The 32nd season of the iconic ballroom dance competition series Dancing with the Stars is not one you’re going to want to miss. This season not only features two out bisexual stars; Vanderpump Rules star Ariana Madix and Grammy winning singer-songwriter Jason Mraz, but also a wide array of allies and supporters of the LGBTQ community.
GLAAD’s Tony Morrison and Yolanda Lenge attended the Dancing with the Stars season premiere and spoke with the cast about why dance is so important and their love for LGBTQ people.
“Dance is the universal language,” co-host Julianne Hough told GLAAD. “We can dance and celebrate and grieve and cry through our expressions, through our body.” Hough described dance to be “the greatest unifier” then expressed her love for the LGBTQ people. “I love you, I adore you… let’s go dance!”
Professional dancer Val Chmerkovskiy reminded fans “You don’t need everybody’s validation. Find your tribe. Get a few people in your corner that you love and that love you, and really focus on that. Don’t worry about everybody else.”
GLAAD then spoke with actress Alyson Hannigan who played Willow, an iconic lesbian witch in the late 90s series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Hannigan spoke about how much her LGBTQ fans have meant to her throughout her career. “The stories people have shared with me bring me to tears. I’m so grateful that I could be a part of anyone’s experience.”
Singer Jason Mraz joked that “I was closeted for my whole life, and now I’m coming out of the closet as a dancer as well.”
“The spirit of this show is about welcoming everyone,” co-host Alfonso Ribeiro stated. “No one is forbidden on the dance floor… be who you are, be authentic.”
“I would love to see more and more representation across the board,” Ariana Madix told GLAAD. “To be able to represent my community in that way, I’m really really grateful.” She went on to say that “the more representation, the more you get to see the individuality and how people live their lives, then you know there’s always somebody out there who’s just like you.” With more visibility, she believes that people will begin to realize that queer people, specifically bisexual people are not a “monolith.”
Longtime judge on the series Carrie Ann Inaba wrapped the night up with some moving words. “That’s what’s so beautiful about Dancing with the Stars, it evolves as the times evolve. I love seeing it. This year especially, there’s a lot of diversity, a lot of representation.” She went on to say that, “ballroom dancing is a very traditional sport and it’s really wonderful that they have opened themselves up to be so inclusive.”
The competition begins Tuesday, Sept. 26th on ABC and Disney+!