If you’re in the UK, you might have come across a Channel 4 tv show presented by Ashley Banjo (of Diversity fame), called Flirty Dancing. Usually it’s the type of show I’d read the excerpt for, sigh and ignore. But I can’t resist a dancing tv show. When I came across it while flicking channels I decided to watch and see if it was as bad as I anticipated.
The premise is that 2 single people learn a dance separately, then come together to perform the dance together before walking off again. Hoping that the dance creates a connection. They’re then given a date and place and they can choose to go there to hopefully meet their dance partner, and hit it off.
If you dance, you’ll know that dance can create so many connections and emotion. Through the music, with a dance partner. If it all clicks, it can be an amazing experience, especially when it works for both dancers.
Watching the show, I wasn’t sure that would come across on screen. Also it’s hard to get over dancing in front of people, and while the couples were dancing in usually empty spaces like outside or in empty art galleries, there’s still cameras. For new dancers, or knowing you’re on a tv show, the adrenaline must have been going like anything in their bodies.
Over the 2 shows I’ve watched, the people taking part have had a variety of dance backgrounds. Some love to dance and have obviously danced formally before, one couple were not dancers at all. But the matches worked well, and it was lovely to watch them enjoying the dance and relaxing into it.
Watching dancers in an intimate dance can feel a bit strange. Especially when it’s a dance for them, rather than a performance to the world. I find this watching some argentine tango or blues dancers – it almost feels like you shouldn’t really be watching. A bit voyeuristic even. But it can be spellbinding and you can’t draw away if you’re getting that connection and feeling their emotion.
I was surprised at how I felt their connection when watching it on tv. When they walked up to each other to start the dances, and they first saw each other, you felt that spark and their smiles were genuine. You could see them trust each other in the dance, and how relaxed they were during it. I felt their excitement and anticipation of not wanting to finish as they walked away separately.
What they said they felt afterwards was that warmth, that excitement and connection of dance. It came across just what you feel when you come off the dance floor after an amazing dream dance. The one that just feels magical and perfect. Showing what dance can make you feel. When I get that same feeling it’s all about the dance rather than the prospect of relationships, but it shows the viewers just why so many dancers can end up falling for their dance partners.
Much to my surprise, Flirty Dancing was enjoyable to watch and it didn’t make me cringe like I expected. If you don’t believe in the power of dance to bring people together, then you should after watching it. Maybe we need to bring back more social dancing and the dances of our grandparents’ era to help people meet rather than nightclubs.
Have you seen Flirty Dancing? What did you think of it?