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I have been a big fan of Dancing with the Stars. I’ve watched every single season and every single episode. My daughters and I especially love Disney Night. There’s something extra magical and joyous about it. We always talk about how amazing it would be to see the Disney show in person. (Who knows, maybe it could happen some day? All we need is a little pixie dust, right?)
Val has always been one my favorite professionals on the show. I just think he radiates a positive energy and after I read his book about his life, I admired him even more. I can’t even begin to touch on all the details of his story (you’ll have to read it for yourself), but the overall themes that resonated with me were his gratitude and love for his family. The relationship, admiration, and respect he has for his brother Maks really struck me too. I can only hope I do as good a job as his mom and dad did in raising a family with such an unbreakable bond. He possesses so much self-reflection, love and honesty throughout the whole book, it took my admiration of him to another level.
With that being said, never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I would meet him! Well, just this week, I saw an Instagram post from Town Center Mall announcing a giveaway for 2 VIP tickets to the Grand Opening of Dance With Me Boca Dance Studio and a Meet and Greet with Val & Maks Chmerkovskiy and Tony Dovolani, the 3 owners and professional dancers from the show. I couldn’t believe these 3 stars from Dancing with the Stars were going to be here. I entered the contest mainly for my daughter Juliet who loves dance. It brings her so much joy. Dancing also helps with her anxiety. We will put on her favorite songs with positive messages to uplift her. She will dance around her room and it’s one of the ways she calms her nerves. Just a few days later I was notified that we won!
Meeting the Stars
On the night of the event, we met the lovely ladies from the Town Center Mall marketing department before we went in and they introduced us and took us around. There was a red carpet set up outside and we had access to the VIP Media/Press hour (we saw several of our favorite female bloggers there too!). There was a celebratory buzz in the air and lines to take pictures with each dancer. The studio is beautiful and they had music and passed hors d’oeuvres. It was a lovely event. I watched Juliet looking around in awe and I was excited about her excitement!
When it was our turn, we got to meet Val first. Juliet prepared 2 questions for the dancers and one extra for Val. Neither of us have ever met a celebrity before. She was over the moon excited. He shook our hands and bent down to hear her questions and answered all of them. He said Disney Night was his favorite too and he likes having a different partner each season because he gets to teach new people how to dance. I even got to tell him how much I appreciated him and his book. He asked Juliet if she has any siblings and she told him she has a sister. He shared some advice with her to always stick together and always forgive one another. Juliet even told him they have a blog called Growing Up Glad and YouTube channel together! I’m not sure he heard that part over the music, but she was elated when he picked her up for a photo! Look at her face!
(Anastasia is his little puppy and he just got engaged to the beautiful and talented Jenna Johnson- MAZEL! Oh, and Anastasia may be the ring girl (dog) but they’re not sure yet.)
Then we had the opportunity to meet Maks and Tony. Maks twirled Juliet to the step and repeat and gave her a high five. He was so sweet to her too. He told her that Disney Night is his favorite too, but he also likes Halloween Night.
Tony took a photo with her in a dance pose and said Disney Night on Dancing with the Stars was his favorite night too! He also told us that he choreographed the Walt Disney World Christmas show for the past 8 years and also Buzz Lightyear’s dance in Toy Story 3. We thought that was so cool!
Meeting celebrities can be intimidating for many reasons, especially when you have preconceived notions of how you think they are and how you hope they will be, especially meeting them with your child. Well these 3 men were just how we thought they would be and just what hoped for. Val, Maks and Tony are true gentleman and professionals off the dance floor too. They could not have been nicer or more gracious with us. They each took time separately to answer her questions and create a moment with her. To them, it’s a fleeting moment, but to us, those few minutes are memories that will last a lifetime.
Watch a recap of our night here. (Just click the image and it will play.)
We wish them much success at their new dance studio Dance With Me Boca.
Thank you again to Town Center Mall and Dance With Me Boca for a such a memorable evening!