It is well known within the DWM Family that if you had asked Maks at 4, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" He would have most likely said an Olympic swimmer or a soccer player. Sports and competition have always run deep in his blood. He is a born athlete. He has trained to be the best for as long he can remember. Because he understands that success is about hard work and dedication, Maks has always puts his all into everything he pursues.
Fortunately, he was focused on dancing and his hard work paid off. Today, Maks has grown into being a true gentleman, a renowned choreographer, successful business owner, and national TV celebrity on Dancing with the Stars. But his heart remains with DWM Studios and his family.
When Maks was training, he couldn't afford to go to a performing arts school. Where he grew up training definitely could have been a better environment in both looks and management. But as a result, the inception of DWM Studios began with his father and him really wanting to create a great environment for kids to train: a studio where students like Maks could be respected, respect one another, and train for the love and passion of dancing, a studio that was both inviting and welcoming. And of course, it had to have the best dance instructors.
Today, Dance With Me Studios remains a focus for Maks but one that he tries to keep very separate from his celebrity existence. Although his own career has led him to be a world-renowned dancer, DWM Studios is simply his home. The instructors and people who are part of the DWM Family are students he trained himself to become champions and who are as dedicated as him to the studios. So if you see him here, you won't find Maks from "Dancing with The Stars," you will find Maks, a son, a brother and a dancer.
Sasha is first and foremost a father. He has always been passionate and proud of his sons. But very early on, he became passionate about the dancing industry. His passion evolved into a dedication to creating a unique dance studio environment with his sons. He has put his reputation and future on the line to create something best of class.
Everyone who knows Sasha will agree that he can be quite demanding. He expects the best of himself and of those around him, because he believes we determine our future. Change starts from within. This is why he demands that the DWM family provide the best and most professional dance instruction in the nation with the ultimate belief that client service is a cornerstone of his studio.
His passion and desire to be the best, remain a driving force behind the entire DWM Family. His ultimate vision is to grow the DWM Family across the nation. He believes that there are many like him who love the art of Ballroom Dancing and will appreciate a place where the heritage of Dancing is presented in a beautiful ballroom with well-dressed men and women dancing and socializing together, enjoying a simple moment in time.
Jhanna followed her children into their new hobby and fell in love with the world of ballroom dancing. She began driving her children to Rising Stars Academy four days a week. She traveled with them as they competed in the US and overseas. She finally opened the first Dance With Me Studios with Sasha in 2005. Through Dance With Me, Jhanna has been able to combine her Wall Street and Real Estate background and her creativity. She designed every square foot of each studio. She finally made her dream, to have a studio in Manhattan's historic SoHo district, come true. She always felt that the world's best city deserves nothing less than the world's greatest dance studio.
Tony Dovolani's dance partner for Season 13 of "Dancing with the Stars," was actress, singer Chynna Phillips. She is married to William (Billy) Baldwin and has three children. Tony joined the show in its second season and quickly became a fan favorite. He was paired with Stacy Keibler in Season 2 and they finished in 3rd place. His other partners have included: Sara Evans in Season 3, Leeza Gibbons in Season 4, Jane Seymour in Season 5, Marissa Jaret Winokur in Season 6, Susan Lucci in Season 7, season 8 partner was Melissa Rycroft, Kathy Ireland in Season 9. Kate Gosselin in Season 10, Audrina Patridge in Season 11 and Wendy Williams in Season 12.
Tony was one of the judges for the 2011 Miss America competition, which broadcast live on ABC on January 15, 2011 from Las Vegas. He teamed up with fellow "Dancing with the Stars" pro Cheryl Burke to choreograph and perform a special Paso Doble for Pixar animators at The Pixar Studios. The routine, danced to the Gipsy King's Spanish take on "You've Got a Friend in Me (Para Buzz Espanol)," provided the inspiration behind a dance sequence in "Toy Story 3" featuring Buzz Lightyear-who gets switched into Spanish-language mode-and cowgirl Jessie. "Toy Story 3" has become the top grossing animated film worldwide and won the Oscar for Best Animated Film.
Born in Prishtina, Kosova, on July 17. Tony began folk dancing at age three. He was 15 when he and his entire family moved to the United States. He attended Fred Astaire Dance Academy and knew he had found his passion. Tony has been a strong and successful competitor in the ballroom dancing world. He, and his partner for many years, Elena Grinenko have retired from competing and remain close friends. When he isn't dancing on "Dancing with the Stars" he teaches and does personal appearances around the country on behalf of Fred Astaire Dance Studios. Tony and fellow dancer Maksim Chmerkovskiy are partners the New York and New Jersey Dance With Me studios.
Tony's professional body of work includes co-hosting segments on "EXTRA" and corresponding for "Good Morning America" He played Latin bad boy competitor, 'Slick Willy,' in the hit film "Shall We Dance." He was a dance instructor on the film and had the privilege of coaching and working with Richard Gere, Jennifer Lopez and Stanley Tucci.
Tony and his wife Lina are proud parents of their daughter Luana and twins born September 8, 2008, Adrian Driton Dovolani, and Ariana Dovolani.
Dance has the power to influence lives. Upon the love and dedication his older brother Maks had towards ballroom dance, Val decided to embrace it as a family tradition. He trained as a child with his brother, and won his first competition when he was nine. Val was born in the charming city of Odessa, Ukraine, close to the Black Sea. He immigrated with his family to Brooklyn, NY, a year before winning his first title. Since then Val has devoted thousands of hours to practice and worn out hundreds of dance shoes, too. He has firmly stepped onto the world's dance stage as a top-ranked competitor earning several titles. His current dance partner is Dasha, another studio family member. You may have already enjoyed his performances—he has been featured on 'Dancing with the Stars' alongside his brother Maks and several morning talk shows. Val was also part of the dance troupe in 'Latin Fusion' at Broadway's City Center in NYC.
Eugene found a passion for dance at an early age when joining Maksim and Valentin at Rising Stars Dance Academy. Eugene was an intricate part of the foundation of Dance With Me, being the first Manager of the first Dance With Me dance studio in Ridgefield, New Jersey in 2005.
Eugene is known for his outgoing and sociable personality. He loves to help others and takes pride in spreading joy and positivity throughout the organization.
Alex Samusevich has been a ballroom dancer and competitor since the age of 7. His mother was a pianist, and her music instilled a deep understanding of rhythm at an early age. Throughout his competitive dance career, Alex has won several prestigious competitions such as La Classique du Quebec (Canadian Open) & Ohio Star Ball, and made the final at the U.S. National Championships for six consecutive years.
Alex began teaching ballroom dancing at the age of 16, later coaching a preteen couple to a National Championship. Alex has studied at the Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College, majoring in entrepreneurship and minoring in psychology. In his free time he enjoys playing sports, collecting and producing music, reading, traveling, spending time with family, and teaching.
Alex had managed Dance With Me SoHo since its grand opening in February 2010, as well as Dance With Me New Jersey in 2012 , before transitioning to Director of Marketing for Dance With Me Studios.
Dasha Chesnokova was born in Kharkiv, Ukraine and started dancing at an early age of 8. She was competing throughout Europe at a young age, becoming 3-time Ukrainian champion, Blackpool Finalist, and International Championship Finalist in Youth Latin. Dasha's international dancing career blossomed when she partnered with Valentin Chmerkovskiy in 2008. Together, they were 3-time U.S. National Champions, while also placing 5th at the World Championships and 3rd in the renowned Blackpool Championships in Amateur Latin. Dasha Chesnokova was also a member of the troupe on Dancing With the Stars before partnering with former World Champion Slavik Kryklyvyy.
Dasha currently competes with Stefano Difilipo and their most recent competitive achievement includes being Professional Latin Finalists at the prestigious International Championships in London.
Dasha is known to have a warm and welcoming personality and loves to have fun in her free time.