Derek Hough Talks ‘Dancing With the Stars’ First Same-Sex Partnership

Derek Hough DWTS


Season 30 of ABC’sDancing With the Stars” is set to begin airing on September 20, 2021 at 8 p.m. Eastern daylight time on ABC. The show will feature judges Carrie Ann Inaba, Bruno Tonioli, Derek Hough and Len Goodman as well as host Tyra Banks and a slew of professional dancers and celebrities.

It was announced that JoJo Siwa, a singer, dancer, influencer, and entertainer, will be a celebrity contestant on “Dancing With the Stars” season 30. It was later announced that Siwa will compete in the first same-sex partnership on “Dancing With the Stars.”

“We’re making history,” she told USA Today after the announcement. “This has never happened on ‘Dancing With the Stars’ before. It’s always been a boy-girl couple.”

The BBC iteration of “Dancing With the Stars,” “Strictly Come Dancing,” featured its first same-sex dance partners in 2020.

Siwa came out as a member of the LGBTQ+ community in early 2021 and has said she feels that she’s making history on the show.

Hough Celebrated the Idea of a Same-Sex Partnership

Derek Hough, who won the award for Best Choreography for Variety or Reality Programming for “Dancing With the Stars” at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards, says he is excited for the same-sex partnership, according to Deadline.

“For me, it’s not really a big surprise,” Hough told the outlet. “After living in the UK for 10 years, all-girl competitions are very, very common. I’m very excited to see it.”

Hough also shared that he will be flying back and forth from Los Angeles to Las Vegas five times a week in order to judge on “Dancing With the Stars” and perform in Las Vegas for his residency.

Siwa’s Partner Is Rumored to Be Jenna Johnson

According to Dance Dish With KB, an insider who posts leaks for the upcoming seasons of “Dancing With the Stars,” JoJo Siwa will be partnered with Johnson for season 30. This will mark the first same-sex partnership that appears on the ballroom dancing competition show.

Siwa previously told ET Online that Johnson is one of her favorite female dancers on the show, and although Siwa can’t post online yet about her DWTS rehearsals, they’ve definitely already begun.

In a video accompanying an ET Online post from August 31, Siwa said, “I actually start rehearsals tomorrow!” and added that her three “favorite” pros are Johnson, Britt Stewart and Lindsay Arnold.

When it comes to her dance background, Siwa said she wasn’t going to let that get in the way of a possible Mirrorball trophy.

“I’m not gonna hide that I’m a dancer,” Siwa also said during the segment. “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.”

She added, “I’ve never taken ballroom. It’s gonna help me in a way, but it is also a disadvantage. Because I guarantee you the judges are one hundred million percent gonna judge me harder than they do everybody else.”

READ NEXT: All Partnerships for ‘Dancing With the Stars’ Season 30 Revealed


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