updated 03/20/2014 AT 4:00 PM ET
•originally published 03/20/2014 AT 6:30 PM ET
Been there, Paso Dobled that. Twice.
After marching two tours in Cuban heels over the parquet – one of which was spent in the Cheryl Burke bootcamp of dance – Gilles Marini is one of the few people on this planet that can offer advice to one of Dancing with the Stars’s newest contestants, Drew Carey.
And basically, what the Switched at Birth actor has to say to The Price Is Right comedian is: Give in, keep your mouth shut and think Disney.
“The only advice I have is, ‘Let it go, brother,’” Marini tells PEOPLE Wednesday while attending the Los Angeles premiere of Sabotage. “It’s like the song from Frozen. [Cheryl] is not someone that you can handle, so you have to surrender and embrace the fact that she will teach you her ways and that is it.”
Apparently, signing on for DWTS is akin to signing up for the French army.
“If you go against it you won’t learn anything, so he has to go and embrace it,” the 2 Broke Girls guest star says. He adds, “Cheryl is tough as nails – [she] was very tough on me and thank God she was, because otherwise I would have absolutely never learned a thing.”
Sagacious advice from a man that made it a hair’s breadth from having the coveted mirrored-ball trophy on his mantel, but it’s not just the ways of the dance partner that Marini has insight into.
He also knows the best way to deal with that unpredictable trio of paddle-wielding judges.
“Smile and nod at everything they say,” Marini advises with a laugh. “Because if you say anything against them, then the public will never vote for you. It’s a show where you have to be very politically correct, even if you feel like you want to say the real truth about what the judges have said.”
It’s dancing without moving your feet. It’s the quickstep, the waltz, the tango all whittled down to three easy steps.
“Go along with it, go along with it, don’t say anything,” Marini says. “And the next thing you know, it’s over!”