The official summer season of Ballroom With A Twist starts this weekend. Val Chmerkovskiy and Anna Treybunskaya will be dancing in Brooks, California at the Cache Creek Casino Resort. The Sacramento Bee interviewed Val about the show. He talks all about it below for how the show is more than just dancing. He also talks about Dancing With The Stars and being a violinist…
“This show is a fusion of ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ alumni and finalists from ‘American Idol,’ ” Chmerkovskiy explained. “It’s hip-hop with a bit of a twist, bringing in some ballroom dancing. Somewhat into the show, we invite the audience to come on stage and it turns into a big dance party.
“Nobody feels intimidated,” he continued. “We don’t grab people and throw them on stage. We’ve never had a problem, believe me, getting people to participate. The group that comes on stage is clearly dominated by women, but there’s a mix. The audience is so comfortable by that time because we work hard to build a relationship.”
But the show is more than just dancing, Chmerkovskiy said.
“Another twist is a Q and A we have at the end of the show,” he said. “I am enjoying these shows immensely and the venues in which I’ve performed. I’ve never had such a privilege before.”
Chmerkovskiy has been with “Dancing With the Stars” through many changes, a significant one last year being the dropping of the live orchestra, which stirred a controversy among loyalists.
“I was sad, of course,” Chmerkovskiy said of the change. “There’s a beauty in live music that can never be substituted by electronics. But there’s also another side. Pop music changes so much there are sounds that can’t be replicated by live musicians, and last year, I think, was the best season we had music-wise.”
Chmerkovskiy knows more about music than just how to dance to it. He’s also a violinist, which he describes as his “first passion.” He took up the instrument when he was 5 years old in Odessa, Ukraine.
“I took it very seriously until I became a concert master of a youth orchestra when I was 17 or 18,” he said. “Then my teacher moved to San Francisco, and once he was gone, I lost it. Without practice, my skill level fell. I don’t play it with any seriousness now.”