Maksim Chmerkovskiy Talks Working With JoJo Siwa on 'So You Think You Can Dance' Season 18 (Exclusive)

Maks, JoJo, and Allison Holker have been tapped as judges for the upcoming 18th season.

Maksim Chmerkovskiy is already in the groove with his fellow So You Think You Can Dance judge, JoJo Siwa

In January, it was revealed that JoJo, who judged season 17 of the series, will return, joining Maks and Allison Holker at the judges' table as a replacement for Nigel Lythgoe amid his legal troubles

"She's a personality, she's cute, she's great, she's also somebody that I feel like I knew for years before we even met," Maks tells ET's Rachel Smith about JoJo. 

The former Dancing With the Stars pro admits that there's already a family connection, as she competed with his sister-in-law, Jenna Johnson, during her historic season.

"She danced with Jenna," Maks says. "They had a great season. She knows my brother [Valentin Chmerkovskiy] very well because of that. And by that virtue, she knows me."

He adds, "And when we met, she texted Jenna like, 'Yep, they’re exactly the same.'"

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The great working dynamic between him and JoJo is credited to her years of experience as a professional dancer, which Maks admits is still a surprise given her young age. 

"Looking at her when she decides to speak directly. Things come out of her mouth that are very much beyond her age," he says about the 20-year-old Dance Moms alum. "She's very experienced already. And I keep having to, like, listen to her speak and I'm like, 'There's no way you did that.' She has a tattoo of the amount of days she was on tour. She was over 1000,1033 days on tour something like that."

He adds, "I'm like, 'Wait, you're just 20. When did that happen?' But again, I'm a believer in 10,000 hours speaking more than 50 years. You know, so for me yes, you learn through life but you can, you know, you can't teach that."

Maks believes the amount of time and years that JoJo has invested, makes her the best judge for the younger generation of dancers who are hitting the dance floor this season. 

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"She has a lot to bring to another 18-, 20-year-old who's going through some things that they're going through who is just entering that journey," he says. "I think that another 20-,18-year-old speaking their languages is definitely a must."

As he busts a move from the dance floor to the judges' table, Maks admits that he has nerves going into the upcoming season.

"I'm always very nervous," he tells ET. "It's a very respectable position and I put a lot of emphasis on giving your opinion."

Maks has one mission going into the 18th season of the Fox dancing competition, and that's making sure the winner is prepared for the world of dance.

"Season 18 of So You Think You Can Dance is not about the best dancer within the show, it's about the person who's gonna go on and be the most hirable person of the best," he says. "We try to prepare these people, these kids. I get to say that 'cause I'm so much older [laughs]. But we get to prepare these kids through the challenges -- through everything that we put them through for the real world -- an actual reality, you know?"

He adds, "There were winners of So You Think You Can Dance in the past that were just more entitled than actually able and I think that this season will correct a lot of things and bring back the platform to create the next superstar."

So You Think You Can Dance premieres March 4 on Fox.