Valentin Chmerkovskiy

Valentin Chmerkovskiy

Valentin “Val” Chmerkovskiy was born in Odessa, Ukraine to an engineer mother and marine merchant father. At 8 years old, Val’s family immigrated to Brooklyn, NY as refugees seeking asylum from the corrupt ex-communist nation. It was in a small Eastern European community in South Brooklyn where Val first picked up ballroom dancing as an after school activity that his parents hoped would keep him out of trouble. Soon after, Val found another passion in playing the violin, further easing the nerves of his parents as the arts kept their curious son off the South Brooklyn streets. The voices of those streets, predominately that of Christopher Wallace and Nas, mixed with the writings of Alexander Pushkin and Mikhail Lermontov, created a uniquely romantic and socially conscious environment that shaped Val’s love for poetry and spoken word, and drove him to be a man of positive influence. Although he resisted the temptation of Hollywood for a few years, in 2011 Val eventually joined his brother Maks as a member of the cast of professional dancers on Dancing with the Stars for its 13th installment. The 14-time US National Champion and two-time World Dance Champion quickly rose to stardom, becoming a fan-favorite for his impeccable performances and unique demeanor. Val won his first Dancing with the Stars Mirrorball Trophy with partner Rumer Willis during the ten year anniversary season of the show. He later took home his second title in 2016 while partnered with Olympic Gold Medalist Laurie Hernandez. Most recently, Val was partnered with Paralympic swimmer Victoria Arlen, making it all the way to the semi-finals for which he choreographed a dance that brought a wheelchair into the world famous DWTS Ballroom for the first time. Val is the first and only American to ever win the IDSF Junior and Youth World Championship, along with the prestigious British “Blackpool” Open, the German Open and the Asian Championships in Shenzhen, China. After overseeing the biggest youth ballroom dance program in the US, the Rising Stars Dance Academy, Val co-founded Dance With Me, one of the nation’s leading social dance studios, where he also lends his expertise as Art Director. Longing to continue his work with kids, Val implemented the Dance With Me Juniors program with the mission of keeping kids active, healthy, and creative. Val supports numerous educational organizations and children’s charities, including the Children’s Hospital of LA and Pencils of Promise, for which he helped build two schools in Ghana using the funds he raised for the organization. He also spent the last two years mentoring kids at the KIPP Scholar Academy in South Los Angeles and brought his most improved mentees along to live tapings of Dancing with the Stars to inspire them to continue working hard. As a classically trained violinist, Val has performed at Carnegie Hall and at Lincoln Center as a concertmaster for the ISO Youth Orchestra. He is fluent in English and Russian. Val recently finished writing first memoir titled “I’ll Never Change my Name,” set to be released in March 2018.
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