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      Dancing With The Stars Dancer Meets Fans

      Dancing with the Stars dancer Valentin Chmerkovskiy was on hand to meet fans at this year's Tulsa Women's Living Expo at the River Spirit Expo Center.

      "I love sharing my experience with them. To be honest, it's a way for me to give back to the fans that support me on the show," he said. "I don't treat it as work. It's a huge pleasure and honor for me to be able to travel and meet new people."

      Chmerkovskiy has been on the hit ABC show for two and a half years.

      "I think it's really popular because it's one of the very few shows on TV that can accommodate three, four generations of family," he said. "It's a show for the entire family and I think it's very rare to have that on TV."

      When asked if he thought the long-running show would run out of stars, he said "With all these reality stars. I think there's a new celebrity every day."

      He also shared some of the challenges of being on the show, where celebrities are paired with professional dancers to train and prepare a dance routine.

      "One of the hardest things about the show is you meet this person that you don't know anything about," he said. "You meet them on camera and you take their hand and you don't let go for three and a half months. It's like an arranged marriage that you have to make work." The dancer said that it's important to be able to compromise and find ways to build camaraderie with his partner.

      Preparing for the show is physically very demanding. He said he does six hours of dancing a day.

      "Generally it's a very, very tough process but it's all worth it when you see the final product...when you see your celebrity turn into a dancer or at least overcome a challenge that she never thought she would be able to do."

      Chmerkovskiy gets satisfaction from various aspects of his dancing career. "As a dancer, you know, your life is split into a couple of different things: number one as a performer and number two as a teacher. I've taught since I was 15," he said. "I love that aspect because you get to feel a different kind of sensation than when you do when you get to perform. On the flip side I love to perform...It's the best of both worlds."

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