Shangela reveals advice Courtney Act and Michelle Visage gave before Dancing With the Stars
Drag icon Shangela has revealed that both Courtney Act and Michelle Visage shared advice before her appearance on Dancing With the Stars as one half of the US competition’s first all-male pairing.
“For years, I’ve wanted to be part of Dancing With the Stars… I don’t think the idea was on the table until this year, and they were open to having a meeting with me,” she said.
“It happened so quickly, I was so grateful and excited.”
Shangela said she asked Courtney Act for advice prior to the first episode of this season, also inviting her along to see the show.
“She gave me good advice about the show. She said, ‘During the camera-blocking run-through the day before the show, put your wig on, do it with your hair,’ because she learned it will feel different with your partner doing it with your ‘boy’ hair and then whipping it around in drag.”
Michelle Visage, who competed on Strictly Come Dancing in the UK in 2019, also shared her best advice, saying: “Baby, you’ve got to get those shoulders down, lean back, look at that head position, and move those feet with strong legs.”
Shangela added: “She’s coming to the ballroom next week, I have her down [as my guest]. I’m excited to be there in front of her to show her that I listened to her tips.”
— Dancing with the Stars #DWTS (@officialdwts) September 27, 2022
The new season of Dancing With the Stars also includes Selma Blair, along with singer Jordin Sparks, comedian Wayne Brady, and TikToker Charli D’Amelio.
Shangela explained how her appearance on the show feels like an “opportunity” to showcase the LGBTQ+ community and drag to the wider audience.
“I didn’t feel a pressure, I felt an opportunity. It’s an opportunity for me to showcase who I am in and out of drag, and who we are as a drag and LGBTQ community to many people who may not be familiar with us.
“You’re going to love me or you’re not going to love me, but you’re going to experience me. Hopefully we’ll open your mind. We’re not as scary as an idea that you may have in your head and can be very lovable and entertaining.”
But Shangela adds there have been “hateful, unsupportive, mean, ugly comments” since appearing on the show.
“It stings, but it encourages me and motivates me to think, if I was to cower or run every time someone didn’t like me or bullied me for who I am, I wouldn’t be here today.”
Shangela’s professional partner on the show, Gleb Savchenko, previously revealed that if the two make it to the finale, there could be big reveals, teasing that he himself could transform into a drag queen.
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