Val Chmerkovskiy and Jenna Johnson have a lot to be thankful for. The newly engaged Dancing With the Stars couple spent the Fourth of July in Provo, Utah, where they celebrated the holiday in a unique way in John’s hometown.
While many Americans celebrate the Independence Day holiday with a backyard barbecue and a fireworks display, Val Chmerkovskiy and Jenna Johnson thought outside of the box this year. Johnson posted a photo to her Instagram page which showed that she spent Fourth of July morning fly fishing with her fiancé and some friends along the Provo River. On her Instagram Stories, Johnson also revealed that she caught a rainbow trout during the outing.
Later in the day, the Dancing With the Stars couple checked out some Fourth of July festivities at the Stadium of Fire celebration at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo, which was headlined by OneRepublic and capped off with one of the biggest stadium fireworks displays in the nation. It appeared to be a perfect day for the adorable couple, who just returned from a vacation in Venice, Italy where Chmerkovskiy proposed to his lady in one of the most romantic cities in the world.
Back home in the States, Val Chmerkovskiy was especially thankful this Fourth of July. The Ukrainian pro dancer posted a photo of himself in his fly fishing gear with the caption, “God Bless us all.”
In a lengthy and emotional Instagram post, Chmerkovskiy also reflected on his gratitude for his life in the United States after immigrating to the country as a child. The pro dancer posted a throwback photo of his 2011 Junior Latin World Championship win, which marked the first and only time an American won the honors. Chmerkovskiy also revealed what drove him to continue with a career in dance, explaining he became especially motivated when “standing on a first-place podium while waving the American flag and hearing the Star Spangled Banner in a world where there was very little to no American representation.”
“I wanted to be the first, the first to win it on behalf of the country that took me in,” Chmerkovskiy wrote.
“There was no financial incentive as my folks gave up their last penny for me to travel oversees to compete…. At the end of the day I love my country because it gave an opportunity to a little ole immigrant family to work their a** off. My country gave me a shot, and I ran with it. We as a family ran with it. Thank you to the greatest country in the world, and thank you to all the people that continue to make it so.”
Val Chmerkovskiy wished all of his U.S. fans a Happy Fourth of July and reminded them all that they are equally responsible in making America a beautiful place to live.
Dancing With the Stars returns to ABC this fall.