Photo: ABC

By Kathleen Perricone

Season 18 of Dancing With The Stars kicks off tonight and one of the 12 duos battling it out for the mirror ball trophy is Amy Purdy and Derek Hough.

The double-amputee snowboarding champ and five-time DWTS winner both called in to On Air with Ryan Seacrest on Monday morning to dish on what they have in store for fans this season.

Derek says he was game to partner with Amy from the moment producers first mentioned her. Although he was unsure if he wanted to be a part of the show this season, ”actually, it really inspired me and really made me want to do it more than ever. It gave a whole new meaning to the season to do the show. It’s been awesome to work with her. She’s just an absolute warrior and champion … We’re excited. I’m excited to show people what she can do.”

But will dancing prove tricky for Amy, who utilizes prosthetics on both of her legs? “For one, I love to dance,” she explains. “So I think that rhythm and that love of it is coming naturally … For Dancing, I literally am just jumping right into this. So it may take some time to maybe figure out the best legs to wear, but for now it’s all working really great and we’re making it work.”

Derek and Amy probably shouldn’t get too comfortable as partners though … because this season, there will be a swap!

“It’s the first time we’ve ever done it before, ” explains Derek. “Mid-season, basically, America is going to be able to choose who they want to switch around, and so one week, we’re going to basically switch partners and see what happens. It could be a train wreck or it could be amazing. It’s going to be entertaining either way.”

Catch the Season 18 premiere of Dancing With The Stars tonight on ABC at 8/7c.