Valentin Aleksandrovich Chmerkovskiy is a Ukrainian professional dancer, best known for his appearances on the U.S. version of Dancing with the Stars, which he won twice. He made a guest appearance on the Fuller House episode Funner House.
Early life and career
Chmerkovskiy was born in the Ukrainian city of Odessa, in what was then the Soviet Union. His parents are Aleksandr "Sasha" Chmerkovskiy and Larisa Chmerkovskaya. His older brother, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, is also a professional dancer who appears on Dancing with the Stars. His father is Jewish and his mother is Christian.
The family moved to the United States in 1994. In 1996, Maksim and Sasha opened a youth-oriented dance studio in New Jersey, and Valentin was one of the students. In 2001, Valentin and partner Diana Olonetskaya, 15, became the first American dance team to win a world junior championship title.
Chmerkovskiy is a co-owner of nine social dance studios under the brand "Dance With Me". Six are in the New York metropolitan area (Glen Rock and Fort Lee in New Jersey, Glen Cove, Long Island, SoHo, Manhattan, Midtown, Manhattan and Stamford, Connecticut). The three other studios are located in Southlake, Texas, The Woodlands, Texas, and Summerlin, Nevada. Previously one was in Sherman Oaks, California, but has since changed ownership.
In 2016, Chmerkovskiy posted a meme of a girl drinking soda, which had previously gone viral in 2014, with the caption "Letting your kid become obese should be considered child abuse." The family of the girl in the picture, who has Down syndrome, then sued Chmerkovskiy seeking $6 million for defamation, emotional distress, and invasion of privacy. Chmerkovskiy deleted the post.
Chmerkovskiy has also been in a serious relationship with fellow Dancing With the Stars pro, Jenna Johnson since early 2017. They have been dating on and off since 2015 when they met during Val and his brother Maks' Sway dance tour.