Dancing With The Stars returns for Season 30 this fall. For years, fans have had the opportunity to see their favorite celebrities and pro dancers compete in the ballroom. However, some critics say the ballroom dance world has a diversity issue. After all, Britt Stewart became first Black woman to appear as a pro dancer just last year. Now, another pro demands change. Val Chmerkovskiy expressed his feelings on Instagram.
Russian dancer Val Chmerkovskiy wants more People of Color in the ballroom
Valentin “Val” Chmerkovskiy first appeared as a DWTS pro dancer during Season 15. Over the past 15 seasons, he won the Mirrorball Trophy twice and appeared in the finale a handful of times. Back in Season 24, he performed with Normani Kordei. They came in third. The dancer recently reflected on his time on the show with Normani. He concluded there needs to be more diversity in the world of ballroom dance.
“Four years ago to the day, @normani and I danced our freestyle to wrap up what was one of the best seasons I’ve ever had on @dancingabc as well as creatively in my career in general. For those unfamiliar with the show, it all kind of culminates in the freestyle, fortunately or unfortunately. Regardless of what kind of season you may have had, it comes down to this last impression,” the 35-year-old dancer wrote.
“At the time & all season in general I felt so strongly about this incredible opportunity to partner Ms. Normani Kordei. Uber talented obviously, humble, hard working, perfect teammate, and on top of that an amazing dancer/performer. But all those wonderful qualities aside I couldn’t be blind to the fact that I was dancing with a black girl from New Orleans. what a special opportunity I thought,” he went on to say. “Now before everyone gets triggered hear me out. In the world of competitive Ballroom Dancing you rarely saw people of color compete.”
Val went on to discuss how underrepresented minorities really are in the ballroom. He added that representation does indeed matter.
There’s room for improvement, but Britt Stewart is happy with her DWTS journey so far
Although DWTS always has room for growth, Britt Stewart says she’s had a very positive experience with the show so far.
“To be the first Black female pro is such an honor, and I definitely don’t take it lightly,” Britt told ET last August. “Having this opportunity and position is just so beautiful. I’m so happy to take it on and also be a part of a show that celebrates diversity.”
“When I was there for five seasons on troupe and two tours I always felt celebrated — for not just my race, but for all of me,” she went on to say. “Also, being part of Dancing With the Stars, which has that sort of love and openness for equality, is an honor as well.”
Dancing With The Stars has made a bigger effort to include People of Color in its cast. However, the cast is still predominantly white. Perhaps in Season 30, fans will get to see a more diverse cast.
Who would you like to see compete in Season 30? Be sure to let us know in the comments.