Maks Chmerkovskiy Reveals Surprising Tidbit About Son Shai

Peta Murgatroyd and Maksim Chmerkovskiy

Getty Peta Murgatroyd and Maksim Chmerkovskiy pose at a event.

Former “Dancing with the Stars” professional dancer Maksim Chmerkovskiy, and his DWTS pro wife Peta Murgatroyd, recently became parents to their second son. They are already parents to Shai, who Us Weekly noted arrived in February 2017. Shai is quickly proving to be a fantastic big brother to little brother Rio, who arrived in June, and both Murgatroyd and Chmerkovskiy are head over heels in love with their two boys. In a recent podcast appearance, Chmerkovskiy shared some fun tidbits about his love of fatherhood, his life growing up in the dance world, and his life at home, and there was one bit about Shai that fans might find especially interesting.

Here’s what you need to know:

Maksim Chmerkovskiy Used to Hate Dancing

During the July 11 episode of “Dancing with the  Stars” winner Kaitlyn Bristowe’s podcast, “Off the Vine,” Chmerkovskiy talked about growing up as a dancer both as a child when he lived in Ukraine, and in the United States once his family moved to New York. Bristowe noted that young Shai seems to love dancing, just like his mom and dad, and questioned, “Is [dancing] something that’s just in the blood?” Chmerkovskiy chuckled and replied, “It’s definitely in the blood,” and he shocked Bristowe by adding, “Because I did not like dancing, I would say, probably the first 20 years of my dance career.”

Given that Chmerkovskiy’s livelihood has revolved around dance for a long time, it may surprise “Dancing with the Stars” fans to learn he hated it for a long time. While Chmerkovskiy started dancing at a young age, he became a mentor for his younger brother, Val Chmerkovskiy. During the podcast, Val explained Maks “was my teacher, he was my coach” for a long time.

Maks pointed out it “wasn’t by choice” that he became his younger brother’s dance teacher. Rather, the family seemed to believe Val had what it took to become a dance champion, and Maks felt a lot of responsibility to ensure that happened. Maks may have felt that dance was an obligation during those early years, but it eventually paid off. It turns out, Shai apparently is a lot like his father in some ways, including regarding dance.

Shai Initially Hated Dance Too

When Bristowe asked during her “Off the Vine” podcast if dancing was in the blood, it may have initially seemed that Maks went on a tangent by sharing he hated dance for a long time. However, it turns out he mentioned that for a specific, related reason. “Shai actually really doesn’t like dancing either,” the “Dancing with the Stars” veteran revealed. Given how adorable Shai is when he joins his mom and dad in their frequent Instagram dance videos, people might be shocked to hear that. Apparently, however, Shai is coming around on appreciating dance.

Maks explained that recently, Shai received a trophy after finishing a season of playing soccer. “He was like, wait, I got a trophy? I want more of this,” Maks recalled Shai saying. He then let his son know that he could earn lots of trophies by dancing, so now “he is hooked. But he’s hooked on trophies. And he reminds me of Val.” Maks explained, “Val had zero intention of dancing, because it was art,” and Val was much more into traditional sports at the time. However, Val also liked earning trophies. Winning trophies motivated Val to keep going in dance, and Maks figures given how that worked out, Shai is on the right track. “I just gotta feed him, feed him with opportunities,” the “Dancing with the Stars” pro declared.