by Lauren Piester | Mon., Sep. 14, 2015 3:55 PM
Bindi Irwin is both magic and a breath of fresh air, if you ask her Dancing with the Stars partner Derek Hough.
She's also our new role model.
E! News caught up with Bindi and Derek during rehearsals for season 21 of DWTS, and we asked the 17 year-old wildlife expert if she would be doing any tributes to her father, the late Steve Irwin. Her response was honestly sort of breathtaking.
"I think for me, Dad will always be my superhero," she tells us in the video above. "You know, everything I do in life is to make him proud and to carry on his legacy, and so I really am dedicating this entire—however long I'm able to make it—to him, to my family, to other people who are in a similar position. You know, after you lose a person like that, you feel like the sun will never shine again, but it will, and it may not shine as brightly, but you have to find that light in everything that you do. I feel like this experience, getting to work with Derek and the beautiful people on this show, has really been such a bright place for me, and I'm excited to focus all of my energy on doing the best job possible."
And we're all in tears, right?
Derek seems to agree that Bindi is a truly beautiful soul with a heart of gold, and could do nothing but shower his dancing partner with praise.
"She reintroduces the magic into your life. She really does," he tells us. "She sees everything. She's like 'I just saw a squirrel today! Amazing!" I'm like, you know what, what the heck, man. We need to start looking at that stuff. I love that about her. But I'm excited to teach her and mentor and be her friend, and to take her on this journey."
"It's people like Bindi who come into your life and who just inject this new sense of energy, this new sense of wonderment and joy and just magic. It's been my new word lately, magic. She really brings magic into every day life."
Hit play on the video above to listen to Bindi gush about everything from Derek to khaki to Grace Kelly, and to fall in love with her as much as we have.
While we now have dreams of Bindi Irwin telling us stories when we we're sick (and also all the time), we'd like those stories to be accompanied by her fellow DWTS competitor Paula Deen making us breakfast. And lunch. And dinner. And that might be the celebrity chef's best weapon heading into this season premiere.
"I'm trying to find a stove so I can cook them some biscuits and some gooey butter cakes and get them all relaxed," she tells us of her delicious, buttery strategy in the video above.
When she's not busy trying to distract all of her competition with food, she's working hard on one thing: moving her body.
"I flow through my house saying, move your body, move your body, and so I have been practicing that—moving my body."
Click play on the video above to hear more of Deen's dancing plans, and then tune into the Dancing with the Stars season 21 premiere, tonight at 8 p.m. on ABC.