Drag superstar Shangela is changing the game on Disney+’s Dancing with the Stars. Shangela has made history as not only the first drag queen to compete on the show, but also the first man to dance with another man. This landmark moment is long overdue, and who better to achieve this milestone than beloved RuPaul’s Drag Race star Shangela?
GLAAD’s Anthony Allen Ramos joined Shangela and DWTS partner Gleb Savchenko at one of their rehearsals to talk about the competition.
Shangela and Gleb appear in their practice room where they are preparing for this week’s James Bond inspired dance. “Double O-Sexy is coming your way!” Savchenko teases. “I’m going to give you my best Halle Berry ‘Jinx’ coming out-of-the water Bond girl experience!” Shangela adds.
Savchenko then candidly speaks about what a pleasure it’s been working with Shangela these past few weeks. “You are going to make me cry right now. I have been doing this for so long. When you see the whole process week after week, it takes a lot of energy, it takes a lot of hard work. You aren’t just teaching someone how to dance, you are spending your life with that person, and you become very, very close. That period of time is so important, so valuable and so cherishable.”
Shangela talks about her hopes for the future of Dancing with the Stars. “Once they see one amazing drag queen in this ballroom, I hope there will be plenty more…there are so many amazing drag entertainers out there who have taught me so much and have opened so many doors for me.” She hopes to see queens “who had a hand on me when I was growing up – my drag mother Alyssa Edwards, my sisters like Sahara Davenport and Deja Smith, the people who made drag music for me, the people who have made costumes, all of the people who don’t get applauded, but are so involved in making the community what it is.”
Savchenko is honored to be making history with Shangela. “It’s all about art and love and it doesn’t matter…two guys dancing together or two girls dancing together…to me it is creating something special… We have created history, and I love everything about it.” He goes on to say, “I am proud of the work that we do. I have never been so excited in the past to be on Dancing with the Stars as I am right now with DJ (Shangela).”
“We want to represent everybody, we want to show the world what love looks like and what acceptance, visibility and representation is and why they’re important.” Shangela says. She also thanks DWTS alum Jojo Siwa for paving the way for same sex couples on the dance floor and hopes she’ll come watch them compete!
Be sure to tune in to see the incredible duo perform! Dancing with the Stars streams live on Mondays at 8pm ET/5pm PT on Disney+.