‘Dancing With the Stars’ Will Feature a Same-Sex Couple for the First Time

For the first time in Dancing With the Stars history, a same-sex couple will compete in the ballroom. Host and executive producer Tyra Banks, along with executive producer Andrew Llinares, revealed the long overdue news at the Television Critics Association summer press tour on Thursday, August 26. 

“I am so excited about this,” Banks told journalists. “I think it’s going to save lives. It’s going to change lives. It’s going to make a lot of noise, and the [kind of] noise that needs to be made.”

Global superstar/singer/actor/social media star JoJo Siwa, who announced she was part of the LGBTQ+ community earlier this year and in a relationship with girlfriend Kylie Prew, will be competing with a yet unnamed woman DWTS pro. “I think it breaks a wall that’s never been broken down before,” Siwa said at the TCAs. “I think it’s really special that, not only now do I get to share with the world that you’re going to love who you want to love, but also you can dance with who you want to dance with.”

Siwa also said there’s going to be a lot of barriers that the show—now in its 30th season—will have to break through. “Who leads? How do you dress? What shoes do you wear? It’s all something I’m looking forward to and doing something that’s never been done before. It’s going to give so much to people out there, people of the LGBTQ community, everyone. People who feel just a little different, it’s going to give them a sense of, ‘Wait a second—a girl can dance with a girl?’ Why not? I think that’s really special that I get to do that on this show. I’m so excited.”

Banks and Llinares also revealed that Olympic Gold Medalist Suni Lee, fresh off her all-around gymnastics win at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, will compete. She follows in the footsteps of fellow Olympians Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, Laurie Hernandez, Shawn Johnson, Gabby Douglas, and others.

[left to right, top row: DWTS executive producer Andrew Llinares, DWTS executive producer/host Tyra Banks; left to right, bottom row: JoJo Siwa, Sunisa Lee]


Lee and Siwa will appear on ABC’s Good Morning America on Friday, August 27 to discuss the upcoming season. The remaining DWTS cast will be unveiled on Wednesday, September 8, with the 30th season premiere airing Monday, September 20. 

Judges Len Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba, Bruno Tonioli, and Derek Hough will return. 

We’ll update this post as more celebrity contestants are announced. 

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