The inspiring Victoria Arlen thankful for Dancing with the Stars journey

“On this ninth week of competition the couple leaving right now is..Victoria and Val.”

Tears rolled down Victoria Arlen’s eyes as she and her partner Valentin Chmerkovskiy were eliminated last Monday, November 13.

“You did incredible. Be proud of yourself there’s nothing to be upset about,” Chmerkovskiy whispered in Arlen’s ear.

The journey for Arlen ended the week before the finals. For Arlen she had come a long way as she finally began to walk this past year and had dreams of being on Dancing with the Stars since she was 10 years old. At age 11 she had an illness that sent her into a vegetative state for four years. Just two years ago she was still paralyzed. At age 23 without being able to feel her legs she is walking and danced 9 out of 10 weeks on the 25th season of Dancing with the Stars.

“You have been amazing,” the show’s host Tom Bergeron said of Arlen. “You are one of the most inspiring people I’ve met in 25 seasons and more than a mirror ball think about what you’ve given to thousands of people who might have given up hope. That’s a greater gift than we can have ever given you.”

Before the episode wrapped Chmerkovskiy signed off on their journey.

“Thank you so much Victoria and the show for trusting me with such an amazing young woman. The future is bright for you,” Chmerkovskiy said.

The elimination, though based off their performance a week prior, came the night they received their first two 10’s of the season dancing the Charleston. The dance became her final of the season.

Earlier that night she performed an emotional contemporary dance that told the story of her personal journey of learning to walk again.

“It was devastating,” Arlen said of her elimination on Good Morning America. “Our two dances last night are probably the best we’ve had all season.

“Last night couldn’t have gone greater until the end. I was proud of what we achieved and the fact that we did get those 10’s.”

For Chmerkovskiy, it was a season for him to remember.

“Its not everyday that a dancer gets to fulfill himself through embracing family…her story was so inspiring I’m proud to be a part of it,” he said.

After the elimination the former paralympian swinner who’s won four medals and current ESPN host thanked her supporters partner for a memorable journey.

View this post on Instagram

There are simply no words…. except immense gratitude. 💕 While I’m heartbroken that this journey is over. I truly am beyond grateful for every moment, memory, and person. This show and the people I’ve met along the way and all the things I’ve learned has truly been life-changing. Joining the Dancing With The Stars family has been beyond what I could’ve ever dreamed and imagined. Honestly, I never in a million years imagined I’d ever have an opportunity to walk again let alone dance. Thank you to everyone who believed, voted, and supported us along the way. Your love and support was the wind beneath our wings. Thank you @iamvalc @deena_katz @dancingabc for believing in me #TeamViVa #DWTS And also thank you to all of these wonderful humans that made this journey even greater…. it was an honor to share the dance floor with you… @lindseystirling @dance10jenna @maksimc @markballas @petamurgatroyd @brittbenae @hayley.erbert @brandon_armstrong94 @sashafarber1 @theemmaslater @mrdrewscott @artura_ski @gminchella @sashapieterse27 @witneycarson @frankiemuniz4 @lauriehernandez_ @sharnaburgess @glebsavchenkoofficial @jordan_fisher @lindsarnold @labeautymakeup @keo_motsepe @dereklfisher @thenikkibella @vanessalachey @nickbaga @nicklachey

A post shared by Victoria Arlen (@arlenv1) on

She also posted a special tribute to her dance partner.

“There are simply no words… Thank you @iamvalc for pushing me, believing in me, picking me up (literally and figuratively) and making the last 3 months absolutely amazing and beyond anything I could’ve ever dreamed of,” Arlen posted on Instagram. “You are simply the best. Your strength, talent, light, kindness and heart is unlike any other. It was a tremendous honor to learn from you, grow with you and dance with you. Because of you I now hold my head higher and walk with a whole new purpose. You’ve definitely got a friend & soul sister for life. To my brother, my friend and my dance partner…. I love you dearly and thank you for everything.”

Lastly, she expressed how it felt to tell her life story in front of millions.

“I’m humbled, amazed and grateful for all of the love and support and kind words that I have received from people all over the world these past 3 months. Sharing my story was at times very scary for me and something I never in a million years thought I’d ever talk about. Let alone share it through dancing on Dancing With The Stars,” Arlen posted on Instagram. “Finding the courage to share and dance was one thing but I never imagined in doing so it not only was healing for me but healing for so many others…..I just wanted to take a moment to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for all of the love 💕🙏🏼☺️.”

With the final two episodes of Dancing with the Stars Monday and Tuesday this week, Arlen’s latest posts shows she’ll be there to support her fellow cast members on this season whom she refers to as “mi familia.”

This article was originally published in MCXV.

By Gino Terrell

Read about Terrell Owen’s thoughts after being eliminated on season 25 of Dancing with the Stars.


Gino Terrell is the Director of Content at Hidden Valley Culture Blog/In-Depth section. Terrell covered local artists and reviewed mainstream shows in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area under the Twin Cities Daily Planet (2014-15). He also freelanced for MinnPost and interned at Pioneer Press, KSTP TV (the Minneapolis ABC News Affiliate) and American Public Media Group. He's accumulated over 30 awards from the Associated Collegiate Press, Society of Professional Journalists and National Association of Black Journalists and founded award winning student-magazine Pipers In-Depth at Hamline University (St. Paul, Minnesota). He was once the sports editor for the school newspaper, The Oracle. Follow him on Twitter: @Gin026

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