Reality Rocks

‘Glee Project’ Stars Dani & Ali Celebrate Real-Life Romance, Shatter Stereotypes In “One”

Lyndsey Parker
Reality Rocks

c) Dani Shay & Taschka Turnquist 2012

Dani Shay and Ali Stroker were two of my favorite contestants on "The Glee Project" Season 2, but it wasn't until they released their "One" music video this week (premiered via Grammy-nominated band fun.'s LGBTQ non-profit organization, the Ally Coalition) that I discovered they are a real-life couple. Yes, the showmance between contestants Charlie Lubeck and Aylin Bayramoglu got plenty of Season 2 screen time, but little did I know back then that Dani and Ali were quietly falling in love behind the scenes. I'm delighted for them. They seem so smitten with each other in "One," and more importantly, the video features music with a message.

"Over a year ago I met Dani at the 'Glee Project' callbacks. We connected in a way I have never connected with anyone in my life. It was never about gender or my wheelchair or the number of YouTube hits. It was always about the feeling that I felt when I was around her," Ali writes in her blog about the video. "I'll be very honest, when Dani had the idea to make the video I was nervous. I worried that this was another way for someone to put me in a box. Then I realized I felt even stronger knowing this is another way to help people see beyond the box! We are so much more than the categories we place ourselves in. I have never just wanted to be labeled 'the girl in the wheelchair' so I was scared that this would be another opportunity for someone to label me. I know that I am more than that. I've never let labels define who I am. I never expected to meet Dani and fall in love, and I especially never expected that I would want to share it with the world. Here I am. I couldn't be more proud to share my love with all of you. No matter who you are. No matter what you think is or isn't possible I am telling you that life's surprises are the best gifts! I never thought I could have it all. It didn't seem possible. I can say now, I feel like I got my fairytale."

My only (very minor) complaint about this video? I wanted to hear Ali sing in it! But the good news is, a Dani/Ali duet will be included on Dani's One: The Winter EP. Available December 18, the EP is available for pre-order at www.danishay.com now.

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