DWTS Couple’s ‘Very Different Cultures’ Presented ‘Hard to Navigate’ Issues

DWTS Update

Heavy DWTS pro Jenna Johnson opened up about challenges in her dynamic with Val Chmerkovskiy.

“Dancing with the Stars” professional dancers Jenna Johnson and Val Chmerkovskiy welcomed their first child in January. So far, parenting seems to be going quite smoothly so far for the DWTS couple.

However, Johnson recently opened up about some challenges the pair needed to work through together before getting too far into their marriage and parenting journey.

Here’s what you need to know:

Jenna Johnson & Val Chmerkovskiy’s Backgrounds Are Quite Different

On July 20, in now-expired Instagram Stories, Johnson answered some questions from “Dancing with the Stars” fans. People captured and shared the tidbits she revealed regarding the work she did with Chmerkovskiy to determine a solid foundation in their relationship, and later, their parenting style. A fan asked, “Do you and Val have different belief systems and how do you navigate that?”

Johnson shared an adorable candid photo of Chmerkovskiy holding their son Rome, and she provided a lengthy response to the question. “Yes!! Being completely transparent, at first it was very hard to navigate because we grew up completely different and in very different cultures.”

Chmerkovskiy spent his early years in Ukraine, and his family then moved to New York. Johnson, on the other hand, grew up in Utah. When the “Dancing with the Stars” couple was in the early stages of planning their wedding, they worked to incorporate and honor both of their backgrounds for their big day.

In 2018, Chmerkovskiy told People, “Trying to fuse a Jewish-Russian family with a Mormon family from Utah definitely is a challenge.” They made it work for their wedding, and Johnson acknowledged they had to consider similar issues as they approached parenting.

The DWTS Couple Celebrates Their Differences

Johnson explained in her Instagram Story, “I think we had to face the fact that we needed to have open and honest communication constantly so neither of us was offended or hurt by the other if we didn’t see eye to eye on something.” The “Dancing with the Stars” dancer added, “But!!! Now it’s one of my favorite aspects about our relationship, that we are able to experience such a cultured life together and learn about one another’s upbringing.”

The dancer gushed over how Rome “will have such a unique experience growing up with Russian-speaking grandparents in New York and Christian grandparents in Utah!” The new mom encouraged others in similar situations not to “shy away from it!” Face it head on and have the hard conversations!! They are worth it!!”

Johnson and Chmerkovskiy are clearly in a good place now. They recently joined Taylor Lautner and his wife Tay Lautner for their podcast “The Squeeze” and shared plenty of fun tidbits. They recalled how they met when she was just 19 and brand new with “Dancing with the Stars,” whereas he was a bit older and had already done several seasons of the show. The chemistry between them was immediate, and their relationship grew.

Now that they have added Rome to the equation, both dancers noted that parenting is “the absolute best thing ever,” but also “so exhausting.” They expressed their appreciation for both sets of their “awesome” parents, sharing they were wonderful examples for both of them.

Chmerkovskiy and Johnson revealed their love for one another has grown since Rome’s arrival. Chmerkovskiy got mushy for a moment by admitting, “It’s crazy, my love for her just quadruples.” As Rome grows older, the “Dancing with the Stars” entertainers may find new ways that their religious and cultural backgrounds present additional obstacles, but they seem to have a good system in place for working through those challenges.