Professional dance couple Jennifer Kronenberg and Carlos Miguel Guerra knows all about partnering. Their book Experiencing the Art of Pas De Deuxwhich just released on Tuesday, uncovers the key components to dance coupling often overlooked in classes and textbooks, such as how to build and maintain the connections necessary for a trusting and successful team. Below, they weigh in on the season premiere of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars,  giving their expert opinion on the best partnerships among the cast and their prediction for who will win it all!

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After watching the Season 23 premiere of ABC’s Dancing With the Stars, we have to say we were pretty impressed with quite a few of the couples!.

Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds and Allison Holker seemed to have a smooth, easy-going style and a connection that was very easy to watch.

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Jake T. Austin and Jenna Johnson had some great moments too, with a wonderful shared energy. Even though his technique wasn’t so strong in this first performance, they definitely show a lot of potential as a couple..

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Calvin Johnson Jr. and Lindsay Arnold were also fun to watch, and his long arms made his partnering work seem very fluid and controlled. Despite the judges’ criticisms of his footwork, we believed he was truly partnering her—and quite well. He wasn’t just “faking it”—going through the motions while letting her take the reins—as seemed common with many of the other male stars in the first few performances. We were really impressed; after all, it was his first time out there!

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Terra Jolé and Sasha Farber were fantastic and get an A+ in our book. They were the perfect example of a seemingly mismatched partnership turning out to be a great success! They were totally in tune with each other, danced wonderfully together, and had a fantastic shared connection and energy.

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While we think that all of these couples have the potential to go very far in the competition, we predict this year’s Mirrorball Trophy will go to Laurie Hernandez and Val Chmerkovskiy!

Laurie just seemed so comfortable out on the dance floor—she was having a great time, wasn’t afraid to go for it, and most importantly, she balanced her excitement with control and focus, paying close attention to her partner and his cues at all times. They were truly enjoying each other and the dance so much, and their synchronicity and connection were spot on. If that was just their first performance, then we’re sure they have a great chance of winning!

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kronenberg_jennifer_guerra_carlos_credit-alberto-oveidoJennifer Carlynn Kronenberg is a former principal dancer with the Miami City Ballet. She has conducted master classes for Ballet Chicago and Ballet de Monterrey, among other companies and schools. She is the author of So, You Want to Be a Ballet Dancer? Carlos Miguel Guerra is a former principal dancer with the Miami City Ballet. He studied and worked with Fernando Alonso in Cuba, Ivan Nagy in Chile, and Edward Villella in Miami.

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