Credit: Splash News

It's official: Long-time Dancing With the Stars pro Maksim Chmerkovskiy won't be returning for Season 16. Yeah, we're upset about it, too.

Why isn't Maks on the show anymore? To find out, we went straight to the source. In a statement to Wetpaint Entertainment, Maks explained:

"I just want to set the record straight to all of my amazing fans that I will unfortunately not be returning for this season of Dancing with the Stars. I’ve been a pro dancer on the show for about seven years now and am eager to explore other opportunities that have been made possible because of Dancing with the Stars. I'm going to take this time to dive into producing and acting, while fulfilling my sponsorship obligations.

A big thank you to all of my fans for your never-ending support. I also want to thank the entire cast and production of Dancing with the Stars."

At this point, it's not clear if Maks is only taking a DWTS break, or if he's planning to leave the show for good. Either way, we know he's been pursuing a career in acting, and he's not the first DWTS star to bow out of the show — for either a season or permanently — in favor of pursuing other opportunities. We wish him the best of luck — though that won't stop us from missing him!

Check out the list of which stars and pros are competing this season here.

Dancing With the Stars Season 16 premieres March 18, 2013 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.