Born and raised in Odessa, Ukraine, Maksim moved to the U.S. 14 years ago. He has been dancing since the age of four when his parents decided he needed a hobby. At a young age, Maksim's parents brought him to his first dance class. He began gaining interest in his new hobby, however, when he became a teenager, dance was the last thing on his mind. He wanted to play basketball, soccer, baseball, basically any sport- just not dancing. At the same time, dancing was such a huge part of his life that he could not give it up, nor did his parents want him to.
As a teenager, Maks had a horrible skiing accident that left him hospitalized for months. He had to undergo many surgeries and constantly be monitored by doctors and physical therapists. Doctors had inserted a metal rod into his leg (from about his hip to the top of his knee) to correct the bone structure. The doctors told Maks that there was a chance he would be handicapped for the rest of his life, let alone not be able to dance. Hearing this only made Maks be stronger and want to work harder. He dedicated months of his time and suffered through much pain while attending physical therapy. Before long he was back and his own two feet walking, running, and dancing. Maks invited his primary doctor (the one who oversaw the operation, physical therapy, etc) to his first competition after the accident, which was only after a few months of therapy. The doctor was left speechless!
The next biggest challenge Maks had to face was moving to America. The entire Chmerkovskiy family moved here in order to start a new life and to give Maks and Val (Maks’ younger brother) more opportunities. This was another struggle that they all had to face with language and financial barriers. However, once again, this challenge made Maks stronger. It is here that Maks started to take his hobby to a new level…Maks and his family opened Rising Stars Dance Academy. Since then, Maks has made a huge impact on ballroom dancing in the United States. He currently is enjoying participating on Dancing with the Stars because this helps to promote his sport to viewers across the nation. … Expand
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