updated 03/18/2014 AT 3:00 AM ET
•originally published 03/19/2014 AT 8:30 AM ET
Is Cody Simpson shying away from some of his potential moves on Dancing with the Stars?
Quite possibly, if his girlfriend has anything to say about it.
The Aussie pop star, 17, joked to PEOPLE backstage Monday that his supermodel girlfriend Gigi Hadid shared a few candid thoughts about his routine before he performed a 22-point cha-cha with partner Witney Carson, 20, on the show.
“Has she teased me? Not necessarily,” Simpson said, in reference to his signing on to the show in the first place. “She’s like, ‘Don’t move your hips too much in front of [Witney].’ ”
But, assures Simpson about his leading lady’s comments: “It’s great. It’s in good fun.”
The tween sensation had support on Monday night from his gal pal, who gave him a standing ovation in the audience after his performance.
“It was great,” Simpson said. “I had her, I had my grandparents here from Australia, and I had my whole family here. It’s nice to have that support from the loved ones. I love my family and obviously my girlfriend, so we had a great time.”
As for competing on season 18 of ABC’s hit show, Simpson calls it “more nerve-racking” than a typical performance he’s done, “because this is so new. You have three people watching your every move. You have a lot of people in the room and then millions of people behind the lenses. It’s a lot to take in.”
But regardless of where – and how – he performs, Simpson insists, “I love being on stage and I love to groove, so it’s been fun. It’s nice to get the first routine out of the way.”
And it doesn’t hurt that Carson believes in him every step of the process.
“I was stressing about it for so long and I wanted to make a big impact with Cody,” the first-year pro told PEOPLE. “I feel so lucky to have him as a partner. He’s such a hard worker. I think we killed it tonight, and I’m really happy about it.”