A Fan Favorite Professional Initially, I refused to participate on DWTS.
A professional dancer who went on to become a fan favorite initially turned down the show, according to “Dancing With the Stars” trivia. Read on to learn why Maksim Chmerkovskiy turned down season one of “Dancing With the Stars” and how his brother Val persuaded him to reconsider.
‘Dancing With the Stars’ sounded insane to Maks.
During an interview for Olivia Jade’s new podcast, “Conversations With Olivia Jade,” she asked her “Dancing With the Stars” partner Val how he got involved with the show, and he replied that his older brother Maks was the one who was recruited first.
“They tapped into the world of competitive ballroom dancing, which was a very small, niche world that nobody recognized,” Val explained, adding that “a lot of the top couples said no to the initiative because they didn’t know what it was… [It] appears to be insane. A reality show in which I’m supposed to tutor a celebrity? Even that makes me want to scream, ‘Ugh, I’m not putting up with this.'”
And Maks was one of the professionals who was approached to undertake season one but declined, despite Val’s advice.
“When he was asked to season one, he said, ‘That’s wack,’ and I told him, ‘Listen, go do that!’ I was 19 at the time, and my brother was 25… I was studying business at Pace University in New York City… “My brother owned a [dance]studio,” Val explained.
“Some extremely good pros” said yes, Val said, and “Dancing With the Stars” became a “phenomenon.”
“The entire dance world was watching Evander Holyfield do a foxtrot and… instantly, I went from ‘what do you do?!’ to ‘oh, you do that thing that I just saw on TV!'” Val explained, adding, “It instantly kind of validated my choices and overnight it went from this weird thing where people looked at me and said, ‘Why are you spending so much of your time, effort, energy, and money?’ and looked at my parents like they were crazy… ‘You’re letting them do ballroom dancing?!’ and a project appears out of nowhere… Nokia News – Quick Recap