Latin-ballroom dance champion, choreographer, and instructor. He is widely known as one of the professional dancers on the American television series Dancing with the Stars, on which he first appeared in season two.In 14 appearances as a competing pro on the show, Chmerkovskiy made it to the final round five times, with two runner-up and two third-place finishes.
The studio relocated a few times until it ended up in Saddle Brook, New Jersey.
He said in 2011 of choosing a New Jersey location, "I didn't want to open a studio that would become just one of the studios in the area. In Season 5 of Dancing with the Stars, he was partnered with Melanie Brown and the couple received second place.
I wanted to open my studio somewhere where there was nothing like it and where people would look at it with no preconceived notions." In 2001, Chmerkovskiy had his first major success as an instructor when he helped his brother, Valentin, then 16, and Diana Olonetskaya, 15—became the first U. Following the season 5 finale, Chmerkovskiy reportedly told TV Guide Magazine he would not be returning to the show, something he later told People Magazine he had announced his departure because of stress.
Doctors foresaw long-term difficulties and little possibility of a dancing career; however, he recovered and was dancing again six months later.
He eventually became a professional Latin Ballroom dancer, with the details of the recovery from the accident presented on a 2010 episode of the television show Celebrity Ghost Stories.
The family immigrated to Brooklyn, New York in 1994.
Moving to the United States also gave Chmerkovskiy the opportunity to rededicate himself do dance.
At 15 he began working at a local Russian restaurant, dancing as entertainment.
Working at the restaurant, Chmerkovskiy decided winning competitions as a dancer would be a way to argue for higher pay.