Val Chmerkovskiy and Jenna Johnson discovered love away from the ballroom ground.
The Dancing with the Stars execs revealed on Thursday that they were engaged — with Johnson, 24, and Chmerkovskiy, 32, sharing a photograph of their engagement. “I can’t wait to make you my spouse ♥👑,” he wrote.
“My life has changed because of [her,]” Chmerkovskiy advised PEOPLE of his new fiancée. “And I discover myself to be one of the best model of myself that I’ve ever been. She’s superior.”
It was nice information for followers of the couple, who’ve been following their off-and-on once more romance because it started in 2015.
They met on DWTS, the place Johnson — of So You Think You Can Dance fame — joined as a troupe member in 2014. She was ultimately promoted to a full professional in 2016’s season 23, the place she was paired with actor Jake T. Austin. She was subsequent partnered as a professional with Adam Rippon for this spring’s All Athletes season. The pair would go on to win the coveted Mirrorball trophy.
Chmerkovskiy, in fact, has an extended historical past with ABC dance competitors present. He has received it twice, with Rumer Willis and Laurie Hernandez. He’s appeared on DWTS going again to season 2, however solely as a full-time professional beginning with season 13 in 2011.
While the 2 would begin courting, they saved their romance hidden for the primary few months. It wasn’t till February 2016, when the couple was first spotted getting cuddly whereas out and about in West Hollywood for lunch, that the press had a clue.
At the time, Johnson caressed Chmerkovskiy’s hair and face as they dined. They later walked down the road with their arms wrapped round one another.
Though there was romance, the pair separated when he beforehand dated Amber Rose. They split in February 2017 after nearly five months of dating.
Soon thereafter, Chmerkovskiy and Johnson started publicly sharing their love story — even sharing a passionate kiss on the season 25 finale of DWTS.
“I’ll be sincere, I’m simply uninterested in preventing this as a result of I notice that individuals and Hollywood are obsessive about romance and love tales,” Chmerkovskiy beforehand advised PEOPLE of his determination to open up extra to the media about his relationship with Johnson. “I really feel prefer it’s non-public. It ought to stay non-public however, on the identical time, I perceive I can’t be a hypocrite. I’m on Instagram type of sharing our holidays and my love for her continuously.”
Last summer time, their relationship was in full swing on-line. Just at some point aside, the DWTS forged members expressed their affection for one another with cuddly photos posted on their respective Instagram accounts.
Johnson first shared an lovable image of the pair with their arms intertwined whereas sitting side-by-side on a restaurant patio bench on July 30. “Because he takes care of me when I’m sicker than a dog,” she captioned the picture.
A day afterward Aug. 1, Chmerkovskiy posted a lovey-dovey picture of the pair in entrance of the Eiffel Tower throughout their current journey to France, during which he kisses Johnson’s brow. “So happy with mah girl. selfie stick and all. 👑#wcweveryday,” he wrote on Instagram.
As their love continued to blossom, Chmerkovskiy started enthusiastic about the following step. Witnessing older brother Maksim tie the knot with Peta Murgatroyd that July left Chmerkovskiy contemplating strolling down the aisle himself.
“Is that what it’s referred to as, the marriage bug? Or have I gained a special perspective on, you understand, what love is and what happiness is?” he advised The Insider on the crimson carpet of the 2017 Industry Dance Awards and Cancer Benefit Show in Los Angeles in August. “You know, I’m in an amazing place and I’m in love, and I’m very grateful for that.”
He would later share a loving photo of him kissing Johnson’s cheek at the event, calling her “the actual prize.”
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The duo’s affection for each other crossed over into their skilled lives too.
As Johnson returned to Dancing with the Stars in September, Chmerkovskiy advised reporters that she was “an enormous asset to the present.” “I think she’s an incredible talent. I’m a huge fan,” he gushed. “I feel she’s one of the best lady right here, so I’m excited to see her right here.”
In March, he admitted to Entertainment Tonight that “it’s arduous” to look at Johnson hit the ballroom ground with different males. “The sort of individual I’m, I imply, I’m pretty jealous. I imply, look, I’ve all these feelings, you understand.”
“I’m not good,” he continued. “But I’ve to verify myself and be honest and say, like … how can I maintain this in opposition to her if I’m in the identical scenario? And I might by no means need to compromise my artistry, you understand, as a result of I wouldn’t need to make my vital different really feel uncomfortable.”
“This is a part of the brand new chapter in my life,” he added. “It takes some sacrifice to have a wholesome relationship. And, you understand, you gotta be keen to make these sacrifices and I’m positively keen to make sure sacrifices to make it work.”
Chmerkovskiy and Johnson’s love solely grew stronger all through their time collectively, as they continued to attend occasions as a pair.
At PEOPLE’s Ones to Watch Party introduced by Maybelline New York at NeueHouse Hollywood in Los Angeles in October, the duo hit the dance ground collectively. An onlooker says Val had his arm around Johnson all evening and introduced her to friends as “my girl.”
Later that month, they stepped out with Maksim, 38, and Murgatroyd, 31 for a sweet double date at Craig’s in West Hollywood. The two couples have been snapped strolling exterior the restaurant and stopped for paparazzi to take a smiling group picture. “Finally…we get to do this double courting factor 🚀” Murgatroyd later captioned a picture of the group posted on Instagram.
So what led to the proposal? Well, followers paying consideration knew their love was headed that manner.
In May, Chmerkovskiy responded to a tweet about Johnson when a fan account shared a gif of her sporting a crimson bedazzled costume.
“Jenna Johnson although,” the account tweeted, to which Chmerkovskiy responded, “I should def put a ring on it,” including three emojis: eyes, coronary heart eyes and a crown.
His tweet got here the identical day Johnson joked to Entertainment Tonight a couple of proposal. “Time’s a-ticking!” She mentioned. “We’ll see [if engagement is in the cards anytime soon]. We both have very big things happening right now, so we’ll let that ride over… possibly we’ll go to Fiji!”
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As for a child, that doubtless received’t be too far behind.
After changing into an uncle to Maksim and Murgatroyd’s son Shai, Chmerkovskiy admitted he has a little bit of baby fever.
“I feel she would like to be a mom,” Chmerkovskiy has mentioned of Johnson. “But she additionally has so many incredible things happening in her life and I might really feel very egocentric to interrupt them for 9 months. But positively quickly, hopefully.”