Zackery Torres has spoken openly about the torments she faced when appearing on dance competition TV shows.
The “Dance Moms” alum, who recently turned transgender and revealed she was in transition, told Page Six she was “harassed” while filming for reality TV.
“It was the first time that I really understood what it meant to be intimidated into dancing a certain way,” Torres said, moving from dance studios to television for “Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition”.
“I don’t really know who’s to blame. I think we have the system to blame, and I think this is something we all need to be aware of and keep talking about. “
The 21-year-old dancer did not give details of the bullying, but said she realized at the time that the behavior was “crazy”. She also recalled that her mother was “shocked” by what was going on behind the scenes on the Lifetime show.
“That’s always what confused her, like ‘These people are kinda mean,’” Torres recalls, saying her mother had said.
Torres acknowledged that there were “a lot of really amazing people” she worked with on the show and said a lot of the teachers “grew up,” but noted: “There are a lot of damaging moments that m ‘really pulled back as a youngster and being on this TV show.
Torres, who was the show’s first born contestant, admitted she didn’t even know what it meant when told to “dance like a boy.”
“Your guess is as good as mine,” she laughed. “Dance is rooted in many historical traditions. . . This is something we all need to be aware of. We all grew up this way, maybe I was intimidated to dance this way. . . but stop it there, don’t pass it on to the next generation of young people.
“If you understand that there is a problem, then let’s solve it.”