From the dance floor to “I do!” Jenna Johnson and Val Chmerkovskiy started out as colleagues on Dancing With the Stars and ended up as a happily married couple in real life.
The pair first crossed paths in 2014 when the So You Think You Can Dance alum became a DWTS troupe member. Chmerkovskiy had already been competing as a pro on the ABC competition series since season 13, which premiered in 2011. They were friends at first but took their relationship to the next level and started dating in 2015.
Johnson and Chmerkovskiy dated quietly for a few months, but eventually called it quits. The European dancer briefly moved on with season 23 DWTS contestant Amber Rose, but he and Johnson found their way back to each other in the end. In June 2018, Chmerkovskiy got down on one knee during a romantic trip to Italy.
“I knew Jenna was the one when I saw how close she is with her family and how she interacts with her nieces and nephews,” Chmerkovskiy told Us Weekly exclusively days after he popped the question. “Family is everything to me and I can’t wait for us to build one together.”
Johnson, for her part, told Us that a romance with Chmerkovskiy was almost unavoidable. She noted in November 2018, “There’s something about the show, man. You’re so hands on. … Dance is very physical.”
She also said she understood why many DWTS pros, such as Alan Bersten and Artem Chigvintsev, end up dating their partners. (Bersten briefly dated his season 27 partner, Alexis Ren, in 2018, while Chigvintsev announced his engagement to Nikki Bella in January 2020.)
“You’re spending so much time with that one person,” she explained. “I think it’s inevitable when there are two beautiful, attractive people who are talented.”
The twosome seemed to be a match made in heaven — and it wasn’t long after their April 2019 wedding that they had babies on the brain. “I want babies. Val wants babies very badly. We definitely have spoken about it. That’s our future. That’s what we want when that’s gonna happen,” Johnson told Us exclusively in September 2020. “There’s that saying that there’s never the right time, but I think we just want to figure things out and then let it happen when it’s meant to happen.”
Keep scrolling to see the complete timeline of Chmerkovskiy and Johnson’s relationship — from their time as colleagues to the moment they walked down the aisle and beyond.