Maksim Chmerkovskiy: I’m Leaving Dancing With The Stars… After Three More Seasons

Maksim Chmerkovskiy is eventually retiring his “Dancing” shoes!

After the upcoming “All-Stars” season (which debuts on Monday), the 32-year-old “Dancing with the Stars” pro will compete in two more cycles, a rep for Maks told Access Hollywood.

“What else do I have to do there after 15 seasons?” the pro dancer told The New York Post. “It makes total sense. The audience can’t expect for me to want to stick around, and the producers can’t expect for me to want to stick around.”

“Essentially, 80% of our job is to give somebody another push in their career. Or we make them into likable characters. But at the end of the day, they go off and they better themselves… I loved doing it. But to be honest with you, at 32, I am at what-about-me time,” he continued. “I am not thinking that with me leaving, the show will go off the air or anything… I wish them the next 50 years of success. But I have to do something else. I need to move on for me.”

Maks’ “me time” will consists of acting and possibly a reality show with his younger brother, Val. But the often-cocky Maks – whose

“DWTS” partners in the past have included Tia Carrere, Laila Ali, Mel B, Denise Richards, Brandy, Kirstie Alley, Hope Solo and Erin Andrews — admitted he was nervous to jump into the acting pool. He’s already landed a role in a movie that begins filming in January.

“I never thought I was ready,” he said. “Then I had a whole day of reading with the director and casting director, and I enjoyed it so much! I caught the bug, as they say. This is something I really want to do.”

As for his last strut through the “DWTS” ballroom, where he’s paired again with Kirstie Alley, Maks is not sure the audience will be in their corner.

“We may have had a couple of weeks last time that we cruised on popularity or fan appeal or whatever,” he said. “But I am not really sure that is going to work for us this time. I am not sure people are going to vote for us just because it is us.”

The Ukranian hunk also confirmed his upcoming future exit from the ABC reality competition on Twitter, writing, “With nothing but love, gratitude and respect to all that played a part in that amazing aspect of my life,” and linking to the NY Post article.

-- Jesse Spero

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