Gleb Savchenko is walking on air as he relishes a moment that's 17 years in the making.
The 37-year-old Dancing With the Stars standout became a U.S. citizen on Wednesday, July 28, and he shares the details of the thrilling experience in an exclusive interview with E! News.
"It's a dream come true," says Gleb, sounding elated. "I grew up in Russia, in Moscow, and I'd always just read [about the States]. It was like an impossible dream for me to live in America and one day become an American citizen."
He explains that having an American passport, which he won't physically hold in his hands for another few months, makes life easier for him in a number of ways, including cutting down on the steps required for international travel. He's also excited that not only will his children get American passports, but his Moscow-based parents, who tried to emigrate to Canada in the 1990s before giving up because of the cost, will now be able to live in the U.S. with him as well.
"I sent a picture to my dad, and he kind of got a little emotional," the star continues. "They're not getting younger, so I was like, it'd be a great opportunity for them at some point to come live here, too. I cannot even describe how awesome it is. I am so, so happy."
Gleb explains that he first moved to the States in 2004, but after living here for a while, he had to leave the country and didn't return again until 2013. The citizenship process required him to have lived in the U.S. for at least five consecutive years, and he also took quite a few online American history courses to prepare for the exam.
"You can ask me anything, and I can answer that," he jokes about his knowledge of U.S. facts.
This has been a big day for another person in Gleb's life as well. Late last year, the dancer found himself at the center of dating speculation involving DWTS season 29 partner Chrishell Stause. The pair denied the rumors at the time, and today, Chrishell and her Selling Sunset co-star Jason Oppenheim went public with their romance.
As it turns out, Gleb had just been texting with the couple earlier in the day. "I was like, 'Guys, I'm so just excited for you,'" he shares. "They're in Italy right now. I'm so happy for them. I think they're such a power couple because both of them work together, they have the same sort of goals and they're on the show. They're both super sweet."
As for the next season of DWTS, Gleb says he still doesn't know if he'll get the call to participate. But if he does, his ideal partner would be an individual with a little dance experience who is "someone that people like, relatable with a great story, hard-working and down-to-earth, so she can actually take all the s--t from the Russian entertainer, you know?" He punctuates his list with a laugh.
But regardless of what happens, Gleb doesn't have much to complain about these days. "I love working, I love dancing, I love creating and I love being in the studio," he enthuses. "It's such an amazing gift that I have from the universe, and being from Russia, now I have an American passport, I'm on Dancing With the Stars. I'm like, 'Oh, my god, life is all happening!'"