maks chmerkovksiy


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Maksim Chmerkovskiy Will Take Paternity Leave

Sorry, Maks fans! Maksim Chmerkovksiy says he will not be returning to Dancing with the Stars as a pro dancer next season.

Instead, the 36-year-old is going to be taking time off to be with fiancée Peta Murgatroyd, 30, and their son, whom they are expecting in January.

Growing up, Chmerkovskiy never expected he’d be able to take a break from working to be a parent.

“I come from a dirt broke family. I just started to be able to afford things in 2005 when [Dancing with the Stars] started. For me to be able to take time off in this way … [to have] what we have to enjoy and be proud of, that’s anybody’s dream,” the pro dancer told PEOPLE backstage after being eliminated on Monday’s episode of DWTS.

He added, “I’m doing exactly what I set out to do. That’s why I worked my butt off.”

While Chmerkovskiy told reporters he would return to DWTS “in any capacity that doesn’t require me to put in 60 hours a week,” the dancer is also ready to fully embrace diaper duty.

“I hope I am 1/10th of what my father is,” he said. “If that’s the case, then this kid will be the luckiest on the planet.”