Cast Reveal

The Season 16 cast after the reveal on GMA.

Val met Zendaya for the first time on February 24, 2013, tweeting, "Back in La La.. Met my partner.. Oh snap, let the games begin."[1]

Following the Season 16 cast reveal on Good Morning America (GMA) two days later, Val revealed in his blog that "I feel like I've been dealt a pretty good set of cards. Zendaya is an incredible talent, along with her already successful career. Being only 16, I think she has incredible potential, and I'm really looking forward to having that potential develop further on Dancing With the Stars. [...] My focus right now is to make sure Zendaya lives up to her incredible potential. Not only surpasses the great, great expectations that I think the audience has for her, but also that she reinvents herself a little bit and she walks away from this project - forget the mirror ball trophy - but that she walks away from this project not only proud of herself, but also feeling like she has made a great deal of accomplishment and of course has an amazing time."[2]


Val on the set of SIU.

On top of rehearsing for their first dance and going to school, Zendaya was also finishing Shake It Up!'s final season. Val was there to watch and support her as their last dance number was performed.[3] Leading up to the premiere, Val and Zendaya also made another appearance on GMA on March 14 before heading to Dance With Me Studios in New York City to practice their contemporary routine.[4] Their final appearance prior to the premiere was at the Dancing With the Stars Gifting Suite held at CBS Studios in Los Angeles.[5]

Week 1 Edit


Practicing their contemporary at DWM Studios.

Leading up to their first performance, both Val and Zendaya blogged about their experiences. Val revealed that they were dancing contemporary, saying, "The dance is finished. We've been actually touching base on other dances and other techniques because I feel like contemporary is a dance that for Zendaya is way easier for instance, than the tango or the cha-cha or the rumba. Contemporary, being that it's a very interpretive dance style, it gives her a lot of freedom. In general, it's more fitting for her prior dance experience." He also credited her for having "a great working mind," as well as discipline. "We don't take breaks," he said. "We work really, really hard."[6]

Zendaya wrote about growing up watching Dancing With the Stars and commended Val for being an "amazing partner." She revealed, "Val has been such an incredible teacher. I think we work so well together because of out dedication and we always have fun when we're practicing."[7]

Performing during Week 1.

 Val and Zendaya performed their first dance in March 18, 2013. Their contemporary piece was set to OneRepublic's "Feel Again." They received three eights, giving them a 24 and the highest score of the night. 

Their rehearsal package revealed footage of their first meeting, when Val called her "very beautiful" before quickly trying to take it back after finding out she was only sixteen years old. Famous for his "Val speeches" among his fans, he wasted no time in giving on to Zendaya, telling her, "I don't want you to be good, you know what I'm saying? I want you to be incredible, every time." 

Week 2 Edit

Going into Week 2, Val blogged, "This week we're doing jive. The jive is a very fast, very upbeat type of dance. [...] I'm not going to reveal too much about it. The dance is...honestly, I'm so happy with how the dance came out! We don't need too much production. We don't need too much story. The story is simple...I'm going to wear my pinstriped suit and she's going to wear her flapper dress, and we're going to come out and show a jive."[8]

He also revealed, "I basically choreographed the routine that I would've been dancing with a pro. That's how challenging it is. I basically drove her, destroyed her into doing it pretty damn close to a pro! [...] Zendaya is somebody that I don't hold back anything with choreographically. I'm not sacrificing anything. [...] I will put the pressure on and know that a diamond is going to be the result. I just want to keep doing that, keep creating beautiful things, keep putting the pressure on, and see what she can do. I think she can do anything."[9]


Zendaya and Val at the Kid's Choice Awards.

On her own blog, Zendaya stated, "I think contemporary was a great dance to begin with because it allowed me to break hold and relax a little, but the jive is definitely a reality check! This dance is so detailed and I really have to watch my posture. Good think I have the posture police (Val) as my partner!!! Val has been such a great mentor. He's a strict teacher, which is exactly what I wanted. I need someone who pushes me to be my very best and believe me, he's been pushing me!"[10]

They also took the time to visit the Children's Hospital of Orange County on March 22, as well as attended the Kid's Choice Awards on March 23. When interviewed about her experience on Dancing With the Stars by that point, she said, "When I do like wardrobe or whatever, it's really this guy. He is actually really good at that. I'm brain dead by the time I get in there. I'm like, 'Yeah guys, put me in whatever.' He's like, 'No. I want this. I want this. I want this. I got this.' He's genius. He's genius. He's got some style, if you haven't noticed already."[11]

Week 2

Performing during Week 2.

They performed their jive on March 25, receiving three nines and once again landing at the top of the leader board. Afterwards, Val tweeted, "We show up, we dance, we bow. @Zendaya I'm so proud!!! No fluff, NO props, NO set, JUST JIVE! That's what this whole thing is about."[12]

Viewers were asked to vote for the dance they wanted to see again on the Week 2 Results Show, which took place on March 26. Zendaya and Val were chosen and performed their jive again.

Week 3: Prom Night Edit

Week 4: Most Memorable Year Edit

Week 5: Len's Side-By-Side Challenge Edit

Week 6: Stevie Wonder Night Edit

Week 7: Latin Night Edit

Week 8: Trio Challenge Edit

Week 9: Semifinals Edit

Week 10: Finals Edit

Miscellaneous Media from Season 16Edit

All of Val & Zendaya's Rehearsal Packages from DWTS

All of Val & Zendaya's Rehearsal Packages from DWTS

All of Val & Zendaya's Dances from DWTS Season 16

All of Val & Zendaya's Dances from DWTS Season 16

All of Val & Zendaya's Scores

All of Val & Zendaya's Scores

Team Valdaya - Confessional -Extended-

Team Valdaya - Confessional -Extended-

References Edit

  1. "Twitter Interaction || February 2013." Tumblr.
  2. Chmerkovskiy, Valentin. "I'm Toning Down Sexiness This Season." Today.
  3. "I See You Val." Tumblr.
  4. "Zendaya & Val Chmerkovskiy: Dancing Practice in NYC." Just Jared Jr.
  5. "Zendaya: 'Dancing With the Stars' Gifting Suite." Just Jared Jr.
  6. Chmerkovskiy, Valentin. "Forget The Judges, It's About the Fans." Today.
  7. Coleman, Zendaya. "Getting Ready for Premiere Night." Access Hollywood.
  8. Chmerkovskiy, Valentin. "I'm Pushing Zendaya Past Her Limits." Today.
  9. Chmerkovskiy, Valentin. "I'm Pushing Zendaya Past Her Limits." Today.
  10. Coleman, Zendaya. "Week 2." Access Hollywood.
  11. "I Want to Make Sure That She Looks Like a Million Dollars Every Time She Walks Out." Tumblr.
  12. "Twitter Interaction || March 2013." Tumblr.