updated 09/01/2011 AT 1:05 PM ET
•originally published 09/04/2011 AT 12:30 PM ET
Chaz Bono and Lacey Schwimmer are only six days into Dancing with the Stars rehearsals, but Bono has already made progress since their first practice.
“When I first met him, he didn’t want to do anything that made him look silly,” Schwimmer, 23, tells PEOPLE of her “shy” dancing partner, 42. “Now he’s all for it. He’s goofing off and he’s pretending to be Maks [Chmerkovskiy] in rehearsals. It’s really funny.”
Schwimmer, who acknowledges that she and her partner “are this season, says people might be surprised how quickly Bono is whipping into shape.