Multi-season Dancing with the Stars performer Maksim Chmerkovskiy trained as a dancer from childhood in his native Ukraine, then suffered from a debilitating skiing accident in mid-adolescence that threatened to end not simply his dancing, but his physical movement. Incredibly, Chmerkovskiy endured bouts of extreme physical therapy that enabled him to almost fully recover. In time, after Chmerkovskiy immigrated with his family to the United States (and opened a dance studio), ABC tapped him as one of the professional performers on their Dancing competitive reality series. His partners included Tia Carrere, Willa Ford, Laila Ali (with whom he came in third place), and former Spice Girl Melanie Brown (with whom he came in second place). He finally took home the mirror-ball trophy in season 18, with ice dancer Meryl Davis.
Biography by Nathan Southern
- Began dancing at age 4.
- Immigrated to the United States in 1992.
- Broke his leg in a skiing accident at age 13. Doctors had to place a metal rod in his leg, and told him he might have a limp for the rest of his life. He astounded them by dancing in a competition six months later.
- Co-founder/Board of Directors member of the non-profit organization Dance Team USA.
- Best known for appearing on Dancing With the Stars starting in Season 2.
- Choreographed parts of the aquatic show La Rêve at Wynn Las Vegas.
- Owns several dance studios.