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HOME > Dancing with the Stars > Dancing with the Stars 6

'Dancing' professional Maksim Chmerkovskiy: 'I'll be back next season'


By Christopher Rocchio and Steve Rogers, 02/19/2008 

Fear not Maksim Chmerkovskiy fans, the chest-flaunting Ukrainian says his Dancing with the Stars absence isn't going to be permanent.

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"I'm just taking time off to tend to other things that kind of piled up," Chmerkovskiy told Extra about his decision to watch Dancing with the Stars' upcoming sixth season from the sidelines.

"I am not leaving... I made a deal with the producers," the 28-year-old told Extra during the show's Monday night broadcast.  "[The producers] were kind enough to give me a break and let me do it. I'll be back next season, all refreshed and ready to go."

Chmerkovskiy first indicated he was leaving Dancing with the Stars following the Fall 2007 fifth-season finale, in which he finished as the runner-up with Spice Girl Melanie Brown.

"If this is the limit of where I can get in the show, well then let it be," said Chmerkovskiy during a November interview with Extra.  "I'm satisfied and moving on."

Several days later he chalked up those comments to being "very stressed out" at the time he made them and clarified he was "not quitting the show."

However the day before Dancing with the Stars sixth-season cast pairings were revealed, Chmerkovskiy's representative and an ABC spokesperson told People he would not be competing.

Chmerkovskiy may appear in some of the professional dancers routines featured in Dancing with the Stars' sixth-season results shows and also make additional cameo appearances.

"I'm part of the Dancing with the Stars family and I know there's recurring appearances of people who were on seasons before," he explained to Extra. "So, depending on what the production people want, I told them I'm available for whatever they want to do."

Chmerkovskiy will be busy during his Dancing downtime.  He choreographed the Wynn Hotel's La Reve theatrical water show in Las Vegas and is also finishing production on a new Dancing with the Stars fitness DVD with fellow professional Cheryl Burke

In addition, Chmerkovskiy will continue to work with students at his Rising Stars Dance Academy in Saddlebrook, NJ this spring.

"It's one of those things I need to attend to; my domestic studios and my students -- their competitive careers," he told Extra. "I have three studios at home back East that need to be addressed."

As for rumors that he's two-stepping to the big screen, Chmerkovskiy said he'll keep his options open.

"We'll see," he told Extra. "There's a bit of acting here and there. I'll explore my options."

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