Maksim Chmerkovskiy

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Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Chmerkovskiy in 2007
Native nameRussian: Максим Александрович Чмерковский
Born(1980-01-17) January 17, 1980 (age 35)
Soviet Union Odessa, Ukrainian SSR
CitizenshipUnited States United States
OccupationDancer, choreographer, instructor
Known forDancing with the Stars (2005-2014)
RelativesValentin Chmerkovskiy (brother)
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Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Chmerkovskiy in 2007
Native nameRussian: Максим Александрович Чмерковский
Born(1980-01-17) January 17, 1980 (age 35)
Soviet Union Odessa, Ukrainian SSR
CitizenshipUnited States United States
OccupationDancer, choreographer, instructor
Known forDancing with the Stars (2005-2014)
RelativesValentin Chmerkovskiy (brother)

Maksim "Maks" Aleksandrovich Chmerkovskiy (Ukrainian: Максим Олекса́ндрович Чмерковський, Russian: Максим Александрович Чмерковский, pronounced [mɑkˈsɪm olɛkˈsɑndroβ̞ɪtʃ ˈtʃmɛrkou̯sʲkɪj]) is a Ukrainian American[1] Latin Ballroom dance champion, choreographer, and instructor. He is widely 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 14 appearances on the show, Chmerkovskiy made it to the final round five times, with two runner-up and two third-place finishes. On May 20, 2014, Chmerkovskiy, paired with Olympic ice dancer Meryl Davis, won his first title.

Following his win with Davis, Chmerkovskiy announced he was retiring from DWTS after 14 seasons on the show.[2] He intends to expand his chain of dance studios and is studying acting.[3]

Early life[edit]

Chmerkovskiy was born January 17, 1980, in Odessa, Ukrainian SSR to parents Aleksandr "Sasha" Chmerkovskiy and Larisa Chmerkovskaya.[4][5] He began dancing at age 4.[5] He has a younger brother, Valentin Chmerkovskiy, who is also a proessional dancer.[6] His father is Jewish and his mother is Christian, and he has described himself as Jewish.[7][8][9]

At age 13, he broke his right leg in a skiing accident and had a titanium rod put in to stabilize his leg. Doctors foresaw long-term difficulties and little possibility of a dancing career; however, he recovered and was dancing again six months later.[5] He eventually became a professional Latin Ballroom dancer, with the details of the recovery from the accident presented on a 2010 episode of the television show Celebrity Ghost Stories.

The family immigrated to Brooklyn, New York in 1994.[10] The challenges of immigration for Chmerkovskiy and his family included financial and language barriers.[11] Chmerkovskiy's Ukrainian ancestry and cultural heritage were referred to on an episode of Dancing with the Stars.[12]

Professional Career[edit]

At age 16, Chmerkovskiy and his father opened a youth-oriented competitive dance studio, Rising Stars Dance Academy, on the second floor of a building his father owned in Ridgewood, New Jersey.[10] Chmerkovskiy said he chose New Jersey because there was a plethora of dance studios that he disliked already established in Brooklyn. The studio relocated a few times until it ended up in Saddle Brook, New Jersey. He said in 2011, "I didn't want to open a studio that would become just one of the studios in the area. I wanted to open my studio somewhere where there was nothing like it and where people would look at it with no preconceived notions."[4]

In 2001, Chmerkovskiy had his first major success as an instructor when he helped his brother, Valentin, then 16, and Diana Olonetskaya, 15 -- became the first U.S. dance pair to win a world junior championship.[10]

In addition to Rising Stars, Chmerkovskiy owns six social and competitive dance studios under the brand "Dance With Me."[13] Five are in the New York metropolitan area ( Glen Rock and Fort Lee in New Jersey, Glen Head, Long Island, SoHo, Manhattan and Stamford, Connecticut) and one is in Sherman Oaks, California.[4][14]

Dancing titles[edit]

Dancing with the Stars[edit]

Chmerkovskiy first appeared in the second 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. 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 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 seventh 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. During a practice for their jive, May-Treanor ruptured her Achilles tendon and required surgery. Her withdrawal gave them a finish in 10th place.

On February 9, 2009, Good Morning America 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, giving the pair a finish of 12th place. In the ninth season, he was paired with actress Debi Mazar, during which they were eliminated fourth. In season 10, Chmerkovskiy, returning for his eighth season, was partnered with Erin Andrews.[16] They ended up coming in third 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 with a fourth place finish.[17] 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 points (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 points. They made it to the finals and finished in second place.

For season 13, he was partnered with Hope Solo and they finished in fourth place. In Solo's book, A Memoir of Hope, she wrote that Chmerkovskiy treated her roughly, once slapping her during a rehearsal.[18]

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. The couple was called safe. Chmerkovskiy also suffered an injury, pulling a muscle in his shoulder. The couple was eliminated four weeks later, finishing in fifth place, making this the fourth time that he was eliminated after dancing a samba.[citation needed]

For season 15, an All-Stars season, Maksim returned to the dance floor with previous partner, Kirstie Alley. In week 1, they received the second-lowest score, 19. In week 3, Alley and Chmerkovskiy danced a Cha-Cha-Cha, they scored 17 . Alley and Chmerkovskiy earned 24. They picked a Disco for Sabrina Bryan and Louis van Amstel to dance next week, and Bryan and Amstel chose the Charleston for Alley and Chmerkovskiy. For the dance, the couple fell to the bottom of the leaderboard with 30 out of a possible 40. Alley and Chmerkovskiy, season 3 Emmitt Smith and Cheryl Burke, and season 1 Kelly Monaco and Valentin Chmerkovskiy were all joined in the Gangnam Style freestyle team by season 8 runner-up Gilles Marini and Peta Murgatroyd. Alley and Chmerkovskiy along with the other members received 27 out of 30, making their grand total 52.5 out of a possible 60. Then Alley and Chmerkovskiy, in the group country-western, gained two bonus points. Season 4 champion Apolo Anton Ohno and Karina Smirnoff chose a Quickstep-Samba fusion for Alley and Chmerkovskiy. The couple scored 24 out of a possible 30. For the swing marathon, they were eliminated first, making their total 28 out of 40. For the next week, Tristan MacManus joined the couple in their trio paso doble, but the couple received 79 out of a possible 100, leaving them 11.5 points behind at the bottom of the leaderboard, and they were eliminated. Also eliminated were Marini and Murgatroyd, who would have danced a "Mad Monk" Merengue, chosen by Ohno and Smirnoff, had they not been, finishing in 7th and 6th respectively.

In February 2013, Chmerkovskiy announced his departure from Dancing with the Stars for Season 16.[19] Chmerkovskiy returned on the fifth week of Season 16 for "Len's Side-By-Side Challenge", where he danced with Anna Trebunskaya in an Argentine Tango with brother Val and his partner Zendaya and in a Jive with Jacoby Jones and his partner Karina Smirnoff. For season 17, he was a guest judge during the semifinals in Week 10.

On February 27, 2014, reports surfaced that after taking two seasons off, Chmerkovskiy would return for season 18.[20]

For season 18, he was paired with Olympic ice dancer Meryl Davis. They were announced the winners on May 20, 2014, marking Chmerkovskiy's first win. They also have the current highest average of any dancer of the show with a 28.4 average, and are tied with Jennifer Grey and Derek Hough with the most amount of perfect 30's earning a total of 6

2Tia Carrere6th
3Willa Ford7th
4Laila Ali3rd
5Melanie Brown2nd
7Misty May-Treanor 10th
8Denise Richards 12th
9Debi Mazar 12th
10Erin Andrews3rd
11Brandy Norwood4th
12Kirstie Alley2nd
13Hope Solo4th
14Melissa Gilbert5th
15Kirstie Alley7th
18Meryl Davis1st

Dancing With the Stars performances[edit]

^* The additional score of 7.5 was awarded by guest judge Paula Abdul.

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Amber Riley & Derek Hough
Dancing with the Stars (US) winners
Season 18 (Spring 2014 with Meryl Davis)
Succeeded by
Alfonso Ribeiro & Witney Carson
Preceded by
Joey Fatone & Kym Johnson

Kyle Massey and Lacey Schwimmer

Dancing with the Stars (US) runner up
Season 5 (Fall 2007 with Mel B)

Season 12 (Spring 2011 with Kirstie Alley)

Succeeded by
Jason Taylor & Edyta Sliwinska

Rob Kardashian and Cheryl Burke

Preceded by
Joey Lawrence & Edyta Śliwińska

Kelly Osbourne & Louis van Amstel

Dancing with the Stars (US) third place contestant
Season 4 (Spring 2007 with Laila Ali)

Season 10 (Spring 2010 with Erin Andrews)

Succeeded by
Marie Osmond & Jonathan Roberts

Bristol Palin & Mark Ballas

Preceded by
Chad Ochocinco & Cheryl Burke

Ralph Macchio and Karina Smirnoff

Dancing with the Stars (US) semi-finalist
Season 11 (Fall 2010 with Brandy)

Season 13 (Fall 2011 with Hope Solo)

Succeeded by
Ralph Macchio & Karina Smirnoff

Maria Menounos & Derek Hough

Preceded by
Nancy Grace & Tristan MacManus
Dancing with the Stars (US) quarter-finalist
Season 14 (Spring 2012 with Melissa Gilbert)
Succeeded by
Apolo Anton Ohno & Karina Smirnoff

Other activities[edit]

In 2009, he participated in the ABC sport show called "The Superstars" and was paired with Kristi Leskinen (Freestyle Skier). They won the competition.

In 2011, Chmerkovskiy starred as "The Bachelor" in the Ukrainian version of the dating reality series.[21] He later told a Ukrainian newspaper that he regretted doing the show, saying, "This kind of project is not for me."[22]

As of 2012, he hosts the Ukrainian version of the game show The Cube.[23]

Chmerkovskiy along with Tony Dovolani and Valentin Chmerkovskiy opened Dance with Me Studio in Stamford, CT on April 16, 2012.[24] The Stamford location is the fourth in the chain and the first in Connecticut started by Chmerkovskiy, Tony Dovolani, Valentin Chmerkovskiy and their partners. The other studios are in Ridgefield, N.J., Long Island, N.Y., and Soho, N.Y.[24]

Chmerkovskiy appeared on three episodes of General Hospital in March 2013 playing the role of Anton Ivanov, who dances with Kelly Monaco's character Sam Morgan during the Nurses' Ball.[25][citation needed]

From July 9 to August 18, 2013, he starred in "Forever Tango", a Broadway musical, dancing and performing onstage with former dance colleague Karina Smirnoff.[26][27]

On January 28, 2014, he appeared in a music video with country musician Stacy Burk. The video was shot at the JMJ Ranch in Thousand Oaks, California, and directed by Dave West.[28] Also in 2014, he appeared as a judge on "Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa", the Indian version of Dancing with the Stars.[29]

Chmerkovskiy is one of the creators and directors of Dance Team USA, a nonprofit educational and charitable organization dedicated to recruiting, supporting, and training future DanceSport participants.

His professional work includes the Wynn Las Vegas's water-based show Le Rêve.[30]

Personal Life[edit]

Chmerkovskiy primarily lives in Fort Lee, New Jersey.[4] He was engaged to his DWTS costar Karina Smirnoff, a fellow Ukrainian native, in 2009.[31] He later dated another DWTS costar, Peta Murgatroyd, but the relationship ended in 2013 after 10 months.[32] He was also in a "serious" relationship with model Kate Upton.[33]

Chmerkovskiy's native language is Russian, but he can understand a little Ukrainian.[22]


  1. ^ Reagan Alexander (July 17, 2011). "Maksim Chmerkovskiy Wants Hope Solo as His Next DWTS Partner". People. Retrieved January 14, 2015. 
  2. ^ Michael Rothman (July 29, 2014). "Maksim Chmerkovskiy Retires From Performing on 'Dancing With the Stars'". ABC News. Retrieved January 14, 2015. 
  3. ^ Linda Marx (September 30, 2014). "Maksim Chmerkovskiy: 'I Am an Incurable Romantic'". People. Retrieved January 14, 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c d Ian Spelling (December 9, 2011). "Maksimum Exposure: Fort Lee resident Maksim Chmerkovskiy talks Dancing with the Stars and running his Bergen-based dance studios". Retrieved January 14, 2015. 
  5. ^ a b c "Maksim Chmerkovskiy". Retrieved October 23, 2014. 
  6. ^ Moreno/Lyons Productions, LLC. "America's Ballroom Challenge: Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing". PBS. Retrieved 2009-02-09. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ Maksim Chmerkovskiy on Twitter. March 24, 2011. Retrieved November 01, 2013.
  9. ^ Miller, Doug. (November 27, 2007) A spin around the floor with ‘Maks’ – Travel – Travel Tips – MSNBC. Retrieved on 2012-05-09.
  10. ^ a b c Shayna Samuels (April 21, 2002). "And One And Two, And the Dancers Are Off!". The New York Times. Retrieved January 14, 2015. 
  11. ^ Shvets, Marina (May 30, 2011). "Dossier: Maksim Chmerkovskiy" (in Russian). Delfi. Retrieved August 19, 2012. 
  12. ^ Dance center – Part 2 – Dancing with the stars – Season 10 – Week 8 Results show. YouTube (November 27, 2010). Retrieved on 2012-05-09.
  13. ^ Myles Ma (August 6, 2013). "N.J. studio owned by 'Dancing with the Stars' professionals to expand". Retrieved January 14, 2015. 
  14. ^ "Our Dance Studio Locations". Retrieved January 14, 2015. 
  15. ^ Mirador, Sthanlee (November 1, 2007). "The Sexy Men of Dancing with the Stars". People Magazine. Retrieved 2009-02-09. 
  16. ^ "Erin Andrews & Maksim Chmerkovskiy – Maks a Romantic Defender?". National Ledger. April 16, 2010. Retrieved April 21, 2010. 
  17. ^ "'Dancing' cuts yet another front-runner". Retrieved on 2012-05-09.
  18. ^ Atkin, Ross (September 1, 2012). "Solo". The Christian Science Monitor. 
  19. ^ Why Maksim Chmerkovskiy Won't Be on Dancing with the Stars Retrieved March 19, 2013
  20. ^
  21. ^ "Maksim Chmerkovskiy Can Relate to 'Bachelor' Brad Womack's Love Woes!". Access Hollywood. March 15, 2011. Retrieved August 12, 2012. 
  22. ^ a b Olga Litskevich (June 8, 2011). "Максим Чмерковский: "Я жалею, что участвовал в "Холостяке". Это было неприятно"" [Maksim Chmerkovskiy: "I regret doing 'The Bachelor.' It was frustrating."]. Komsomolskaya Pravda (in Russian). Retrieved January 14, 2015. 
  23. ^ "The Cube official site". STB Channel. August 22, 2012. Retrieved August 22, 2012. 
  24. ^ a b Buzzeo, Anthony. "'Dancing With the Stars' Pros Headed to Fairfield County". The Norwalk Daily Voice. Retrieved July 11, 2012. 
  25. ^
  26. ^ "Walter Kerr Theater New York, NY - Forever Tango - Latest news". Retrieved 2013-10-21. 
  27. ^ "Karina Smirnoff & Maksim Chmerkovskiy Extend Run in Forever Tango for an Additional Week | Broadway Buzz". 2013-08-06. Retrieved 2013-10-21. 
  28. ^
  29. ^ "Maksim Chmerkovskiy Wiki, Biography & Personal Details: Jdj 7 Judge". BollyMirror. 
  30. ^ Rocchio, Christopher (February 19, 2008). "'Dancing' professional Maksim Chmerkovskiy: 'I'll be back next season'". Retrieved 2009-02-09. 
  31. ^ Allison Takeda (May 22, 2014). "Maksim Chmerkovskiy's Ex-Fiancee Karina Smirnoff Weighs in on Meryl Davis Dating Rumors After DWTS". US Magazine. Retrieved January 14, 2015. 
  32. ^ "Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Peta Murgatroyd, Dancing With the Stars Pros, Split". US Magazine. February 15, 2013. Retrieved January 14, 2015. 
  33. ^ Dahvi Shira (December 20, 2013). "Kate Upton and Maksim Chmerkovskiy Split". People. Retrieved January 14, 2015. 

External links[edit]