Maksim (Maks) Aleksandrovich Chmerkovskiy (born January 17, 1980) is a Ukrainian-American Latin Ballroom dance champion, choreographer, and instructor. He is best 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 his ten appearances on the show, Chmerkovskiy has made it to the final round four times, with two runner-up and two third place finishes. Born on January 17, 1980, in Odessa (Ukraine) to Aleksandr and Larisa Chmerkovskiy, he began dancing at the age of four. His brother, Valentin Chmerkovskiy, is also a champion dancer. His father is Jewish and his mother is Christian. Chmerkovskiy's Ukrainian heritage was referenced on an episode of Dancing with the Stars. The challenges of immigration for Chmerkovskiy and his family included financial and language barriers. A skiing accident as a child broke Chmerkovskiy's right leg.
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