By Caroline Palermo, Guest Writer
From Sasha Farber’s live proposal to Chaz Bono becoming the first transgender competitor, Dancing with the Stars has been no stranger to historic moments in its 16-year run.
Now, American singer and dancer JoJo Siwa adds to this historic feat as she becomes the first competitor to dance with a same-sex partner.
“I am so excited to be a part of Dancing With the Stars, Season 30 and to be dancing with a girl. I think it’s so cool,” Siwa wrote in a tweet.
Siwa came into fame after starring in the reality TV show Dance Moms, which has also produced stars like Maddie Ziegler.
Siwa left after only two seasons and subsequently signed a contract with Nickelodeon that would allow her to pursue opportunities beyond dance — most notably music.
Siwa’s bright sequined shoes and big polka-dotted bows made her a favorite among kids, especially with her family-friendly, bubblegum pop records.
“When I read the email it was like, ‘Would JoJo prefer to dance with a girl or with a boy?’ and I was like, ‘Wait, that’s an option?’ Let’s absolutely do it!”
“It was like, ‘Whoa, I’m changing the future because I have such a kid demographic.’ It’s making it acceptable, and I love that and I’m so proud of that,” Siwa said.
In January, Siwa made headlines for a viral TikTok of her lip-syncing to Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way,” often regarded as an LGBT+ anthem.
Siwa posted a photo a few days later of her wearing a black t-shirt that read “Best. Gay. Cousin. Ever.” and later confirmed via Instagram that she identifies as queer.
“I like queer. Technically, I would say that I am pansexual because that’s how I have always been my whole life… Just like, my human is my human,” Siwa said.
Going into Season 30 of Dancing with the Stars, Siwa will be reconnecting with her competitive dance roots that some viewers will remember from Dance Moms. However, Siwa remains unsure if this will serve as an advantage or disadvantage in the competition.
“I’m not gonna hide that I’m a dancer. I was a dancer my whole life. Am I very out of practice? Absolutely. I perform all the time, but it’s different, you know? I don’t have to strengthen my legs, and ballroom is different. I’ve never taken ballroom,” Siwa said.
“It’s gonna help me in a way, but it also is a disadvantage. Because I guarantee you the judges are one hundred million percent gonna judge me harder than they do everybody else,” she added.
Siwa takes pride in knowing that, no matter where she does end up placing, she has already made history before the competition even begins.
“It’s going to give so much to people out there, people of the LGBTQ community, everyone, people who feel just a little different,” Siwa said. “I think it’s really special that I get to share with the world that you can love who you love, but now you can dance with who you want to dance with.”
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