Val Chmerkovskiy Finds New Purpose To His Life With ‘Dancing With The Stars’ Partner Victoria Arlen

Val Chmerkovskiy has found inspiration from a higher power—and her name is Victoria Arlen. The Dancing With the Stars pro dancer took to Instagram to reveal that the former Paralympic swimmer, who he is partnered with for the 25th season of the ABC celebrity dance competition, has given him a new purpose in his life.

Val Chmerkovskiy posted a video from Project Walk Boston, which features fans wishing team ViVa good luck on Dancing With the Stars. Val captioned the video with a lengthy retrospective on his life, revealing that while he is grateful for his extraordinary career, he plans to make a bigger impact on the world than just being remembered as “that guy from that dance show.”

“Victoria Arlen has given me a purpose beyond the dance floor,” Chmerkovskiy wrote.

“She has given me an opportunity of a lifetime… to be able to make an impact on a very special community and beyond. Today I’m showing up to work, as a man with a higher purpose and a drive beyond just doing another turn or dip…I’m going to work knowing that with this great opportunity comes a massive responsibility. I’m going to seize the blessings that are right there in front of me, not a single breath for granted, not a moment left empty of joy and gratitude, and who knows maybe through the laughter, the struggle, the ultimate joy we show on Monday, we can inspire the next Victoria Arlen.”

You can see Val Chmerkovskiy’s full post about his Dancing With the Stars partner Victoria Arlen below.

Victoria Arlen has an amazing story. At age 11, she fell into a vegetative state for four years after a rare illness and was paralyzed from the waist down for a decade before learning to walk again just last year.

The fact that Victoria is competing on the Dancing With the Stars dance floor just 18 months after learning to walk again is nothing short of a miracle, especially since she has absolutely no feeling in her legs. Arlen competed as a Paralympic swimmer and is now a correspondent for ESPN, but she also seems to be Val Chmerkovskiy’s biggest inspiration to date.

[Image by Eric McCandless/ABC]

But just because he’s in awe of Victoria doesn’t mean he’s easy on her. Val told Us Weekly he is showing his celebrity partner some tough love on Dancing With the Stars.

“There [are] no pity parties,” Chmerkovskiy told Us. “It’s hard work and you gotta earn your celebration and earn your rest and your sleep. I just know she’s that type of person and wants it anyway, so I’m going to squeeze every ounce of her potential out of her. Then I can live with the results.”

Victoria Arlen is not the first inspirational celebrity on Dancing With the Stars—amputees Noah Galloway and Amy Purdy and deaf model Nyle DiMarco have all competed on the show. Val Chmerkovskiy has had mostly “ringer” partners, including Kelly Monaco, Zendaya, Rumer Willis and Normani Kordei, so Victoria Arlen may give him his greatest challenge yet.

Check out Val and Victoria first Dancing with the Stars dance below.

Dancing With the Stars airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC.

[Featured Image by /Lou Rocco/ABC]

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