morris said of how rehearsals with Chmerkovskiy have been going. "I taught him some moves, but we'll see."

After 15 seasons on DWTS, Chmerkovskiy is a seasoned pro -- but some have argued that with Morris' dance experience, so is she.

"I don't think so at all!" the 30-year-old actress shared. "I think the competition is completely fair. There's a gold medal gymnast! Come on!"

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Season 23 Dancing with the Stars contestants
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Season 23 Dancing with the Stars contestants
HOLLYWOOD, CA - AUGUST 09: Actress/singer Jana Kramer (Photo: Getty)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JULY 20: Actress Marilu Henner (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 18: Former Texas Governor Rick Perry (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 26: Retired Football star Calvin Johnson  (Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images)
CAMDEN, NJ - AUGUST 06: Rapper, actor and TV host Vanilla Ice (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MAY 27: Nascar Driver James Hinchcliffe (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 28: Olympic gymnast Laurie Hernandez (Photo by Nicholas Hunt/FilmMagic)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 9: Ryan Lochte of Team USA (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 02: Actress Maureen McCormick (Photo by Allen Berezovsky/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 09: Recording artist/producer Kenneth 'Babyface' Edmonds (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 03: Reality Actress Terra Jole (Photo by Michael Bezjian/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 28: Model, reality star, singer Amber Rose (Photo by Anthony Harvey/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 16: Actor Jake T. Austin (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
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"We'll do our best, dance as hard as we can, and see what happens. I think everybody's gonna do that, too," Chmerkovskiy added. "People are, now season 24, relying on their strengths. I think Chris Kattan is hilarious, can't wait to see him. Charo stole the show today, so that's probably something to look forward to, when she's wild, running around on set. You know, it's gonna be a fun show. We'll contribute the way we can."

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"Charo, for sure [is my biggest competitor]," Morris agreed. "Charo won my heart today, and I know she'll win America's heart."

Though the mother of two is used to performing both on stage and on TV, she says dancing on live television is something completely new.

"I'm excited for the costumes, for sure. The costumes are like, unbelievable. My favorite," she gushed. "I'm a little nervous about it being on live television. You know, people watching from all over the country. It's a little nerve-wracking."

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'Dancing with the Stars' season 23 net worth
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'Dancing with the Stars' season 23 net worth
Julianne Hough Net Worth: $10 Million

Laurie Hernandez Net Worth: $2 Million
Derek Hough Net Worth: $4 Million

Amber Rose Net Worth: $5 Million
Ryan Lochte Net Worth: $6 Million
Carrie Ann Inaba Net Worth: $8 Million

Bruno Tonioli Net Worth: $10 Million

Valentin Chmerkovskiy Net Worth: $1.5 Million

Len Goodman Net Worth: $12 Million

Witney Carson Net Worth: $300,000

Rick Perry Net Worth: $3 Million
Vanilla Ice Net Worth: 18 Million
Maureen McCormick Net Worth: $4 Million
Jana Kramer Net Worth: $2 Million
Terra Jole Net Worth: $500,000
Calvin Johnson Net Worth: $30 Million
Marilu Henner: $12 Million
Kenny 'Babyface' Edmonds Net Worth: $80 Million
Jake T. Austin Net Worth: $5 Million
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Morris is going to have to get over her nerves, however, if she's going to claim the mirror ball trophy -- which Chmerkovskiy definitely has his eyes on.

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"I got a mantle at home, it has two of [my brother] Val [Chmerkovskiy's] mirror balls, it has two of Peta [Murgatroyd's] mirror balls, it even has a little mirror ball for the baby, and my lonesome mirror ball by itself. It's feeling insecure and needs company, for sure," he confessed. "I just need to get balls evened out, and this is the opportunity. I'm not gonna stop."

Worst comes to worst, Chmerkovskiy says he's got a secret weapon to get him votes: his newborn son, Shai!


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