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Maks leaving 'Dancing with the Stars'

Sept. 21, 2012 at 7:13 AM   |   Comments

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NEW YORK, Sept. 21 (UPI) -- Professional dancer Maksim Chmerkovskiy says he is leaving the U.S. competition series "Dancing with the Stars" to pursue an acting career.

The all-stars edition of the show premieres Monday night. Chmerkovskiy is partnered with actress Kirstie Alley.

"What else do I have to do there after 15 seasons?" the 32-year-old professional dancer told the New York Post about his planned departure from the show. "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."

He said he has enjoyed teaching stars how to shine on the dance floor, but now wants to focus on his own career.

"Essentially, 80 percent of our job is to give somebody another push in their career," he said. "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.'"

Chmerkovskiy told the Post he plans to pursue acting and possibly star in a reality show with his brother, Val, who joined "DWTS" several seasons ago. His partner in the all-stars edition is soap opera actress Kelly Monaco.

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