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HOME > Dancing with the Stars > Dancing with the Stars 23


Laurie Hernandez -- 9 things to know about the 'Dancing with the Stars' celebrity

By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 11/22/2016 

Laurie Hernandez was a frontrunner all season long on Dancing with the Stars, and fans will soon find out whether she'll take home Season 23's mirrorball trophy.

Lauren, nicknamed "Laurie," is a 16-year-old American artistic gymnast who competed as a member of the U.S. women's gymnastics team at the 2016 Summer Olympics and won gold.

Laurie is partnered with pro Val Chmerkovskiy on Dancing with the Stars and the couple made it all the way to the finale, which airs Tuesday night on ABC. Laurie proved that, despite being a gymnast, she had to work hard to learn ballroom dancing. She grew immensely on the show as a person and matured into a young lady.

Laurie is 5'0" and of Puerto Rican descent. Want to learn more about the bubbly girl?

Below is a list of 9 facts Reality TV World has compiled about Laurie Hernandez:

- Laurie was born on June 9, 2000 in New Brunswick, NJ, and has one older brother and one older sister.

- Laurie and Val are nicknamed "Team Valaur" on Dancing with the Stars, which is very fitting since valor means "great courage in the face of danger, especially in battle."

- In 2014, she committed to the University of Florida to compete as a Florida Gator gymnast in the NCAA but ultimately decided to forgo her NCAA eligibility and become a pro athlete in August 2016.

- She won gold in the team event and silver on the balance beam at this summer's Olympics.

- Laurie had to take six months off two years ago after a series of injuries, including a fractured wrist, dislocated knee and torn patella ligament.

- The DWTS contestant got to hang out with Beyonce and Kim Kardashian at the 2016 VMAs. She loves Kanye West more than Kanye loves Kanye!

- The energetic and sweet teen began her gymnastics career at age 5 and has been home-schooled since the third grade.

- Laurie is proud to support Crest's Healthier Smiles Project, which has recently teamed up with Feeding America to donate half a million tubes of toothpaste to those in need.

- In her free time, Laurie enjoys painting her nails funky colors, reading books like The Hunger Games, writing poetry, photo editing and listening to EDM or rap.

Laurie Hernandez/Instagram

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