Shangela Dishes On Her Inspiration For Doing ‘DWTS’

Shangela and Gleb Savchenko from Instagram

Shangela is proud to be making history as the first contestant to perform in drag on Dancing With The Stars. She and her partner Gleb Savchenko have amazing chemistry in the ballroom and Shangela is rapidly rising in popularity with voters.

The drag performer naturally has some dance ability from her time in competitions and shows. But being in the ballroom is a brand new challenge. She admitted that she relied on some great advice from someone very special.

Shangela is thankful for one drag performer that came before her

Shangela may be the first drag performer to compete on DWTS in the United States, but she’s not the first one to compete in the franchise. Courtney Act competed on DWTS Australia back in 2019. She paved the way for many other drag performers and made it a reality for them to compete in the ballroom.

Shangela and Gleb Savchenko from Instagram
Shangela & Gleb Savchenko/Instagram

“For years, I’ve wanted to be part of Dancing With the Stars,” Shangela confessed to Entertainment Weekly. “I’d say to my agency team, ‘Is there any chance you can get me a meeting?’ That wasn’t able to happen. I don’t think the idea was on the table until this year, and they were open to having a meeting with me…. it happened so quickly, I was so grateful and excited, I hadn’t had a chance to reach out to Courtney.”

The drag performer went on to say that Courtney gave her amazing advice, including when to bring the wig into the rehearsal room. Shangela rehearses out of drag, so it’s definitely a very different feel once she puts her wig on.

“I’ve invited her to the show, and I hope she’ll make it when she comes to visit the U.S., if I’m still there,” the entertainer continued. “I’m grateful that she took that torch for the global franchise, and I can push it forward in the U.S.”

Gleb Savchenko adores his partner this year

Before Season 31, Gleb Savchenko has only competed with women on DWTS. Competing with Shangela is definitely a first, but he couldn’t be happier about this opportunity.

“I’ve never danced with a male partner before,” the Russian dancer told E!, “and it’s definitely different, but in a good way. I actually enjoy our rehearsals, a lot more than I’ve enjoyed rehearsing in previous seasons.”

Shangela and Gleb Savchenko from Instagram
Shangela & Gleb Savchenko/Instagram

Gleb went on to say that he always enjoys seeing the glamor that Shangela brings to each routine. She always practices out of drag, so it’s always very special to see her in costume on the dance floor.

The next episode of Dancing With The Stars will be James Bond Night. Gleb and Shangela will perform the Rumba to “Goldeneye” by Tina Turner. Tune into Disney+ at 8 PM eastern time this Monday night to keep up with their journey. Hopefully, they will be around for many more weeks to come!

Nikole Behrens
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