Val Chmerkovskiy may be between seasons of Dancing With the Stars, but he's still finding ways to keep busy. The DWTS coach recently visited St. Mary's Hospital for Children in NYC, where he spent the afternoon dancing with kids who were able to bust a move using both wheelchairs and assistive devices. Not only is the DWTS coach keeping up with his dancing and charity work, but he's even hit the studio to record new music and plan a follow-up to his 2011 debut album.
Speaking exclusively to iDesign, Chmerkovskiy discussed his "inspiring" experience with the kids at St. Mary's Hospital. "It was sometimes quite overwhelming," said Chmerkovskiy. "To see innocent kids be affected by something like that and to triumph over that difficulty, and also see the people behind them who are helping is very motivating. It makes you want to go out and do similar things. To me, those are the ones who should be getting all the perks that celebrities have."
Although Chmerkovskiy is best known for teaching celebrities how to move on Dancing With the Stars, he's been teaching competitive ballroom dance since he was 15 years old. He's also given dance lessons at a wide range of charitable organizations. "I don't have as much experience with kids who have special needs," he admitted. "But I own a dance studio and we have a couple of teachers there who are certified to teach wheelchair dancing."
Last season on DWTS, Chmerkovskiy finished in second place with Shake It Up star Zendaya. The duo dazzled as the fan-favorite team of the season. And his results have gotten better on each successive season of the show: He placed 11th with Elisabetta Canalis on Season 13, and 10th with Sherri Shepherd on Season 14. On Dancing With the Stars All-Stars, he finished third with Kelly Monaco before his recent runner-up showing.
"It definitely helps that I've been getting more in tune with the format and more familiar with the show," said Chmerkovskiy. "I know what to do now. But at the same time, I've been getting great partners, so I can't complain."
Fans of Chmerkovskiy may soon get to see him in a whole different light. He posted a photo of himself playing the violin to Instagram, noting that he's been in a recording studio lately. Could the new photo mean that there are plans for a follow-up to his 2011 debut album, You're Welcome?
"There are always plans!" he said. "I'm in a Catch-22 because four or five years ago, I didn't have the exposure I do now. Now I have [that], but what I do needs to have the quality that people have come to expect from me. There are definitely plans to do more music, but I'm just taking my time because I want what comes out to reflect the person I am today."