14 Biggest Revelations From Valentin Chmerkovskiy’s ‘I’ll Never Change My Name’
Valentin Chmerkovskiy is one of the most popular professional dancers from Dancing With the Stars, but he wants fans to know there is so much more to him than that. The charming and talented dancer’s new memoir “I’ll Never Change My Name: An Immigrant’s American Dream from Ukraine to the USA to Dancing With the Stars” tells Val’s whole story of who he really is, and his charm and charisma leaps off the page as he describes how his family left the Ukraine to emigrate to the U.S., how his tight bond with his brother, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, helped shape his life, and what his life was like well before DWTS. “I’ll Never Change My Name” also offers behind the scenes insight of the Dancing With the Stars world that fans never knew about, and it all creates an intriguing and inspiring story. Here are 14 of the biggest revelations from the book:
14. I’ll Never Change My Name
“I’ll Never Change My Name” is a very unique and intriguing title for a memoir, but Val explains his reasoning behind the title at the beginning of the book. After opening up about how he met his season 23 Dancing With the Stars partner Laurie Hernandez and the incredible journey they went on together to become season 23 champions, he realized both he and the talented teenage Olympic gymnast went through similar challenges of stereotyping, and it was the inspiration behind his title. “I am Valentin Aleksandrovich Chmerkovskiy, and I will never change my name, thank you very much. No matter how many times I say it, Chmerkovskiy will never sound any less foreign, but that doesn’t make me less American. And It definitely doesn’t make me less proud to be one,” he wrote.
13. Initial DWTS Response
Although both Val and his brother Maksim have become two of the biggest and most popular professionals on Dancing With the Stars, the series kicked off in the summer of 2005 without either Chmerkovskiy brother, and Val admits that at first, he took offense to the show’s concept because he thought it mocked the seriousness of ballroom dancing. “The formula of pairing professional dancers with celebrity partners, which was imported from a British program called Strictly Come Dancing, struck me as gimmicky and false. I feared the new show would do damage to the ballroom dance world that I love, but which had always struggled with being taken seriously.” After Maks decided to join the series in season two however; they’re opinions changed. Val and his family were forced to give it a chance and discovered it was from the mockery they thought it was going to be. “We fell in love with the show and came to admire the whole pro-celebrity concept.”