Maksim Chmerkovskiy leaving 'Dancing With the Stars'

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maksim-chmerkovskiy-dancing-with-the-stars.jpg Maksim Chmerkovskiy is leaving "Dancing With the Stars" when his contract expires at the end of 2013.

The champion ballroom dancer tweeted that he is departing "with nothing but love, gratitude and respect to all that played a part in that amazing aspect of my life."

"What else do I have to do there after 15 seasons?" he tells the New York Post.

"It makes total sense. The audience can't expect for me to want to stick around, and the producers can't expect for me to want to stick around."

After making his debut in the sophomore season of the reality competition, Maks has appeared on every season except the sixth. He has never won the coveted disco-ball trophy, coming in second place in Season 5 with Melanie Brown and Season 12 with Kirstie Alley.

He and Alley will reteam in the show's All-Star 15th season, which premieres Monday on ABC.

According to the Post, the Ukranian ballroom champ plans to pursue an acting career and has landed a starring role in a feature film set to begin filming in January. He is also considering a reality show with his brother, Valentin (Val) Chmerkovskiy, who is competing this season too on "DWTS" as Kelly Monaco's partner. The two own four dance studios in New York, along with fellow "DTWS"-er Tony Dovolani.

Maks made headlines in August after Hope Solo, his "DWTS" partner in Season 13, accused him slapping and manhandling her during rehearsals.

"Dancing With the Stars: All-Stars" premieres Monday, Sept. 24 at 8 p.m. on ABC.
Photo/Video credit: Getty Images