Drag Race star Shangela has made herstory as the first drag performer to compete on the US version of Dancing with the Stars.

On 8 September, the long-running dance series announced the new cast for its 31st season. 

From American Idol winner Jordin Sparks to Cruel Intentions star Selma Blair, the new batch of episodes are set to feature an array of household names.

However, one contestant that left pop culture enthusiasts truly gagged was Drag Race legend Shangela.

“Good morning America (and world!) I’m so excited to announce that I’m the newest contestant on Dancing with the Stars! From the backyard in Paris, TX to the ballroom on Disney Plus, time to TURN IT,” she wrote via Twitter. 

Shortly after her announcement, fans took to social media to express their excitement for Shangela’s inclusion in the series. 

One viewer wrote: “Shangela on Dancing With The Stars. We won.”  

Another fan tweeted: “Shangela on Dancing With The Stars! She’s one of my favourite Drag Queens!!!! I needed this.”

For the upcoming season, Shangela is set to partner up with professional ballroom dancer Gleb Savchenko. 

In an additional interview with People, the Drag Race icon opened up about her groundbreaking inclusion and her hopes for future LGBTQ+ visibility. 

“I’m the first person to ever be able to compete in drag on Dancing With The Stars in the history of the show here, so I hope that we show people that it’s all about the heart and soul of who you are as a person,” she explained. 

“It doesn’t matter if it’s two men dancing together, if it’s a man or a drag entertainer like myself dancing together. It’s about the spirit of dance and the fun and the ability to connect and to learn more about other people’s worlds. 

“I’m not a technically trained dancer, but I’m not afraid to be in this space because I’m willing to learn. I’m excited to learn from Gleb and hope that I can teach him a couple of things.”

Gleb echoed similar sentiments in his own statement to the news outlet. 

“We’re changing the world, and I love it,” he said. “It’s all about positive energy, all about love, and we’re just going to have a lot of fun, learn to tango, learn all the ballroom steps. We’re going to halleloo!” 

Shangela’s inclusion comes a few months after Courtney Act became the first drag entertainer to compete in the franchise’s Australian iteration.  

During her time on the 19th season, Act wowed the judges with her various performances – which resulted in her landing in second place.

We can’t wait to see Shangela deliver jaw-dropping routines and sickening looks on season 31 of Dancing with the Stars.


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