Sunday, April 18

Dancing Their Way to Love! Inside DWTS' Jenna and Val's Steamy Romance


From the dance floor to “I do!” Jenna Johnson and Val Chmerkovskiy started out as colleagues on Dancing With the Stars and ended up as a happily married couple in real life.

The pair first crossed paths in 2014 when the So You Think You Can Dance alum became a DWTS troupe member. Chmerkovskiy had already been competing as a pro on the ABC competition series since season 13, which premiered in 2011. They were friends at first but took their relationship to the next level and started dating in 2015.

Johnson and Chmerkovskiy dated quietly for a few months, but eventually called it quits. The European dancer briefly moved on with season 23 DWTS contestant Amber Rose, but he and Johnson found their way back to each other in the end. In June 2018, Chmerkovskiy got down on one knee during a romantic trip to Italy.

I knew Jenna was the one when I saw how close she is with her family and how she interacts with her nieces and nephews,” Chmerkovskiy told Us Weekly exclusively days after he popped the question. “Family is everything to me and I can’t wait for us to build one together.”

Johnson, for her part, told Us that a romance with Chmerkovskiy was almost unavoidable. She noted in November 2018, “There’s something about the show, man. You’re so hands on. … Dance is very physical.”

She also said she understood why many DWTS pros, such as Alan Bersten and Artem Chigvintsev, end up dating their partners. (Bersten briefly dated his season 27 partner, Alexis Ren, in 2018, while Chigvintsev announced his engagement to Nikki Bella in January 2020.)

“You’re spending so much time with that one person,” she explained. “I think it’s inevitable when there are two beautiful, attractive people who are talented.”

The twosome seemed to be a match made in heaven — and it wasn’t long after their April 2019 wedding that they had babies on the brain. “I want babies. Val wants babies very badly. We definitely have spoken about it. That’s our future. That’s what we want when that’s gonna happen,” Johnson told Us exclusively in September 2020. “There’s that saying that there’s never the right time, but I think we just want to figure things out and then let it happen when it’s meant to happen.”

Keep scrolling to see the complete timeline of Chmerkovskiy and Johnson’s relationship — from their time as colleagues to the moment they walked down the aisle and beyond.

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2015

Chmerkovskiy and Johnson first sparked dating rumors in 2015 after they were reportedly seen getting cozy during DWTS rehearsals. In February 2016, the Ukrainian-American professional dancer was photographed kissing the Utah native on the cheek as they grabbed lunch together. However, they did not confirm their relationship at the time.

Adam Taylor/ABC via Getty Images

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December 2016

Johnson and Chmerkovskiy called it quits in 2016 and he started dating Rose that December. The model publicly declared her “love” for the dancer in January 2017, and a source later told Us that they were “definitely serious” about each other. However, the pair split that February.

James Devaney/GC Images

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June 2017

Shortly after Chmerkovskiy and Rose broke up, he rekindled his relationship with Johnson. The couple took a romantic trip to Europe together in June 2017 and exchanged flirtatious comments on social media. One month later, they made their relationship Instagram official when they attended his brother Maksim Chmerkovskiy’s wedding to Peta Murgatroyd.

Courtesy of Jenna Johnson/Instagram

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August 2017

Val professed his love for Johnson at the 2017 Industry Dance Awards and Cancer Benefit Show. He told Insider that he had “the wedding bug” after watching his brother tie the knot and gushed, “I’m in a great place and I’m in love — I’m very grateful for that.”

Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic

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May 2018

Johnson told Us in May 2018 that she and her beau had “definitely” spoken about getting engaged, but they did not want to rush into anything. She also admitted that they want kids “in the future.”

Jessica Sigmon Wallace/Getty Images

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June 2018

The duo’s discussions about the future clearly worked, because Val popped the question during a trip to Venice, Italy, in June 2018 . “I knew the moment I met you, you were the man of my dreams and I wanted to be with you forever,” Johnson wrote on Instagram at the time. “Thank you for making my fairytale come true today! Cannot believe I get to call you my FIANCÉ!!!! #engaged.”

Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images

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April 2019

“Got to explore the beautiful island of St. Lucia with my love yesterday,” Val shared via Instagram as he and Johnson celebrated their honeymoon on a tropical getaway. “As common as it is to see it written in captions nowadays gratitude is truly an essential ingredient to happiness and I don’t think there is ever enough of it. … Even in paradise, even alongside my true love, even with my health, and the luxury of streaming the last episode of G.o.T. there is still a periodical feeling of … Whatever that feeling is I find action and a reminder of gratitude to be the remedy. Every time.”

Courtesy of Val Chmerkovskiy/Instagram

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June 2019

So nice they did it twice! The pair exchanged vows once again in Utah in June 2019. “It was incredibly special because my little brother had to miss our wedding in April so we waited until he was home to have this reception,” Johnson told Us exclusively of the second ceremony. “My whole family was finally reunited for the first time in two years and it made me emotional the whole week! … It was truly the best week of my life!”

Aubree Carter/@aubreebellephotography

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October 2019

Val and his wife weren’t the only Chmerkovskiy family members who had babies on the brain. In October 2019, Johnson told Us that she and her sister-in-law Peta “have a deal that we’re going to get pregnant together.”

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April 2020

“I am so grateful that it’s you that I get to call my wife,” Val gushed via Instagram, dedicating a sweet post to his and Johnson’s first wedding anniversary. “That it’s you I get to wake up next to, that it’s you I get to love for life, you I get to have and eat my cake too. Rhyme aside, I love you dearly, lucky to have you and hold you near me. What a privilege I’ve been given, you’re God’s gift that keeps on giving. I love you.”

Broadimage/Shutterstock

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September 2020

The dancing duo returned to the DWTS ballroom for season 29 and were forced to take drastic precautions amid the coronavirus pandemic. As a safety measure, married pros were not allowed to live together during production. “Say that we were living together [and] one of us tested positive, I am now affecting Val, and he is affecting his partner,” Johnson told Us in September 2020, shortly after she and her husband bought their first house together. “We finally unpacked and got settled in. We were loving it, and then we got called and they were like, ‘You know, one of you is going to have to move out.’”

Larry Marano/Shutterstock

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September 2020

Ready for their own tiny dancer! Nearly two years after tying the knot, the So You Think You Can Dance alum told Us she couldn’t wait to start expanding her family. “I want babies. Val wants babies very badly. We definitely have spoken about it. That’s our future,” she said in September 2020.

Broadimage/Shutterstock

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November 2020

After putting their special anniversary plans on hold amid the COVID-19 crisis, the couple paid a visit to their wedding venue in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, in the fall of 2020. “Standing in the exact spot we said ‘I Do’ gave me butterflies all over again. Dancing Their Way to Love! Inside DWTS' Jenna and Val's Steamy Romance dancing-their-way-to-love-inside-dwts-jenna-and-vals-steamy-romance ,” Johnson wrote via Instagram at the time.

Courtesy of Jenna Johnson/Instagram

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February 2021

Johnson raved over her “VALentine,” sharing a handful of throwback PDA pics to mark the day of love. “Awwwww love you guys!” fellow DWTS pro Emma Slater commented.

Courtesy of Jenna Johnson/Instagram



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