updated 03/22/2007 AT 3:00 PM ET
•originally published 03/22/2007 AT 3:40 PM ET
Will Cheryl Burke pull off a Dancing with the Stars hat trick? She will if her partner, Ian Ziering, has anything to say about it.
“It’s definitely a possibility,” Ziering, 42, told PEOPLE of his pro-dancer partner, who has foxtrotted her way to victory with Emmitt Smith and Drew Lachey on the last two seasons of DWTS.
“I’m working really hard every day. I always set out to be the best and I don’t want to disappoint Cheryl. I’d love the talk next year to be about a four-peat [for her].”
Ziering spoke to PEOPLE on Wednesday at a party for the Lisa Kline Beverly Hills Boutique, hosted by DWTS host Samantha Harris. Also on hand were Burke, past competitor Stacey Keibler, Heroes’s Hayden Panettiere and The Hills’ Lauren Conrad.
Burke, for her part, is modest when asked about the possibility of a third consecutive win. “Oh my gosh! I’m really trying my best, and my focus is just on Ian,” she told PEOPLE. “I try to make him feel comfortable and make it easy so he has fun doing it.”
That’s not to say she hasn’t been sizing up the competition: “Joey [Fatone] and Laila [Ali] – those two have really shocked me, especially Laila because she can really move. I think they’re both going to be real tough competition to beat.”
Added Ziering: “Everybody’s got game and I’m not slipping on anybody.”
So what’s their winning strategy? Ziering says for him it’s self-evaluation. “At night, I go home and I watch rehearsals that I’ve taped on my little digital camera, and I listen to the music and I see where I screw up, and I try to immerse myself in the dance.”
Burke’s secret weapon: “Patience, just patience,” she said. “It’s so easy to get frustrated. You have such a short amount of time. So it’s going to be tough to really push through that and just swallow it and put on a happy face.”