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Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Name: Maksim (Maks) Aleksandrovich Chmerkovskiy
Born: January 17, 1980
Occupation: Dancer, Choreographer
Years active: 2006-present
Known for: His dancing career

Maksim (Maks) Aleksandrovich Chmerkovskiy (born January 17, 1980) is a Ukrainian-American Latin Ballroom dance champion, choreographer, and instructor. He is best known as one of the professional dancers on the American television series Dancing with the Stars, on which he first appeared in season two. In his twelve appearances on the show, Chmerkovskiy has made it to the final round four times, with two runner-up and two third place finishes. In 2011 to 2012, in Ukraine, he hosted the Ukrainian version of the game show The Cube.

Early Life[]

Born on January 17, 1980, in Odessa (Ukraine) to Aleksandr and Larisa Chmerkovskiy, he began dancing at the age of four. His brother, Valentin Chmerkovskiy, is also a champion dancer. His father is Jewish and his mother is Christian. Chmerkovskiy's Ukrainian heritage was referenced on an episode of Dancing with the Stars.

The challenges of immigration for Chmerkovskiy and his family included financial and language barriers. A skiing accident as a child broke Chmerkovskiy's right leg. Doctors informed him that there would be difficulties with his leg and that dancing might not be possible. He made a successful recovery and went on to become a professional Latin Ballroom dancer. The details of his recovery were revealed on Celebrity Ghost Stories.

Chmerkovskiy owns four dance studios in the New York City area, one of which is the Rising Stars Dance Academy (RSDA). The other three studios are social dance studios located in Ridgefield, New Jersey, and Glen Head, New York, as well as the Soho neighborhood of Manhattan. He very recently opened yet another studio in Stamford, Connecticut. He has been a resident of Edgewater, New Jersey.

Chmerkovskiy is one of the creators and directors of Dance Team USA, a non-profit educational and charitable organization dedicated to recruiting, supporting, and training future DanceSport participants. This sport is particularly popular with Eastern European families. Through his company Maksim Chmerkovskiy Productions, he organizes performances globally.

A ballroom and DanceSport choreographer, among his professional works is the Wynn Las Vegas's water-based show Le Rêve. He implemented ballroom-inspired numbers in the Franco Dragone production.

Dancing with the Stars[]

Chmerkovskiy first appeared in the 2nd season of the ABC series Dancing with the Stars partnered with actress Tia Carrere. They finished in sixth place. The following season, he and partner singer Willa Ford came in seventh place. Chmerkovskiy returned to Dancing with the Stars in March 2007 for Season 4, his time partnered with boxer Laila Ali, the daughter of Muhammad Ali. They made it to the finals and finished in third place. In Season 5 of Dancing with the Stars, he was partnered with Melanie Brown and had his best finish to date; the couple received second place. Chmerkovskiy did not participate in Season 6, although he and former partner Melanie Brown made an appearance for the 100th episode.

He returned for the show's 7th season, this time paired with two-time Olympic volleyball gold medalist, Misty May-Treanor. Chmerkovskiy and May-Treanor were forced to withdraw from the competition in Week 3 on October 6, 2008. During a practice for their jive, May-Treanor ruptured her Achilles tendon and required surgery. Her withdrawal gave them a finish in tenth place.

On February 9, 2009, on Good Morning America it was announced that he would be paired with Denise Richards for the eighth season of Dancing with the Stars. They were eliminated second in the competition, on March 24, 2009, giving the pair a finish of 12th place. In the ninth season, he was paired with actress Debi Mazar, during which they were eliminated 4th. In season 10, Chmerkovskiy, returning for his 8th season, was partnered with Erin Andrews. They ended up coming in 3rd place during the two-hour finale on May 25, 2010.

For season 11, Chmerkovskiy partnered with singer and actress, Brandy. They made it to the semi-finals but were eliminated on November 16, 2010, giving them a 4th place finish. For Season 12, he was paired with actress Kirstie Alley. On week 3, his leg gave out causing her to fall heavily on him, earning 21 out of 30. The next week, Alley's shoe fell off during their routine. Judge Carrie Ann Inaba called Alley The Queen of the Unexpected Mishap; they earned 22 out of a possible score of 30. They made it to the finals and finished in second place.

For season 13, he was partnered with Hope Solo and they finished in 4th place. In Solo's book, A Memoir of Hope, she wrote that Chmerkovskiy treated her roughly, once slapping her during a rehearsal.

For season 14, he was partnered with actress Melissa Gilbert. In week 4, while performing the paso doble, Gilbert hit her head on the dance floor and suffered a mild concussion. She was rushed to the hospital and was unable to be at the results show the following night due to recovering. The couple was called safe. Chmerkovskiy also suffered a injury. He pulled a muscle in his shoulder. However, he told host Tom Bergeron on the results show that he was okay. The couple was eliminated four weeks later, finishing in 5th place. Making this the 4th time that he was eliminated after dancing a samba.

For season 15, which is an All-Stars season, Maksim returned to the dance floor with previous partner, Kirstie Alley.

Maks finally won a mirror ball trophy with the help of Meryl Davis in season 18.


Shows appeared[]