Still dancing! Dance Moms alum Zackery Torres announced they’re transitioning after making history as the first male contestant on Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition.
“Hi everyone, it’s me Zackery Torres, and you may know me from Dance Moms,” the 22-year-old began via TikTok set to “Levitating” by Dua Lipa. “I realized I haven’t posted on TikTok, anything of myself since like December, and life update, I’m transitioning!”
Torres explained, “That means I’m transgender if you didn’t know. My pronouns are they/she, which means that they or she are totally fine, and I’m just hopping on here to tell you that I’m going to be posting more on Tiktok and I’m excited about it!”
After appearing on season 1 of Abby Lee Miller’s spinoff in 2012, Torres went on to compete as a member of the Candy Apples team on Dance Moms. The University of Southern California alum reflected on their time on reality TV during an interview with the school’s newspaper, The Daily Trojan.
“I started seeing all of the expectations that teachers — well-known dance teachers, and well-known choreographers — had for me as a male dancer growing up and at the time identifying as a boy,” they explained in October 2020. “‘Oh, you’re too feminine, you need to dance like a man.’ Just having teachers tell you that on national television, all this stuff, it kind of really got to me. Everyone always talks about how inclusive the arts communities are. But I’m just not really feeling it. I’m not seeing it on an everyday scale.”
One month later, Torres shared a candid post about being an ally for the LGBTQ+ community.
“Allyship is not a 9am-5pm work shift. It is a life practice,” they wrote in November 2020 on Transgender Day of Remembrance via Instagram. “I thank all of the people that have supported me through the years while I grew, and continue to grow, into who I am today. It’s that unwavering support that gets me up in the morning when I am feeling defeated, and more importantly, it’s what keeps me feeling empowered to advocate. I can only hope to demonstrate allyship to other communities who need me the way people have been allies to me. With that being said… let’s get to work! #nonbinary #transgenderawarenessweek.”
One day after posting about their transition, Torres reacted to making headlines for the post.
“I want you all to know that I’m literally shaking right now,” they said on Sunday, May 31. “Childhood dreams/adult dreams/any dream coming true right now. … I’m literally quaking.”