Photo: ABC/Heidi Gutman

The glitziest ballroom is back with Dancing with the Stars season 25. Professional violinist, Lindsey Stirling and Mark Ballas, a returning pro, are partnered on Dancing with the Stars. Here’s what they are doing to win the Mirrorball Trophy.

Dancing with the Stars season 25 is all set to premiere with our celebrity-pro pairs ready to turn up the heat in the ballroom. Mark Ballas is making a big return to DWTS with Lindsey Stirling, YouTube’s most talented musician, gifted with the violin. Lindsey Stirling and Mark Ballas are on DWTS 2017 with their eyes on the prize. Here’s what they have to say about their competition.

Ballas Is in the Ballroom

Two-time DWTS winner, Mark Ballas competed in 18 seasons of the show. He won season 6 with former figure skater, Kristi Yamaguchi, and season 8 with Olympic gymnast, Shawn Johnson. The last time we saw him, he finished second on season 22 with UFC fighter, Paige VanZant, before sitting out to focus on other ventures.

Besides ballroom dancing, the 31-year-old is a singer-songwriter who forms the musical duo, Alexander Jean together with his wife, BC Jean. They were engaged in 2015 after three years of dating and got married in November 2016.

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He talked about his busy life while commenting on his former dance partner, Julianne Hough bowing out of the judging panel this season. “If she’s got something else going on, good for her. We all need time. We all need breaks. I just came off of a year doing Broadway and touring with the band.” Hough, who recently married Brooks Laich, hasn’t specified the reason for taking a break from the show.

Ballas thought the time to return to DWTS was right and he was even more glad about his decision when he found out that his partner is YouTube sensation and violin extraordinaire, Lindsey Stirling. “She’s kind of been on my wish list for a minute, so that was a big part of it for me.”

Who’s the Competition?

DWTS is no stranger to hookup rumors —with all that sizzling chemistry on the ballroom! Ballas brushes off all the pro-celeb romance talk and would rather give precedence to being a strong partner. It might not be so hard for the dancer and the violinist considering they have known each other for a while.

“I’ve known her, we have a lot of mutual friends, and we’ve [Ballas and BC Jean] both been fans of what she does,” said the pro. In fact, Ballas and Jean are hoping to collaborate with Stirling in the near future. Jean confirmed that her husband’s rehearsals include jam sessions between him and Stirling.

As for Stirling, she’s ecstatic about being on the show she loves watching. While a student at Brigham Young University, Utah, Stirling and her roommates had DWTS viewing parties when season 1 premiered on ABC. “I remember thinking, ‘That looks like so much fun. I would love to do something like that,'” said Stirling, who previously competed in America’s Got Talent.

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Before the season premieres, Stirling formed bonds with her DWTS cast members like fellow musician, Jordan Fisher and Property Brother, Drew Scott. When it comes to her rehearsals with Ballas, it’s both challenging and fun. This self-trained dancer is known for busting into a move or two (or 10) while performing with her violin. “I may not be a trained dancer, but I know how to put passion behind movement,” she said, “As [Ballas] keeps saying, ‘You’re very brave. You just throw your body, and then you think about where it’s going.'”

So far, Ballas and Stirling have zeroed in on Jordan Fisher as their biggest competition. Ballas particularly is aware of Fisher’s dance skills having seen him perform in Hamilton. Nick and Vanessa Lachey, who are partnered with Peta Murgatroyd and Maksim Chmerkovskiy, are also on this team’s radar.

Lindsey and Mark are Team Stark this year, and won’t dish out about their first performance just yet. Stirling is nervous for her first stage appearance, but is excited about showcasing a new art form, “This is such a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to not only invest yourself fully into something like ballroom when that’s not your profession, but also to be taught by some of the best people in the world.” Ballas is hoping their first dance will show that Stirling is “here to dance and be fun.”

Dancing with the Stars season 25 premieres tonight (September 18) at 8:00 p.m. EST on ABC.

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