Professional dancer Val Chmerkovskiy officially became a “Dancing With the Stars” pro in season 13 after previously performing on the show a few times before joining the cast. Now in his 18th season, is he ready to retire?
His current partner, beauty vlogger Olivia Jade, asked him that very question on the November 1 episode of her podcast, “Conversations With Olivia Jade.” Find out what he had to say and also why this season means more to him than any other.
Val Is Thinking About Retiring
On Olivia’s podcast, she asked her pro partner, “What’s after this for you? Is this your final season or do we have more in that little dancing body?”
Val immediately reassured fans that he’s “definitely gonna keep dancing” for sure, but he’s not sure about his future on “Dancing With the Stars.”
UPDATED TO ADD: According to some screenshots making the rounds on social media, Val actually confirmed to a fan that season 30 is his last season.
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“‘Dancing With the Stars’ is TBD,” said Val, explaining that he’s not sure a season could ever top season 30 for him.
“I build different relationships with all of [my partners], but you’re my favorite. You’re my favorite,” he said.
Olivia laughed like he was just being nice, but he went on to explain why this partnership is so meaningful.
I’ll tell you this, you definitely are the biggest surprise for me. You definitely exceeded my expectations for sure, out of everybody [I’ve partnered with]. There’s people that came in snd turned out to be such a wonderful season, a winning season, but — I’m not saying they were ringers, but they had potential coming in. Like, it was mine to ruin. Zendaya was mine to ruin, Normani was mine to ruin, they were amazing already and I just made some good choices for them and then just got out of their way.
But with you, it’s not that easy and this season is very competitive, so it just means more. The harder the journey, the more it means to you and this one means a lot to me, so how many of these meaningful journeys can I emotionally go through?
Wow. That is quite the ringing endorsement of the work Olivia has put in this season, though we would be sad to see Val leave the show. He has said that he would dance with a man next season “in a heartbeat,” but just because he’s open to it doesn’t necessarily mean he’s looking to continue on the show. Either way, it’ll be cool to see what he does next, which Olivia did ask him about.
Val said he of course wants to start a family with his wife, fellow “Dancing With the Stars” pro Jenna Johnson, but he also has big professional dreams.
“Babies too, but for me, personally, I just want to continue to grow creatively, I want to produce shows, I want to star on Broadway, I want to star in movies, I want to move on from [the show],” said Val, adding, “We could collaborate together moving forward too, for sure. It doesn’t just have to be on this project, we could facilitate our own project.”
Val Said That Teaching Olivia Has Been a ‘Huge Privilege’
Olivia also asked Val what he thought when he got her as a partner and he didn’t beat around the bush at all — he was not excited.
“I was like, ‘Oh no, not this girl.’ Why would I be like, ‘Yay, I got this girl’? I had no idea who you are. I only know who you are based on what I’ve been told and nothing beyond that, so for me, the first thing, I was like, ‘OK, does she have a work ethic? Is she entitled?'” he explained.
But he said he “quickly saw” that she was ready to work hard and was not entitled.
“I quickly saw that that wasn’t the case. Immediately, once I saw that … I was like OK, cool … seeing that you were coordinated and had some soul to you, I was like, ‘Look, she’s not a ringer, but I’m excited to teach her,'” said Val, adding, “Then seeing how happy it made you to learn something and actually get it, that’s everything as a teacher. I’m proud to say I teach a lot, that’s my pride and joy to me, is to each dance … and to be able to share it with a young, talented, hard-working, cool-ass chick is a huge privilege to me.”
He went on to explain that the show isn’t going to be around forever, but he loves that his style of dance will “live on” in his partners.
“It will live on with you, with Zendaya, with Normani, with Laurie Hernandez, with all of the amazing partners I got the chance to share this passion with, with Rumer Willis, it will live on with them. Hopefully, you will remember this experience and be really proud of it,” said Val, to which Olivia replied, “I’m already really proud of it.”
“Dancing With the Stars” airs Mondays at 8 p.m. Eastern and Pacific times on ABC.