Former ‘Dancing with the Stars’ pros open Dance With Me Studios

Staff of Dance with Me Studios
Shirley Husar, Elena Grinenko Hillis, Rib Hillis and Max and the staff of Dance with Me Studios Sherman Oaks CA

LOS ANGELES, September 14, 2014 — How do two former DWTS teachers and former partners in life build a new relationship? They add on a third wheel and continue to dance away. Maks Chmerkovskiy and newlyweds Elena Grinenko Hillis and Rib Hillis celebrated the opening of their new studio on September 10, 2014 with an incredible opening night party, joined by Val Chmerkovskiy and Tony Dovolani.

The Hillises are the first California regional franchise owners of Dance with Me USA studios, and their kick-off party at the Dance with Me studio in Sherman Oaks, California was a blast. The place was packed with people and sparkled with nonstop fun.

True, the temperature may have soared into the low 100s. But this did not prevent Dancing With the Stars fans and supporters from coming out to party in the Valley. Waves of guests hit the dance floor, making it even hotter and sweatier as the evening progressed.

But no one seemed to mind.

Many of the DWTS Season 19 contestants attended the Sherman Oaks bash, along with previous contestants on the show. DWTS pros are actually extending their brand of dance, charm and elegance to the fans who are now becoming their students. Many stars were indeed impressed with the $7,000-worth of chandelier glitz that hung from the ceiling of the new facility. These 2-tier chandeliers are brilliant enough to illuminate the room for all to dance under, with three of them set precisely in the line of dance.

One of the party guests, Oanh Mai stated, “I’m a fan of DWTS, and I drove two hours one way just to attend the grand opening of Dance with Me studios with my sister, Khan Martinez and her husband Daniel Martinez. This is a wow factor for us. I love the traditional styles yet a classy look of contemporary gold inlaid paint on the walls was just breathtaking to see.”

#DWMSO has a team of investors: Maks Chmerkovskiy, Tony Dovolani, Val Chmerkovskiy, Elena Grinenko Hillis, Rib Hillis, Jhanna Volynets and the mastermind founder of #DWMUSA, Aleksandr “Sasha” Chmerkovskiy, the father of Max and Val. Their success in the world of franchise ballroom dancing outside of the popular ABC show has been a driving force behind their longevity, as well as the honored place they hold in the world of dance.

It wasn’t surprising, then, that many “A” list celebrities stopped by Wednesday to show their support, along with all those former and current DWTS contestants.

Among those in attendance were: Leah Remini with her family; Season 19 contestant Lea Thompson and her dance partner Artem Chigvintsev; producer of “Dance My Ass Off” Lisa Ann Walker; owners of LeNique dancewear and former five-time world champion dancers Nick and Elena Kosovich. Other guests included the amazing Peta Murgatroyd (who returns to DWTS Season 19); actress/author Danica McKellar with her fiancé; Val Chmerkovskiy’s former dance partner, the singer/actress Zendaya, along with parents; and boxers Victor Ortiz and super featherweight world championship boxer Diego Magdaleno.

Victor Ortiz enjoyed his tour of the school so much he immediately signed up for classes.

Check out the attached images to get an idea of the kind of photo booth fun enjoyed by friends, fans, DWTS dancers and family.

Amazing PHOTOS TAKEN BY Cornel Stewart

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  • Oanh

    I was so honored to be invited to the event. I remember reading about the grand opening in SOHO and was so jealous that I wasn’t there to witness the event. The grand opening night was magical and I was stars struck. I was more stars struck with the professional dancers than I was with the actual celebrities. Why? Because they are the stars of the dance world and they have evolved into celebrities status. They were in their element and the support from the dance
    community, acting community was overwhelming. From the decor to the hospitality of the host an hostess was incredible. They really made you feel like you belong there, in their dance studio, it was a family affair and they made you feel like a part of the family. Although, I was so shy and was afraid to come up to Maks or Val but once I did and asked for a picture they were so nice about it. Zendaya and Casey Moss the most kindest and super-friendly celebrities and Judy Tenuta was a gem; she was super nice. I’m glad that I got to witness the such an awesome night for Maks, Val, Tony, Elena and Rib. I wish them many success.

    • shirleyhusar

      Thank you Oanh for your comment. Look like you were having a ball! Thank you for the interview.