Dancing With Stars Pro Brings Ballroom Dancing To North Texas

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Val Chmerkovskiy has taken advantage of the popularity of “Dancing With the Stars” to get adults off the couch and onto the dance floor with his Dance With Me studios.

“Anyone can dance,” Chmerkovskiy said last week during a visit to his Southlake studio, which opened two years ago. “It doesn’t matter your age, race or gender. It celebrates how different we are all, but ultimately how many similarities we really share. “

Southlake Town Square was the first venue in Texas for Dance With Me, a ballroom and social dance teaching studio that Chmerkovskiy started with his brother Maks Chmerkovskiy. In September, they opened a studio at Shops at Clearfork in Fort Worth, and last week they celebrated a grand opening in Austin. Other locations are near Houston, in the New York area and in Las Vegas.

Chmerkovskiy is well known to fans as one of the professional partners of “Dancing With the Stars” or DWTS. He won the competition in 2016 with gymnast Laurie Hernandez and in 2015 with Rumer Willis, daughter of Demi Moore and Bruce Willis.

Dancing can help anyone become healthier and is a lot more fun than spending time on a treadmill, he said.

“Movement is a key part of a healthy lifestyle,” he said.

Christine O’Sullivan of Little Elm is proof of the health benefits of dance. She has lost 80 pounds since she started taking classes at Dance With Me two years ago.

“I had never danced before, but always wanted to give it a try,” O’Sullivan said.

When she first started out she was extremely shy, but now that dancing has boosted her confidence, she takes part in ballroom and social dance competitions.

“Anyone can do this,” she said. “I never thought I would get to this level.”

Alex Samusevich, Marketing Director for Dance With Me, said studio Southlake’s success shows that in-person experiences can work well in an era of struggling retail stores. The site receives an average of 150 to 200 students per month.

“You can’t do it online,” Samusevich said of the pairs dancing and the classes provided by the studio.

Chmerkovskiy said dancing is great for bringing people together, especially at a time when there is such a big political divide.

“You can just get away from the dance world and just dance,” he said. “He celebrates the things that unite us more than they separate us.”

In addition to working with his studios and DWTS, Chmerkovskiy has been busy writing his autobiography, which will be released in March.

He tells how he immigrated at the age of 8 with his family from Odessa, Ukraine, and Brooklyn, New York, where he discovered dance.

“I just want people to read a funny story, laugh and be inspired,” he said.

For more information on Dance With Me studios, visit dancewithmeusa.com.

This story was originally published January 29, 2018 12:48 pm.


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