Valentin Chmerkovskiy quickly became one of the biggest draws for the hit compeition show, Dancing With the Stars. It didn’t take too long for the pro dancers to become just as popular or even more so than their celebrity partners, and between Val’s charm, good looks and incredible dance moves he quickly rose to the top in the eyes of fans. The 30-year-old first began appearing on the show thanks to his brother Maksim, and after several single appearances in which he performed dance-offs with his brother and danced with other pros, he finally became a regular pro for season 13. He has since competed in every season after with many finishes in the finals and one Mirror Ball Trophy with partner Rumer Willis. Get to know Val a little better with 10 things you didn’t know about him!
10. Early Life
Val was born in Odessa, Ukraine in what was then the Soveit Union on March 24, 1986 to parents Aleksandr “Sasha” and Larisa Chmerkovskiy. In 1994, the family, including Val’s older brother Maks moved to Brooklyn and, in 1996, Maks and Sasha opened a dance studio for youth in New Jersey where Val began his dance training. In 2001, at the age of 15, Valentine, along with his dance partner Diana Olonetskaya, became the first American dance team to win a world junior championship title.