DWTS Alum’s 9-Year-Old Daughter Makes Life-Changing Decision

A backpack.

Pixabay A DWTS alum's daughter has made a big decision.

The daughter of a former “Dancing With the Stars” competitor has made a big decision about her life.

Backstreet Boys member AJ McLean is a dad to two girls, Ava and Lyric. His older daughter, Ava, has decided to change her name to Elliot. The reasoning? She wants to be called something “unique.”

McLeans’ wife revealed her daughter’s decision in a lengthy post shared on her Instagram Stories at the end of August 2022. She attempted to explain that her daughter wanted to change her name to be different and the decision doesn’t have anything to do with “gender.”

“For those asking… not that it’s anyone’s business but Elliot’s name change is not a gender thing. ‘Ava’ has changed her name quite a few times since she was about five. Last year she asked us to start calling her Elliot and it stuck. She wanted something unique that no one else had. (There are so many Ava’s.),” Rochelle McLean wrote, according to Us Weekly.

Here’s what you need to know:


McLean’s Wife Asked the Public to ‘Be Kind’

Rochelle shared some additional information about her daughter’s decision to go by the name Elliot moving forward and asked folks to “be kind” in their responses.

“I didn’t really see the harm in respecting her desire to be unique. Come to think of it, it’s a little odd that as parents we choose names for people we haven’t even met yet and expect them to forever [identify] as that person! Anyway… so that’s how Ava became Elliot,” her post read.

“I knew once I put it out there people would have opinions, but be kind. She’s just a kid trying to make her way in this crazy world! I just want her to know she can always be whoever she wants to be,” she added.

Both AJ and Rochelle have referred to Ava as Elliot — her new chosen name — on social media. Although Rochelle isn’t super active on the platform, she has shared photos of her kids over the years and fans seem to enjoy watching the girls grow up.


Elliot’s Instagram Account Has Not Been Changed

Although Rochelle and AJ are respecting their daughter’s decision to change her name, her Instagram bio still reads “Ava Jaymes McLean.”

Elliot is super into dance, according to her Instagram feed, which is curated by her mom. Back in July, Elliot and Lyric got to meet Derek Hough and Hayley Erbert after seeing their show in Las Vegas.

“These two Incredible dancers and incredible humans. Thank you @derekhough and @hayley.erbert! Your No Limit show in Vegas was AMAZING and you were so kind to take the time to chat with us tonight. Forever inspired by your dancing,” read a caption of a pic of the foursome.

In February, Elliot took dance lessons from Val Chmerkovskiy and Jenna Johnson.

“My dad isn’t the only one who gets to dance with stars! Thank you so much @jennajohnson and Val for such amazing ballroom classes this weekend! I had so much fun,” another caption read.

READ NEXT: DWTS Alum Recalls Being ‘Favored to Win’ Mirrorball When Tragedy Struck Family

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