Valentin Chmerkovskiy Biography
Sun Sign: Aries
Also Known As: Valentin Aleksandrovich Chmerkovskiy
Born Country: Ukraine
Born in: Odessa
Famous as: Dancer
father: Aleksandr Chmerkovskiy
mother: Larisa Chmerkovskaya
siblings: Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Partner: Jenna Johnson (engaged)
awards: World Junior Latin Champion (1 time)
World Youth Latin Champion (1 time)
U.S. National Latin Dance champion (14 times)
Dancing with the Stars Champion (2 times)
Valentin Chmerkovskiy is an American–Ukrainian professional dancer who is best known for winning the American dancing reality show ‘Dancing with the Stars’ twice. He was born into an upper middle-class family in Odessa, Ukraine. Shortly after the country’s separation from the USSR, the family moved to the US. Valentin began training in a dance studio that his parents owned. By the time he turned 12, he had already become skilled enough to perform in various overseas dance competitions. At age 15, he won his first international dance competition, the ‘IDSF World Championship.’ He became the first American professional dancer to win the honor. Over the years, he has become the ‘US National Latin Dance’ champion 14 times. He has also won several other national and international dance championships. He has participated in the American version of the dance reality show ‘Dancing with the Stars’ 13 times and has won the title twice, paired opposite Rumer Willis and Laurie Hernandez, in the twentieth and the twenty-third seasons, respectively. He also runs a dance studio and is a part-time rapper with the stage name “Val C.”
- Valentin Chmerkovskiy was born in Odessa, Ukraine, on March 24, 1986, to upper middle-class parents, Aleksandr and Larisa Chmerkovskaya, who were also well-known dancers. His parents ran dance studio back in their country. Valentin grew up with an older brother, Maksim, who also happened to be an aspiring dancer. Maksim also made several appearances on ‘Dancing with the Stars.’
- Ukraine was in the midst of a political turmoil in the early 1990s and gained its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. A few mafia elements started hounding the family, and slowly, their successful business was disrupted. The family moved to the US in 1994 for better career opportunities. Valentin was 8 years old then and had already started his training in dance.
- The early few months of life in the US were difficult for the family. They ran out of savings. Valentin’s father worked as a pizza-delivery boy for a while. Additionally, both Maksim and Valentin faced bullying in school.
- The family soon settled in New York. Valentin’s parents established their own dance studio two years after moving to the country. Valentin was one of the students in the dance academy and also turned out to be one of the most skilled young dancers.
- Valentin grew up around Brooklyn and New Jersey and attended ‘The Hudson School.’ Although dance was his true passion, he was also academically good. Valentin soon joined ‘Pace University’ and earned a degree in business management.
- By the age of 8, Valentin had started training in dance. He specialized in ballroom dance. By 12, he became a highly proficient dancer. By then, he had won several national championships and had participated in his life’s first international competition, ‘The German Open.’
- Valentin performed remarkably well and reached the final stages but could not win. His brother also participated in the same competition, and they were the only American participants in the tournament, which was an achievement in itself.
- At the age of 15, he participated in the ‘IDSF World Championship’ and won the tournament. In the process, he became the first-ever American to achieve the honor. He teamed up with Diana Olonetskaya for the ‘World Junior Championship’ title.
- By 2006, his older brother, Maksim, had gained significant fame in the American version of the dance reality show ‘Dancing with the Stars.’ Valentin made his debut on the show in its second season. However, he appeared as a student of his brother and was paired with Valeriya Kozharinova. The couple performed two numbers on the show.
- He skipped the third season and made a re-entry in the fourth season in 2007. This time, too, he was not a participant and only appeared in a results show episode where he was pitted against his brother. The performance was widely appreciated and helped Valentin establish himself on the show.
- After taking a three-year break from the show, Valentin appeared in its tenth season, in the results episode. He performed a western dance routine, paired with his brother. He appeared in the results episode of the eleventh season, too, and performed a music-and-dance duel against Mark Ballas. Valentin also exhibited his music skills and played the violin during his performance.
- In the thirteenth season, he officially started appearing as one of the contestants and was paired opposite Elisabetta Canalis, a model and an actor. However, the performance did not match up to expectations. They were the second couple to be eliminated. They had to quit after attaining the eleventh spot.
- In the next season, Valentin was paired opposite Sherri Shepherd, a host and a comedian. This time, the performance was slightly better, as they were the third couple to be eliminated. They ended their journey on the show at the tenth spot.
- The fifteenth season was much better. He was paired opposite Kelly Monaco, who also happened to be the winner of the first season. The couple performed exceptionally well and ended their journey at the third spot.
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