Ice Network

Davis, Chmerkovskiy 'sway' back onto dance stage

Olympic gold medalist reunites with 'DWTS' partner for dynamic show
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Meryl Davis and Maks Chmerkovskiy, shown here on the 10th anniversary special of 'Dancing with the Stars,' will reunite in New York this weekend for 'Sway.' -ABC/Adam Taylor

This weekend, Maks Chmerkovskiy, Val Chmerkovskiy and Tony Dovolani will bring their intensely personal dance show, Sway: A Dance Trilogy, to the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City. And the former will be joined by a very special partner, the one who helped him finally win the coveted mirror ball trophy on Dancing with the Stars.

"Being on stage is an incredible experience," Olympic ice dance champion Meryl Davis said. "I've really only danced in a theater setting once, and that was the last time I did Sway (last December). It's addicting. Really, what I love most about skating is the ability to perform and express yourself, so getting to do that in another setting, in a different way, is super exciting for me."

In the shows last December, Davis danced two numbers with Maks, but she wasn't featured in the group routines. At the time of this interview, she was heading to New York for rehearsals. Maks told her she will be doing more this time around.

"I love being part of such an energetic, creative group of people," Davis said. "Getting to spend some time in New York and being a part of this production is an honor. It's kind of surreal."

Rumer Willis, who partnered Val this past season of DWTS (they won the competition), will also be in the shows. Featured dancers include Sharna Burgess, Emma Slater, Peta Murgatroyd, Artem Chigvintsev, Henry Byalikov, Jenna Johnson and Serge Onik.

"You have to change characters and adjust with the story," said Onik, who appeared on season 11 of So You Think You Can Dance and grew up training with the Chmerkovskiys. "Not only is the storyline throughout, making the show entertaining and kind of breathtaking, but also the origination of the show…started out with the cast."

The show depicts the personal stories of Maks, Val and Tony. The cast comprises dancers who teach at the trio's Dance with Me studios in New York, New Jersey and Los Angeles. Onik described it as "home grown and full of love."

"Everyone that's part of the show is family, so you get to really feel that love and passion and true vibe that we create together when we're performing," Onik said. "There's a lack of words that explain how amazing Meryl is."

Davis is humble about being included, and said she feels at ease with jumping into the show because she knows so many of the dancers and production team.

"To bring those relationships to Sway enhances their ability to produce something spectacular on the stage," she said. "Each section is indicative of the three guys. It highlights the beauty of not only dance but the beauty of art expressing itself in different and unique ways. The fact that they're all so different, but they all have a passion for movement, dance and expressing yourself, comes together really beautifully."

Davis previously performed with Maks twice this spring: first at the Figure Skating in Harlem gala and again on the DWTS 10th anniversary special. She said her skating has grown as a result of being on the show and the experiences she's had over the past 15 months.

"Learning the dances and different styles has really opened up my eyes creatively," she said. "Watching all the professionals on DWTS and their approach to creativity and making something special and making these moments on the dance floor has enhanced my understanding and appreciation for the different ways to express yourself."

Onik said he enjoys seeing Davis' enthusiasm in motion.

"She's so excited to do the show," he noted. "She definitely became part of the family."