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Don't expect to see Maksim Chmerkovskiy put on his dancing shoes for this season's Dancing With the Stars.Life & Style can reveal that the bad boy of dance is leaving the hit ABC series."I just want to set the record straight to all of my amazing fans that I will unfortunately not be returning for this season of Dancing With the Stars," Maksim tells Life & Style in a statement. "I’ve been a pro dancer on the show for about seven years now and am eager to explore other opportunities that have been made possible because of Dancing With the Stars. I'm going to take this time to dive into producing and acting, while fulfilling my sponsorship obligations."
NEWS: DWTS' Kirstie Alley on new show: I want Maksim Chmerkovskiy to play my date
"A big thank you to all of my fans for your never-ending support," he continues. "I also want to thank the entire cast and production of Dancing with the Stars."Earlier this morning, ABC released a statement about Maks after his name was noticeably absent from the new season’s roster.“We frequently rotate the professional dancers, so it is not unusual for them to rest a cycle,” an ABC spokesperson says. “As we consider who will be matched up each season, there are a lot of factors that dictate which couples make the best pairings. We appreciate each of our dancers dedication to the show, so this is a very difficult decision. Anna, Chelsie, Maks and Louis continue to be a part of the Dancing With the Stars family.”Since last season, it's been speculated that the 33-year-old dancer would not return in order to pursue other career opportunities.As Life & Style reported, Maksim will dive into acting by guest starring on his former partner Kirstie Alley's new show, Giant Baby.
NEWS: Kirstie Alley shares post-DWTS plans"He is not playing a dancer," Kirstie told Life & Style in November.Maksim has been on DWTS since season two (2006) and has partnered with celebrities such as Kirstie, Mel B., and Erin Andrews.
TAKE OUR POLL: Will you miss Maks?As for the new season (premiering March 18), expect to see the following stars and dancers take the stage:• Reality star Lisa Vanderpump and new pro Gleb Savchenko• Singer Kellie Pickler and Derek Hough• Boxer Victor Ortiz and new pro Lindsay Arnold• Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman and Mark Ballas• Country star Wynonna Judd and Tony Dovolani• Comedian D.L. Hughley and Cheryl Burke• Soap star Ingo Rademacher and Kym Johnson• Disney Channel star Zendaya Coleman and Valentin Chmerkovskiy• NFL star Jacoby Jones and Karina Smirnoff• Comedian Andy Dick and Sharna Burgess• Olympic skater Dorothy Hamill and Tristan MacManus