FORT LEE, N.J. -- Happy birthday to Fort Lee's Maksim Chmerkovskiy, former Dancing with the Stars choreographer.
Chmerkovskiy, who first joined the show in its second season, when he was paired with actress Tia Carrere, turns 39 on Wednesday.
Prior to Dancing with the Stars, Chmerkovskiy was a champion Latin ballroom dancer.
Chmerkovskiy was born in Odessa, Ukrainian SSR prior to moving to Brooklyn with his family in 1994.
Chmerkovskiy and his father opened a youth-oriented competitive dance studio, Rising Stars Dance Academy, on the second floor of a building his father owned in Ridgewood. Chmerkovskiy was only 16 at the time.
Chmerkovskiy retired from Dancing with the Stars at the conclusion of season 18, when he and Ice Dancer Meryl Davis took the top prize.
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