Internationally renowned ballroom dance champion, choreographer and 16-time Dancing with the Stars pro Maksim Chmerkovskiy has quickly become one of America's most watched and most beloved cast members of the smash hit series. The Ukrainian-American heartthrob, often affectionately referred to as the "bad boy of the ballroom," won the show's coveted Mirrorball trophy in 2014 and made it to the final round five times, with two runner-up and two third-place finishes. Not one to limit himself, Chmerkovskiy also appeared on a number of hit television shows in the U.S., including a guest stint on General Hospital and the Netflix reboot Fuller House.
Chmerkovskiy began dancing at age four and eventually began competing in Ten Dance, which includes both ballroom and Latin dances, quickly realizing his natural ability and talent for competition. After his family immigrated to Brooklyn in 1994, he rededicated himself once again to professionally dancing, competing in the International Latin category, where he ranked second in the U.S. and seventh in the world among professional international Latin couples with his partner, Elena Grinenko, who would later join him as a pro on Dancing with the Stars.
At age 16, Chmerkovskiy and his father opened a youth-oriented competitive dance studio, Rising Stars Dance Academy, on the second floor of a building his father owned in Ridgewood, New Jersey. In addition to Rising Stars, Chmerkovskiy owns several social and competitive dance studios under the brand Dance with Me, which has seven locations nationwide, including outlets in New York, New Jersey, Texas and Connecticut.
Chmerkovskiy's professional choreography work includes three numbers in the world famous water-based stage production, Le Rêve, at the Wynn Las Vegas; the Dancing with the Stars 34-city tour; a national commercial for Propel water; and he provided choreography for hot up-and-coming actress Zendaya's music video for the song "Neverland," from Broadway's Finding Neverland.
Chmerkovskiy is no stranger to Broadway, having starred in the inaugural production of the live dance show Burn the Floor when it opened in the summer of 2009 with his former Dancing with the Stars pro Karina Smirnoff. A few years later, he re-teamed with Smirnoff again for the Broadway musical Forever Tango, which opened in the summer of 2013.
Shortly after his summer on Broadway, Chmerkovskiy started performing in Sway: A Dance Trilogy in Westbury, New York. Earlier this year, Maks and his brother Val embarked on a 45-city live tour titled Maks & Val Live On Tour: Our Way, which ran for the entire summer of 2016 and is an autobiographical tale of the brothers' lives through dance.
Fueled by his intense love of fitness, Chmerkovskiy is always finding new ways to boost his immune system and stay active and healthy. He began working with LivOn Labs a few years ago and is now a spokesperson/celebrity ambassador for the first company to bring Liposome Encapsulation Technology (LET) dietary supplements to market.
Chmerkovskiy is one of the creators and directors of Dance Team USA, a nonprofit educational and charitable organization dedicated to recruiting, supporting and training future DanceSport participants. He is also actively involved with Child Help, which assists victims of child abuse.
Chmerkovskiy primarily lives in Fort Lee, New Jersey, also spending time in Los Angeles filming the show with his wife and fellow Dancing with the Stars pro, Peta Murgatroyd, who gave birth to their first son Shai in January 2017.