"I always wondered what it would feel like to walk on the floor and be presented and be OK with it and be judged like everyone else," Perez said.
His professional life is about to change with a big move by the National Dance Council of America.
Same sex and gender-neutral couples will now be allowed to compete with opposite-sex couples at all of its events.
“This opens all the competitions in every state, every city, everywhere,” Perez said. “This is not going to limit everyone from dancing.”
Pushback is already coming from critics who say this could lead to some pairs having an unfair advantage.
Supporters say those who feel that way may not fully understand the art or the sport.
Dr. Steve Yacovelli just wrote a book on LQBTQ leadership. He said any move toward inclusion is good business for any industry.
“I think it's [an] awesome message to parents that we don't have to be controlled by the definition of ‘man leads, woman follows’ and all the stereotypes that are out there,” Yacovelli said. “It’s important for adults and kids to see that.”