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S23: Laurie Hernandez - Balancing On Her Toes

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Lauren "Laurie" Hernandez is an American artistic gymnast. She competed as a member of the U.S. women's gymnastics team at the 2016 Summer Olympics, winning gold in the team event and silver on the balance beam.

 

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I love Laurie and everybody else will too :p Val is hit or miss with me. I either love him or am annoyed him so I hope he's relaxed and just ready to be around a happy person.  

Edited by tarotx

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Laurie was my favorite Olympic gymnast, so that's good, but now I'm thinking Mark really did plan to sit out the season.  Laurie is very open about her faith and Mark tends to get the religious ones.  Considering height and all, they would have been a perfect match.   Well, good luck to Laurie!

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I'm most excited to see Laurie on DWTS this season. She was my favorite gymnast from the Final Five at the Olympics as well and I love her personality. She seems to have natural dance ability so I'm looking forward to seeing her with Val. 

Edited by Steph619
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She isn't called human emoji for nothing.

She reminds me of Judy Hopps from Zootopia: humongous eyes, expressive face, cute as anyone can possibly be.

 

yes, yes, i'm girlcrushing hard lol

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Val did wonders with Zendaya. They had such a great partnership and she was the same age as Laurie during her appearance so I have no doubt he'll be great with Laurie. 

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I am curious about how they'll deal with the height difference - he's an entire foot taller than she is (which is why I initially assumed she'd be with Mark).  High heels can do wonders, but that's a lot of height to make up; it's reminding me of when Cheryl danced with Rick Fox and had to wear those monster heels (that even she had trouble with) to try and fix some of the height disparity.

I do want to see what they look like when they dance together.  Val did do a great job with Zendaya, but Zendaya read as a bit more mature to me, even though she was younger when she was on the show than Laurie Hernandez will be.  I'm worried it will almost look like Val is dancing with a kid, just because he looks so mature and she looks like a young 16.  I do think she is charming and has a great personality, so I am excited to see her, I'm just a bit cautious at how this will all play out. 

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5 hours ago, Princess Sparkle said:

I am curious about how they'll deal with the height difference - he's an entire foot taller than she is (which is why I initially assumed she'd be with Mark).  High heels can do wonders, but that's a lot of height to make up; it's reminding me of when Cheryl danced with Rick Fox and had to wear those monster heels (that even she had trouble with) to try and fix some of the height disparity.

I do want to see what they look like when they dance together.  Val did do a great job with Zendaya, but Zendaya read as a bit more mature to me, even though she was younger when she was on the show than Laurie Hernandez will be.  I'm worried it will almost look like Val is dancing with a kid, just because he looks so mature and she looks like a young 16.  I do think she is charming and has a great personality, so I am excited to see her, I'm just a bit cautious at how this will all play out. 

The height difference isn't that bad.  I've seen much worse.  The challenge will be teaching her to dance up into Val's frame instead of having him dance down to hers (which he's really not supposed to do).

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21 hours ago, smiley13 said:

I could have been excited for her if she were with Mark.  But the pairing with Val kills it for me.

I'm sure Mark chose to sit out this season, since I'm pretty sure they would've been paired had be been in. But don't just count them out bc you may not like Val. Don't be one of those fans. Watch and enjoy her progress, regardless of who she dances with.

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Laurie looks good in that instagram video Val posted but I really hope they get a Latin dance their first routine....I feel like Laurie would really do well with a jive

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2 hours ago, mrsmit7 said:

Laurie looks good in that instagram video Val posted but I really hope they get a Latin dance their first routine....I feel like Laurie would really do well with a jive

i think she said on twitter or in some interview that she can't wait to dance jive.

I'm not sure why she mentioned that specific dance... she watched the show with her family, so might be just that she is familiar with the general concepts of dances and feels that jive would translate her gymnastics skills best and let's not forget about personality lol jive and jazz/broadway type of routine has Laurie written all over it.

 

 

ETA. I wonder if they will use her floor routine music at some point... original (Russian, tackle that singers! lol) or the version she used in Rio.

Edited by vavera4ka

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I'm happy for Laurie. I think DWTS is a great fit and she will do well. However it worries me that she is doing this plus the tour with her injury history. I read an article that Maggie ( Laurie's gym coach) fiancée does all the mixes for her gymnasts floor routines. It would be cool if he was allowed to do mixes for Laurie's dances.

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She is a human emoji! That's great. She seemed a little shy on the GMA clips. But when the rest of the "stars" are looking at you with darts in their eyes, guess it can be a little intimidating. No other youngsters on the show this season for her to bond with. 

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Does somebody with more knowledge of minors in the gymnastics world know if it's normal for 16 year olds to be traveling without guardians?    My understanding is that during the week she was training in Colorado, and I assume maybe her coach was there for that, and Val was obviously there too so they could rehearse.  Now Val and Laurie just went to LA for the first time, and what from what Val is posting it is literally Laurie's first time being in LA ever.  Except every plane flight Val has documented...first flying to Colorado and now to LA, it's just she and Val.  Is Val acting as her guardian during DWTS?  I don't distrust Val or think he can't handle it, but is it weird to hand over guardianship of your 16 year old daughter who has never stepped foot in LA and is completely naive to anything outside of a gym, to a guy she met 2 weeks ago?

I don't know anything about Laurie and her family and maybe there is a reason they can't travel with her but I'm slightly confused.  Even when she talks about her decision to do DWTS, she says her coach told her she was doing DWTS during the Olympics and then she told her parents, as if her parents were not part of the decision whatsoever.  Now I get during the Olympics the athletes don't see their parents until after competition is over, so she's used to being separated from them, but shouldn't parents be included in the career decision making?

I'm just trying to imagine letting my 16 year old going off to Hollywood by herself?  I'm not denying she and Val are cute, but I'm a little confused as to why Val is seemingly being asked to take on a guardian role.  I don't think that has ever happened with minors on this show previously.  They all had parents around, even if in the background.  Is she even doing school?  

Edited by spanana

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2 minutes ago, spanana said:

Does somebody with more knowledge of minors in the gymnastics world know if it's normal for 16 year olds to be traveling without guardians?    My understanding is that during the week she was training in Colorado, and I assume maybe her coach was there for that, and Val was obviously there too so they could rehearse.  Now Val and Laurie just went to LA for the first time, and what from what Val is posting it is literally Laurie's first time being in LA ever.  Except every plane flight Val has documented...first flying to Colorado and now to LA, it's just she and Val.  Is Val acting as her guardian during DWTS?  I don't distrust Val or think he can't handle it, but is it weird to hand over guardianship of your 16 year old daughter who has never stepped foot in LA and is completely naive to anything outside of a gym, to a guy she met 2 weeks ago?

I don't know anything about Laurie and her family and maybe there is a reason they can't travel with her but I'm slightly confused.  Even when she talks about her decision to do DWTS, she says her coach told her she was doing DWTS during the Olympics and then she told her parents, as if her parents were not part of the decision whatsoever.  Now I get during the Olympics the athletes don't see their parents until after competition is over, so she's used to being separated from them, but shouldn't parents be included in the career decision making?

I'm just trying to imagine letting my 16 year old going off to Hollywood by herself?  

There's no laws restricting her from traveling. But from other young contestants I've seen, typically the star + pro sit together while guardians and others are on the plane but sitting elsewhere. Also remember that there's at least 1 producer/camera person also traveling with them.

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40 minutes ago, Uke said:

There's no laws restricting her from traveling. But from other young contestants I've seen, typically the star + pro sit together while guardians and others are on the plane but sitting elsewhere. Also remember that there's at least 1 producer/camera person also traveling with them.

The producer/camera person I get.  I assume they sit elsewhere on the plane.  But Val is documenting them getting on/off planes and sitting in terminals, and traveling through terminals and there is still seemingly nobody around (besides producer people).  Maybe there is somebody else there hiding.  

Also in hindsight, I have no idea what Hayes parents did or if he had somebody in LA.  Or if they let his skeezy bro be his guardian.

This is a young girl who while very mature in some ways to of course do what it is she does for a living, is also not in a lot of ways. She's never dealt with industry anything and has spent most of her life in a gym.  This is all brand new to her.  So I sincerely hope she has people in LA and traveling with her throughout her tour.  That responsibility should not be on a pro, or even a producer.  Also people monitoring her school/work hours.   Labor laws exist for a reason.

Edited by spanana

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Zendaya attended school and her parents were at every practice. I imagine it's the same for Laurie, her parents are probably always off camera, just as Zendaya's parents were.

 

Is there something in Laurie's past that suggests her parents would not look out for her?

Edited by gohawks · Reason: Spelling
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1 hour ago, gohawks said:

Zendaya attended school and her parents were at every practice. I imagine it's the same for Laurie, her parents are probably always off camera, just as Zenday parents were.

 

Is there something in Laurie's past that suggest her parents would not look out for her?

No, I'm not saying Laurie's parents aren't there. I don't know. I'm just saying I have seen no sign of parents as of yet and both Val and Laurie have been documenting their flights on every means of social media available to them.  Snapchat, insta vids, twitter and etc.  Val filmed vids on the plane, of them sitting in the terminal, getting on/off planes and there doesn't seem like there is anybody with them.  Whereas with Zendaya, when there were airport pics, her dad was clearly there and walking with them or nearby.   You could hear Val address her parents in things posted on social media, even if they were off camera.  Her parents weren't remotely visible on the show/through official DWTS channels, nor should they have been, but they were very visibly there otherwise.  But Zendaya also wasn't the norm either as her parents were far more protective than is probably the norm for a lot of Hollywood kids. 

This is not a condemnation. Just mentioning what I observed so far.  I also think it's a little different for families of elite gymnasts who are probably fairly used to sending off their kids for days/weeks on end.  I'm sure parents don't go away to the Karolyi training camp.  Laurie is probably used to spending a lot of time in her coach's care, with her parents hundreds of miles away.  Which is 100% completely fine since her coach is someone she's known forever.  I'd imagine that is the case for a lot of elite gymnastic coaches.

All I was doing was stating an observation so far.

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3 hours ago, spanana said:

Does somebody with more knowledge of minors in the gymnastics world know if it's normal for 16 year olds to be traveling without guardians?    My understanding is that during the week she was training in Colorado, and I assume maybe her coach was there for that, and Val was obviously there too so they could rehearse.  Now Val and Laurie just went to LA for the first time, and what from what Val is posting it is literally Laurie's first time being in LA ever.  Except every plane flight Val has documented...first flying to Colorado and now to LA, it's just she and Val.  Is Val acting as her guardian during DWTS?  I don't distrust Val or think he can't handle it, but is it weird to hand over guardianship of your 16 year old daughter who has never stepped foot in LA and is completely naive to anything outside of a gym, to a guy she met 2 weeks ago?

I don't know anything about Laurie and her family and maybe there is a reason they can't travel with her but I'm slightly confused.  Even when she talks about her decision to do DWTS, she says her coach told her she was doing DWTS during the Olympics and then she told her parents, as if her parents were not part of the decision whatsoever.  Now I get during the Olympics the athletes don't see their parents until after competition is over, so she's used to being separated from them, but shouldn't parents be included in the career decision making?

I'm just trying to imagine letting my 16 year old going off to Hollywood by herself?  I'm not denying she and Val are cute, but I'm a little confused as to why Val is seemingly being asked to take on a guardian role.  I don't think that has ever happened with minors on this show previously.  They all had parents around, even if in the background.  Is she even doing school?  

Laurie is homeschooled through her gym her coach's sister is the teacher. From the articles I've read Laurie and her coach Maggie are very close. Maggie has been her coach since she was 5 and has said She thinks of Laurie as one of her children.  Laurie would sleep over Maggie's house if her parents couldn't drive her to practice.  I remember one article  her parents said they trusted Maggie to make the right decisions for Laurie when it came with gymnastics it sounds like her parents are hands off. In one article it said Laurie's parents saw people tweeting to Laurie a few years ago that she was Rio hopeful and that's how Maggie had the your daughter has a chance at the Olympics talk. Maggie even said Lauries parents were in the dark before that talk.

 

I remember reading during the 2012 tour they hired a babysitter to watch Gabby, Jordyn, and McKayla (ended up not injuring herself on tour) and the other girls who were minors.  Kyla who only didn't do as many stops I think had her Mom with her. So Laurie might have someone DWTS hired or USA gym hired to watch her if her parents can't. I doubt Maggie is traveling with her since she has other elite gymnasts she coaches. During the 2008 tour they had a coach watch the girls who were minors.

Edited by choclatechip45

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I'm pretty sure Laurie wouldn't have someone DWTS hired as a legal guardian - from the show's POV, they want someone else to take responsibility for her.  Her parents can hire someone, but ABC wouldn't take that on (especially for a highly valued athlete, where they could get sued for her lifetime earnings).  For Shawn's 1st season, the parent/guardian was written into her contract (you can google it, the whole thing is online).    It could be that the parent/guardian just prefers to not be filmed and Val is respecting that in his instagrams, snapchats, etc. It's also possible that the guardian is in the pics but you don't recognize him/her.  (Or very often, they're the ones holding the camera/iphones for the snapchats or whatever!)  For these Olympic training camps, parents basically sign their kids over to the coaches but for ABC, they'll follow child labor laws.  I wouldn't worry about her - she's got someone looking out for her.

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1 hour ago, Uke said:

I'm pretty sure Laurie wouldn't have someone DWTS hired as a legal guardian - from the show's POV, they want someone else to take responsibility for her.  Her parents can hire someone, but ABC wouldn't take that on (especially for a highly valued athlete, where they could get sued for her lifetime earnings).  For Shawn's 1st season, the parent/guardian was written into her contract (you can google it, the whole thing is online).    It could be that the parent/guardian just prefers to not be filmed and Val is respecting that in his instagrams, snapchats, etc. It's also possible that the guardian is in the pics but you don't recognize him/her.  (Or very often, they're the ones holding the camera/iphones for the snapchats or whatever!)  For these Olympic training camps, parents basically sign their kids over to the coaches but for ABC, they'll follow child labor laws.  I wouldn't worry about her - she's got someone looking out for her.

I remember Shawns contract wasn't it her mom?

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12 minutes ago, choclatechip45 said:

I remember Shawns contract wasn't it her mom?

I remember her mom was present most, if not all, of the time but I don't think the mom's name was specified in the contract, they used "parent".  I don't think they lock it down that tight - for instance, if the mom couldn't attend for some reason, the dad could take her place.  

eta: I think the way they do it is to attach a list of names of those qualifying as parent or legal guardian.

Edited by Uke

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On 8/30/2016 at 5:00 PM, smiley13 said:

I could have been excited for her if she were with Mark.  But the pairing with Val kills it for me.

I'm the exact opposite. If Mark was Laurie's partner, chances are the routines would have been more about him than her. 

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Val will be great, remember how when he was with Zendaya, almost every week judges were commenting how great was the choreography?

Val takes inspiration from his partners, and when they are super talented, positive, expressive and willing to work their tails off he really come out and nails the choreography, letting his partner shine. I have never been as excited to see the couple start performing as I am right now. If I knew about Zendaya before her season I probably would have been lol but she was an unknown commodity :)

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Tom was right, sheer professionalism at a tender age of 16. 

but then again, if her own mistake on one of the easier elements on the uneven bars at the qualifications for the Olympic team didn't phase her and she was able to deliver a super solid balance beam routine right after that, few stupid people yelling and (possibly) throwing stuff at one of the competitor won't really get her off her game.

I love watching people who have fun and truly enjoy what they are doing. It's so infectious. 

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I'm so excited to watch her throughout this season.

What's great is how amazing she was and brought so much joy and personality tonight yet I still see room for her to grow and refine even more.

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She's super adorable. She's a real shining star in attitude, charm, charisma, talent and work ethic. 

Edited by tarotx
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To go back to the guardian thing, this quote from Val sure makes it sound like he's acting as her legal guardian:

Quote

“I’m always protective over my partners, but this season it’s very different. I’m not working with some freestanding adult that knows what she’s doing. I’m responsible for [Laurie’s] well-being from the moment she wakes up to the moment she goes to sleep. … So if someone could run out like that, are you kidding? I will protect her, absolutely.”

This is from an US Weekly article about the Lochte thing, that can be found here:

http://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-news/news/ryan-lochte-dwts-protest-derek-hough-maks-val-more-react-w439339

Point being it definitely sounds like Val is her legal guardian for the next several months because why else would he be responsible for her from the moment she wakes up to the moment she goes to sleep.  Either he's exaggerating or he's her guardian.

Also from an article I read yesterday with Laurie, she said she hasn't started school yet this year either.  So no idea when that is happening for her, though I hope they don't push it off for DWTS.  I know she's got a lot going on, but it's not a great precedent to be pushing off her education either.

Laurie seems like a great kid, so no judgment, but I do find it sort of odd how hands off her parents seem to be.  I trust Val well enough but handing their 16 year old off to a grown man that she just met a few weeks ago?  There might be reasons her parents can't travel with her if they need to work, but I'd try to entrust my daughter to somebody she already knew instead of her brand new dance partner.

Either way this should be a very different experience for Val then with Zendaya.  Besides the fact that they have no real competition for the mirrorball, Val was never asked to take care of Z in that way.  Parents were almost always around.  Also while both girls are mature, it's in different ways.  Even then Zendaya probably knew more about the business side of things then Val did, whereas Laurie has never stepped a foot in LA before and is all wide eyed innocence.

Edited by spanana

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14 minutes ago, spanana said:

To go back to the guardian thing, this quote from Val sure makes it sound like he's acting as her legal guardian:

This is from an US Weekly article about the Lochte thing, that can be found here:

http://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-news/news/ryan-lochte-dwts-protest-derek-hough-maks-val-more-react-w439339

Point being it definitely sounds like Val is her legal guardian for the next several months because why else would he be responsible for her from the moment she wakes up to the moment she goes to sleep.  Either he's exaggerating or he's her guardian.

Also from an article I read yesterday with Laurie, she said she hasn't started school yet this year either.  So no idea when that is happening for her, though I hope they don't push it off for DWTS.  I know she's got a lot going on, but it's not a great precedent to be pushing off her education either.

Laurie seems like a great kid, so no judgment, but I do find it sort of odd how hands off her parents seem to be.  I trust Val well enough but handing their 16 year old off to a grown man that she just met a few weeks ago?  There might be reasons her parents can't travel with her if they need to work, but I'd try to entrust my daughter to somebody she already knew instead of her brand new dance partner.

Either way this should be a very different experience for Val then with Zendaya.  Besides the fact that they have no real competition for the mirrorball, Val was never asked to take care of Z in that way.  Parents were almost always around.  Also while both girls are mature, it's in different ways.  Even then Zendaya probably knew more about the business side of things then Val did, whereas Laurie has never stepped a foot in LA before and is all wide eyed innocence.

That's a weird quote. Her mom was there last night the lady she was with looked like Sheryl Shade her agent. I read somewhere the athlete rep and former Olympian Terrin Humphrey is the chaperone  this year on the tour. 

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8 minutes ago, choclatechip45 said:

That's a weird quote. Her mom was there last night the lady she was with looked like Sheryl Shade her agent. I read somewhere the athlete rep and former Olympian Terrin Humphrey is the chaperone  this year on the tour. 

That's interesting.  I could see Laurie's parents flying out to watch her on DWTS even if they aren't going on tour with her, but it's also possible it's just hyperbole from Val.  Val is sort of prone to it and maybe he feels more responsible for some reason.  Like maybe there is a tour chaperone, but since her actual parents aren't around, Val is just being a bit extra.  Or he's responsible for her when she's in LA and not with the tour group.

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14 minutes ago, spanana said:

That's interesting.  I could see Laurie's parents flying out to watch her on DWTS even if they aren't going on tour with her, but it's also possible it's just hyperbole from Val.  Val is sort of prone to it and maybe he feels more responsible for some reason.  Like maybe there is a tour chaperone, but since her actual parents aren't around, Val is just being a bit extra.  Or he's responsible for her when she's in LA and not with the tour group.

Maybe. Terrin is with the tour group right now in Colorado since there is another minor besides Laurie who is touring. I would say either Val or her mom are watching her in LA. The tour usually has a chaperone just like at the Olympics and Worlds usually the VP of the women's program acts as the chaperone. I would imagine Val will be with Laurie on tour to practice? I guess he will be staying with the male gymnasts or by himself.

Just looking at social media besides Madison who is in Colorado with the tour group. The rest of the team is making appearances Laurie with DWTS, Gabby is In LA making appearances while Aly and Simone were at fashion week yesterday.

Edited by choclatechip45

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