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Laurie Hernandez's 'DWTS' Journey: 7 Times She Stole Our Hearts by Being So Cute!

by Desiree Murphy 11:59 AM PST, November 23, 2016
Playing Laurie Hernandez's 'DWTS' Journey: 7 Times She Stole Our Hearts by Being So Cute!

Dancing With the Stars' 23rd season may have come to an end on Tuesday night, but that hasn't stopped fans from reminiscing over the best moments from the ballroom.

The mirror ball trophy landed in the hands of Laurie Hernandez and her pro partner, Val Chmerkovskiy, a pair that were frontrunners from the beginning.

Following their big victory, ET has rounded up seven times the 16-year-old Olympic gymnast stole our hearts with her sweet smile, cute moments and undeniable passion.

WATCH: Laurie Hernandez and Val Chmerkovskiy Win 'Dancing With The Stars'

1. "Little miss dynamite's" last dance.

That would be the perfect nickname judge Len Goodman gave Hernandez during the finals. If there was any question as to why she should have won that mirror ball trophy, this dance proved it! Her "24 hour fusion," a mix of the foxtrot and Argentine tango, was arguably her strongest routine of the season, with judge Bruno Tonioli calling it "Fantastic!" and "Right on the money, honey!"

2. When she was literally a ray of sunshine on the dance floor.

During her semi-finals freestyle, the New Jersey native brought her true personality to the stage, showcasing her always-positive attitude and bright spirit while dancing to Ben Rector's "Brand New." Her highlighter yellow dress perfectly complemented the playful, fun and energetic movements Chmerkovskiy envisioned. Not to mention, it was the first time she got to recreate two of her gold medal-winning gymnastic tricks in the ballroom.

3. Bringing out the sass factor!

Perfect score? She had it coming! Hernandez absolutely slayed her routine to Chicago's "Cell Clock Tango," showing off her sexy side with flirty expressions, sharp flicks and flawless lifts. We're sure her red-hot lipstick and sheer dance ensemble helped her channel her fierce inner diva, a side fans may get to see more of when she hits the road for the Dancing With the Stars: Live! tour, which kicks off Dec. 16 in Reno, Nevada.

4. That time she made Chmerkovskiy cry.

Before Hernandez and Chmerkovskiy performed a Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory-inspired Viennese waltz during Halloween Week, fans saw the dance pro get a little teary-eyed during their pre-taped interview package.

"My whole life is focused around making sure that she shines every Monday," Chmerkovskiy said, getting choked up with emotion. "Is my creativity good enough? Is my choreography good enough? Because her dancing is definitely good enough."

"Charlie's enthusiasm [in Willy Wonka] to see this world is very similar to Laurie's pure joy every time she steps foot on the dance floor," he continued. "It's crazy how fast life moves, and Laurie -- she brings the joy in everything. I just don't want to blow it for her, you know?"

Hernandez chimed in, saying, "You have to stop, because then you're going to make me start crying and that's ugly."

5. Her dazzling prom experience.

Another sweet moment from the pair happened during Eras Week, when Hernandez revealed she had never gotten the chance to attend a prom, as she's been homeschooled most of her life due to her commitment to gymnastics. Chmerkovskiy saw that as a perfect opportunity to give his partner a prom of her own, turning the DWTS ballroom into a '60s school dance floor. Judging by the smile that never left her face during their quickstep, we think it's safe to say she had a blast!

6. Dealing with the death of her grandma with such grace and strength.

The ballroom was an emotional night for everyone on Nov. 14 when the cast and crew learned that Hernandez's grandmother, Brunilda, died one day before the gymnast took the stage to perform a foxtrot to Tori Kelly's "Hollow."

"I am extremely close to my grandma," Hernandez said in the interview package that aired before her dance. "Growing up, she would always do my hair, she was always the one who would make me chocolate milk or rice when I came home."

7. When host Tom Bergeron gave her the mirror ball.

Her adorable reaction says it all! "I just want to thank everyone for their support along this crazy roller coaster of my life," Hernandez gushed after her win. "And my goal is just to inspire others as I go on with my journey."

WATCH: EXCLUSIVE: 'DWTS' Champion Laurie Hernandez Says Winning a Mirror Ball Trophy 'Almost Feels the Same' as Receiving a Gold Medal

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