Dancing shows across the globe are getting more inclusive.
The Strictly Come Dancing format has been exported to numerous countries across the world, and some have recently started to become more inclusive. We’ve seen same-sex couples perform in countries like Italy, Australia and Denmark.
But other than professional routines, or one-off weeks, two of the largest versions of the show, the UK’s Strictly Come Dancing and the US’s Dancing with the Stars have failed to keep up with the times.
And now former Dancing with the Stars producer, Steven Price, has implored the US version to introduce same-sex couples during its 2020 series. Steven was a producer on the show from 2010 to 2018.
Speaking to The Sun, he said: “Yes, because [in] this day and age you cannot control love… you cannot control who or whom you love, so you have got to support it.
“You cannot condemn someone just because they love someone of the same sex. That is who they love – support it. As long as they are not hurting each other.”
When pressed on whether the move could make anti-LGBTQ viewers switch off, he added: “They are changing. They are being more open to it, because they are being introduced to it… love is love.
“The chemistry, all the same. Same sex, it just brings a different twist to it, because that [is] something that needs to be addressed and out there.”
In 2016, Dancing with the Stars featured a same-sex routine when Bruno Tonioli paired America Next Top Model and former GAY TIMES cover star Nyle DiMarco and Peta Murgatroyd with fellow contestants actress Jodie Sweetin and her partner Keo Motsepe.
In a ballroom performance dancers usually swap partners, but no one expected to see a shirtless Keo take the lead and pick up Nyle in a steamy Argentine Tango.
Strictly has included same-sex routines in previous shows, with some professional routines in 2018, and a prominent routine last series between Graziano Di Prima and Johannes Radebe. Sadly, this routine managed to elicit nearly 300 complaints from people saying they were “offended” although none were upheld.
But the show might be about to introduce a same-sex couple this year, as last week Judge Rinder revealed he’d been asked to compete on this year’s Christmas special with a male partner.
Speaking to OK! magazine, Rinder said: “I was offered next year’s Christmas special with a same-sex dancer. I’d do anything. I’ve danced on stage with Anton du Beke for a Grenfell Tower benefit.”
And in its Switch-Up Week last month, Dancing with the Stars Ireland featured same-sex pairings with TV presenter Brian Dowling dancing with Kai Widdrington and RTÉ 2fm presenter Lottie Ryan dancing with Emily Barker.
After the performance, Kai tweeted: “Dance with who you want. Laugh with who you want. Love is love.”