Cody Rigsby Explains Why 'Dancing With The Stars' Didn't Partner Him With A Man

The beloved Peloton instructor, who is gay, said he now wishes he'd recognized the opportunity to join JoJo Siwa in making history.

“Dancing With The Stars” is garnering praise from fans and advocacy groups for partnering JoJo Siwa with Jenna Johnson, the first same-sex pairing in the competition series’ 30-season history.

But Siwa, who came out as queer in January, isn’t the show’s only LGBTQ contestant on its current season. Beloved Peloton instructor Cody Rigsby is also wowing audiences with his groovy footwork, and is partnered with dancer Cheryl Burke.

Rigsby, a self-described “opinionated homosexual,” said in an interview last week that he would have been willing to dance with a male partner on the show. As is often the case in Hollywood, however, the fast-paced, behind-the-scenes negotiations gave him little time to consider the big picture.

“When the conversation opportunity came up for ‘Dancing With The Stars,’ I was just so excited to be on the show, I guess I didn’t even think it was a possibility,” he explained to GLAAD’s Anthony Allen Ramos. “So I didn’t bring it up. Had I maybe had a moment to breathe and recognize an opportunity, I definitely would have asked!”

Cody Rigsby (left) and Cheryl Burke on "Dancing With The Stars."
Cody Rigsby (left) and Cheryl Burke on "Dancing With The Stars."
Christopher Willard via Getty Images

Both Burke and Rigsby have navigated some unexpected challenges early in their “DWTS” run. The pair tested positive for COVID-19 within days of one another last month, even though they’d both been fully vaccinated. It was Rigsby’s second time contracting COVID-19.

They competed separately and virtually on the show’s Britney Spears-themed episode Oct. 4 before producers and medical professionals gave them the clear to return to the ballroom in person a week later.

Elsewhere in his GLAAD interview, Rigsby reflected on his unlikely rise to fame amid the pandemic, as well as his struggles with accepting his sexuality while growing up in Greensboro, North Carolina.

“At a young age, people started to call me a girl, and that was the first attack in fourth or fifth grade,” he said. “That was the first thing I recognized as people bullying me and questioning who I am because of their attacks and insecurities. As gay kid, we are always made fun of because it is the easy thing to do for some people.”

And, looking ahead, Rigsby is confident that “Dancing With The Stars” will eventually feature two men dancing together, possibly as early as Season 31.

“I know that Val [Chmerkovskiy] is really open to having a same-sex partner for next season,” he said. “I think that would be incredible.”

Catch Cody Rigsby’s full GLAAD interview below.