Zendaya began her time on "Dancing With The Stars" with a strong start, nabbing a 24 out of 30 with her first dance to become the top-scoring celebrity of week one. Zendaya and her pro partner, Valentin Chmerkovskiy, have since scored consistently well and garnered praise from the judges for their routines.
OTRC.com caught up with Zendaya and Chmerkovskiy on Thursday, April 12, while they were rehearsing their upcoming Argentine Tango routine for the show on Monday, April 15. The dance is special because this week's episode will feature a new obstacle for the celebrities called "Len's Side By Side Challenge."
The challenge tasks each couple to perform a portion of their individual dance alongside a pro dance couple. For 16-year-old Zendaya, that means she will be dancing alongside Chmerkovskiy's brother and former "Dancing With The Stars" pro Maksim Chmerkovskiy and returning pro Anna Trebunskaya.
"I'm having a great time, I think the best days are those Mondays," Zendaya told OTRC.com. "I think there's a lot of stress but once it actually happens, and you're just in the moment and you're enjoying it, it's really great."
Chmerkovskiy agreed saying that this season, which is already half over, has flown by "faster than any of my other seasons."
He added, "I'm challenging myself as not only as a teacher, but as a dancer myself because our choreography is so challenging and you know she's a pleasure to work with and we've built a great relationship and so I'm having a blast."
Zendaya also talked about Maksim Chmerkovskiy's presence in her routine and said, "I actually don't get to dance with him, I kind of dance beside him. But it's cool."
"I think it's nice to have two other pros in our number, which is like kind of scary and intimidating as well because they're professionals and that's kind of tough to dance like the professionals," she added. "But it's gonna be cool. I'm excited."
Valentin said about working with his brother again, "I'm very honored whenever I get a chance to dance with Maks on the same floor. I'm very happy that the producers made that work and found a way to get him back on the show to dance and be part of our number."
"For the audience it seems like we're separated now that we're not on the show, but I see him every day," he added. "Every day we talk, we hang out, we're very much in each other's lives and to get to share that with an audience and, most importantly, with our parents back home to turn on the television and watch both their sons doing their thing together, it's ... you know ... I'm very grateful for that opportunity."
The "Dancing With The Stars" pair also talked about their "steamy" Argentine Tango routine, being well aware that Zendaya is only 16 and making the dance age appropriate.
"I think, you know, it's a different kind of way, obviously, we're gonna do things. It's how we've been doing it. Obviously I'm 16, and things are going to be a little different, but, you know, that's why I have this guy," Zendaya said. "He knows what the deal is. I know what the deal is. My parents definitely know what the deal is. So it's good. "
"And I definitely know that her parents know the deal," Valentin said with a laugh.
Be sure to see Zendaya's interview above and be sure to check back after Monday's "Dancing With The Stars" for post-show interviews with the cast here.