Craig Sjodin/ABC
November 05, 2008 12:00 AM

Dancing pro Maksim Chmerkovskiy and partner Misty May-Treanor’s early exit from this season was a disappointment. But Chmerkovskiy assures fans they can catch him on the upcoming Dancing with the Stars winter tour, which kicks off December 17 in San Diego.

“This is one of the things I’ve been wanting to do for a long time,” Chmerkovskiy tells PEOPLE. In fact, he has signed on to choreograph and star in the upcoming winter production. “This will be a chance for to see what I can do and I hope to make things fresh and active. I didn’t see the other tours but I guarantee that what we will do will not be redundant,” says Chmerkovskiy, who choreographed the show La Reve at The Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas last year.

It will be the first time the 28-year-old will partake in the 34-city tour. He was previously tapped to dance in the winter 2006-2007 tour, but dropped out when his partner at the time, singer-actress Willa Ford, booked a movie.

“I’m excited to hit the road and see the fans and really dance and stay active,” Says Chmerkovskiy, who will perform on Wednesday night’s live results show in a dance number with fellow pro Cheryl Burke. –Monica Rizzo

Craig Sjodin/ABC

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