Moving to the United States also gave Chmerkovskiy the opportunity to rededicate himself to dance.
At 15 he began working at a local Russian restaurant, dancing as entertainment.
Nearly five years after Karina Smirnoff and Maksim Chmerkovskiy bitterly ended their engagement, the former couple was spotted paddle boarding in paradise together on August 20— with smiles on their faces.
At age 13, he broke his right leg in a skiing accident and had a titanium rod put in to stabilize his leg.
Doctors foresaw long-term difficulties and little possibility of a dancing career; however, he recovered and was dancing again six months later.
Chmerkovskiy did not compete in Season 6, although he and former partner Melanie Brown made an appearance for the 100th episode.
He returned for the show's seventh season, this time paired with two-time Olympic volleyball gold medalist, Misty May-Treanor.
Chmerkovskiy said he chose New Jersey because there was a plethora of dance studios that he disliked already established in Brooklyn.