DWTS SEASON 18 PREMIERE INTERVIEW: VAL CHMERKOVSKIY
Dancing With the Stars has returned and the Dance With Me Family is excited to watchVal Chmerkovskiy spice up the dance floor for the 6th season in a row. See what Val had to say about working with childhood crush Winnie Cooper, otherwise known as DanicaMcKellar, plus his thoughts on big brother Maks Chmerkovskiy returning to the show!
WHAT WAS YOUR REACTION WHEN YOU FOUND OUT THAT EVERY BOY’S CHILDHOOD CRUSH WINNIE COOPER, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS DANICA MCKELLAR, WAS YOUR PARTNER?
I was really excited… but a little intimidated by the responsibility to relive every childhood boy’s dream. But I’m happy that vicariously through me people get to experience the amazing Danica McKellar. She has an awesome personality and you’ll get to see it on the show.
HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE COMPETING AGAINST YOUR BROTHER MAKS AGAIN?
It feels great to have him back. It’s amazing to be able to share the stage with him and see him on the show – especially since it’s finally going to bring some consolation to my grandma and she is going to stop bugging me about why he’s not on the show. “I don’t know babushka (Russian for ‘grandma’), call Maks!” But all jokes aside, it is great to have him back on the dance floor. He was my first teacher and coach, and I owe a lot of my success to him.
HAVE YOU FACED ANY DIFFICULTIES DURING REHEARSALS WITH DANICA OR DO YOU SEE ANYTHING THAT MAY BE A CHALLENGE?
The obvious challenge is going against the incredibly talented competition on the show. However, I think when it comes to us… you know…to quote a wise young man… “we ain’t worrying about nothing.” Ha ha!
DANCING WITH THE STARS PUSHES YOU, AND YOUR PARTNER, TO THE EXTREMES WITH LONG HOURS OF PRACTICE AND LITTLE TIME TO RELAX. HOW DO THESE CONDITIONS AFFECT YOU AND YOUR PARTNER?
I think that anything that requires effort or is grueling, and requires physical and mental sacrifice, will only make you stronger. So I’m looking forward to not only challenging my partner, but also challenging myself. We’re embracing the hopefully long journey ahead.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF DANCING WITH THE STARS?
For me it’s building new friendships, being able to perform, and being creative in front of millions of people. I love the challenge and excitement of not knowing what to expect. I love the grueling journey, all the stress, the hard work, and all the rewards that come with it. It’s a special experience.
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THIS WHOLE PARTNER SWITCH THAT EVERYONE HAS BEEN TALKING ABOUT?
I haven’t really been thinking about it. I am not trying to worry about things I don’t have control over. Like I said, for me it’s just another obstacle to overcome, and I’m looking forward to embracing it. Everyone is going to be in the same boat, so that puts me at ease. I know my strengths, and I know I could compete against anyone under any circumstance.
THIS IS YOUR 6TH SEASON ON THE SHOW, WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED THAT YOU WILL APPLY THIS SEASON?
I learned to manage my time and emotions a little bit better, and I changed my priorities. I am no longer motivated only by the opportunity to win, but more to see my partner grow, and become the best she can be. I’ve learned to channel my competitive nature more into that.
ANY FINAL WORDS TO THE DANCE WITH ME FAMILY?
I want to say that you guys are a big motivator for what I do. Everything I do is for my family, and all of you guys are a part of it. I really appreciate all of your support and I hope you will enjoy our dancing. By the way, did Maks’ shirts really do better on the shop? Come on guys!