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Maksim Chmerkovskiy
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Maksim Chmerkovskiy

Born on January 17, 1980, in Odessa, Ukraine, Maksim began dancing at the age of four. In his native land he was one of the leading junior couples in ballroom dancing before his family immigrated to the United States in 1994.

Immigration was very hard on Maksim and his family due to financial and language barriers. At the age of thirteen Maksim broke his leg in a skiing accident. Doctors said he would probably always walk with a limp due to the metal rod that was surgically implanted in his leg. However, he was able to make a successful recovery and continued to dance.

Over the years Maksim has represented the United States at many world class championships, and currently is ranked seventh in the world and second in the U.S. in the Latin ballroom dance category.

In addition to competing, Maksim is the owner of two dance studios in the New York City area, one of which, the “Rising Stars Dance Academy” is home to national and international champions and is known throughout the world. The second studio is "Dance with Me" Social Dance Studio and is just over one year old.

In addition, Maksim is one of the creators, and on the board of directors of “Dance Team USA”, an educational and charitable organization dedicated to recruiting, supporting, and training future DanceSport athletes. “DanceSport” is the term used to refer to Ballroom dancing in the United States. It is a very insular sport, mostly practiced by the children of families from Eastern Europe. DanceTeam USA tries to raise youth awareness and participation in the sport nationwide.

Maksim was introduced to most audiences when he appeared on the ABC series Dancing With The Stars. He partnered with actress Tia Carrere in season 2 where they finished in sixth place, and with singer Willa Ford in season 3 where they came in seventh place.

While he and Ford were rumored to be in a relationship during the show, neither of the two ever acknowledged a relationship other than as friends. This was cemented when Willa became engaged to Mike Modano in late 2006, after which both withdrew from the Dancing With The Stars Tour.

Maksim returned to Dancing with the Stars in March 2007 for Season 4, this time partnered with boxer Laila Ali, the daughter of Muhammad Ali.[1] They made it to the finals and finished in third place.

Maksim is currently competing in Season 5 of Dancing with the Stars with partner Melanie Brown from the Spice Girls ("Scary Spice").

Maksim appears in the Dancing With The Stars: Cardio Dance DVD with Kym Johnson and Ashly DelGrosso-Costa.

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He is very HOT :drool: 2 sets of perfect scores last night! I have no doubt he and Mel B will make the finals.

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I have sad news......Maksim is not doing this season of dancing with the stars!

Maksim Chmerkovskiy, who took second place beside the Spice Girls' Mel B last fall, is sitting out the new season, which launches Mar. 17. But he told TV's Extra he'll be back next season.

"It's one of those things I need to attend to. My domestic studios and my students—their competitive careers," Chmerkovskiy said. "They [the producers] were kind enough to give me a break and let me do it."

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