Next up and last in our three new Professional Profiles this Season is the quiet, intense, mysterious, and passionate dancer: Val Chmerkovskiy. As with the other two previous profiles on Tristan MacManus and Peta Murgatroyd, I’m going to ask Courtney and Heidi for their thoughts and predictions at the end of this post and we’d love to hear yours too. Before beginning, I’d like to thank DanceInfo.net, Wikipedia, ABC Dancing With The Stars, I Am Val You Tube, and Val Chmerkovskiy Facebook for helpful information and photos for this post.
Let’s get right to it! Valentin Aleksandrovich Chmerkovskiy was born March 24, 1986 in Odessa, Ukraine. He is the son to Aleksandr aka Sasha and Larissa, and younger brother to professional dancer Maksim Chmerkovskiy.
Val was just 7 years old when he first started to train as a ballroom dancer and ‘against his will’ mind you. But, Val worked hard regardless and after three years he competed in his first international competition The German Open. He was one of only 2 US couples to participate with his brother, Maks, being the second.
Val won first in the IDSF World Championship when he was 15 and became the first and last American to ever do it. At 19, Val had the privilege of snagging the Blackpool trophy which was an honor he only dreamed about at the time.
But at 23 years old, the rules of competing in Ballroom dancing started to change and for the worst according to Val. He kept competing with his longtime partner Daria Chesnokova (pictured above). Though after fighting the lack of motivation and the new rules to compete, Val decided to retire at 25 and thus came the greatest adventure to be offered to him next….a pro on Season 13 of Dancing With The Stars with first time partner and Italian Model Elisabetta Canalis.
This isn’t Val’s first gig on Dancing With The Stars. He helped to critique his brother Mak’s routines with his celebrity partner Laila Ali in Season 4. Also, in 2006, the two brothers had a dance off: Valentin and Valeriya against Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Karina Smirnoff. Val has also danced in several pro numbers over the last several Seasons. In Season 10, he did a country western themed routine with his brother Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Edyta Śliwińska and Snejana Petrova (seen above).
In Season 11, Val really steamed up the show with unforgettable and most memorable Dancing With The Stars performance (and one of my favorites of all time) with Mark Ballas dancing and playing his Violin to Britney Spears’s hit song “Toxic.” The two were the greatest rivalries once competing when they were kids, and now here they were battling it out in “strings” on a Dancing With The Stars results show (seen above). You could feel every inch of it which brings us to Val’s second love next to dancing which is making music for which you can view and listen to many of his songs at I Am Val You Tube. Below is his song “White Boy Boogie” which I love. Yes, white kids can rap…and Ukrainian kids at that!!
Just like his brother Maks, this special guy leaves you wanting more. Watch out World! This highly “decorated” competitor and powerhouse performer in multi-talented ways has only just began and we wish him much much success.
Ok, here is Courtney and Heidi with their thoughts!
Courtney: The dynamic between Val & his brother kinda reminds me of me and my younger sister – I’m the outspoken hothead, while my sister is the quiet, pragmatic one. I actually recall meeting (or, quite literally, bumping into!) Val several years ago at the Ohio Star Ball in Columbus. I was in the ballroom watching the amateur Latin competition, and got up to use the restrooom, which was located over near the “on-deck” area where the couples who were about to compete were lining up. While standing in the queue for the ladies room, a heavily tanned, heavily hair-gelled male Latin competitor brushed past me in quite a hurry and accidentally bumped me a bit harder that he likely intended to. He stopped, turned around, and quickly apologized in a soft Russian accent. “I’m so sorry, miss! Just in a hurry…my heat is starting soon!” It was Val! He smiled quickly and darted off, likely in seach of his partner Valeriya so they could line up for their event. The entire exchange lasted less than 10 seconds, but I immediately got the impression that he was a guy whose parents had raised him right – unlike so many of the other male competitors, who I often found to be cold, arrogant, and unapproachable. As for his dancing – in all the years of watching him compete, I always found Val to be exceptionally on-point with his technique & performance quality, especially in comparison to other competitors his age (*cough*MarkBallas*cough*), and perhaps even a bit better than big bro. He & his old partner, Valeriya, always had the best exhibition dances – he wasn’t afraid to be playful and a bit cheeky. Check out this cute jive exhibition they did at OSB back in 2008 – Val can be such a ham sometimes. They also did a really sexy, slick cha-cha to Prince’s “Kiss”, which of course I cannot find on YouTube because the song is copyrighted :-(, but if you google it I’m sure you can find a clip of the performance. Overall, I’m excited to see just what Val can bring to the table – I just hope he adapts quickly to the “fluff” of DWTS, since many of the current pros on the show seemed to have an adjustment period when they first joined the cast. Real ballroom vs. DWTS is definitely a big switch to make!
Heidi: I think Val has the advantage of being Maks’ brother when it comes to adjusting to DWTS fluff versus real ballroom competitions – at least I hope so. I also hope to see him school Mark in music and dance once again. Hee. I also get the feeling that, while I don’t find him remotely attractive, I’ll end up preferring him to his big brother. I have not paid tons of attention to the pre-season media, but my sense is that Val is a bit more down to earth than Maks is – I could certainly be wrong, I’m not a Chmerkovskiy expert by any stretch of the imagination. I’ve said many times that I think that Maks sort of takes on the personality of his partner which is often a great thing (Kirsti), but it can also be very bad (Erin). I mean that he’s a bit of an emotional reflector, not that he’s being fake or anything (just to be clear). I wonder if Val also has that trait or if he’s more even keeled. Damn, I can’t wait till Monday!!! :-)