Back in the summer, Glee Project Season 2 contestant Ali Stroker made it to the final episode of the season. Although this cheerful blond NYC native ultimately didn’t win the grand prize of a role on Glee, she still managed to leave the competition with something very special — a new romance.
Just months ago, Ali and fellow contestant Dani Shay revealed that they are dating — an announcement that very few Glee Project fans were able to see coming. Now, in an exclusive interview with Wetpaint Entertainment, Ali is opening up about her romance with Dani. Find out what brought them together, what they’ve been up to lately, and whether they plan to record more new music together anytime soon!
What are some of the first things that happened once you got off the show?
Well, I went back home and Dani and I were able to hang out more and not on a reality show. So our relationship officially began then, which was really exciting and really fun for both of us. And then, I was doing Be More Heroic, which is an anti-bullying campaign, and we were touring and doing assemblies toward the end of the summer.
I spent some time at the beach with my family, and went down to Florida and met Dani's family and spent time with them. And I also joined this dance team called Team Hotwheels, which is an all girls — it's chicks in chairs. It's girls in wheelchairs and it's like a hip hop dance team. It's so, so cool. So that was really fun.
So you and Dani are both in New York now?
Yeah. She's in Brooklyn, and I'm in New York.
This relationship is something that must have started on the show, right?
Well, we met at callbacks. So, actually, yes, it all started from The Glee Project.
When you were still on the show, was the relationship something that you were trying to keep on the down low?
Yeah. I mean it was definitely not something that I wanted to bring onto the show. It was so new for both of us that we just wanted to give it time and space. And we didn't really know what was going to happen on the show.
So it really worked out for the best, even though we had a hard time hiding our connection because we were so close and enjoying getting to know each other so much while we were on the show as well.
But then you did decide to make it public. What was that like?
We did. Dani wrote ”One,” which is one of her new songs, and she had an idea to make our relationship public by making the music video around the song. So I loved that idea because it's like a cool, creative way to make it a public thing.
I was a little nervous about it because I didn't know — from The Glee Project all of that attention was such a new thing and to have fans and followers, that’s such a brand new concept. So to make more of my life public, I was nervous about it. But then I realized how much sharing our relationship and our love with everyone could help young people who may be in our situation and are nervous about being open and honest about their relationship.
Was the reaction overwhelmingly positive?
Yeah. My God. It was the most amazing reaction from people. So much love and support and, yeah, people were so touched by it. I think in the video, they could really feel our connection and how real and pure it was.
But at the same time, you already represent one group of people. Was this another group that you weren't sure you wanted to be the flag bearer for?
It's so interesting because I have so many conversations with some of my close friends about, by sharing my relationship with Dani, is that going to be a way that people are going to label and categorize me?
I have said from the beginning, on The Glee Project — I think the show really helped me realize this — that I don't have to be defined by anything. I don't have to be defined as somebody with a disability or someone dating a girl. That's not a definition. You know what I mean? To be able to see beyond the labels, is really both Dani’s and my message.
Are you guys collaborating musically, or is this a personal collaboration only?
Well, we spend a lot of time together, and so, yes, we are definitely going to write together. That is definitely in the works.