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.