Sneak Peek - 2018 Programme Editorial! Well, What Do You Think?

“Strictly Come Dancing has no plans to include same-sex couples on the show this year.” said the BBC in August. And they’re not alone. The British Dance Council spent the summer considering whether to ban same-sex couples from all amateur and professional ballroom dancing competitions. Scarily, the BDC’s stated aim is to “...rationalise the world of social dance”. What?

Traditional couple dancing is, certainly, on the face of it, a very gendered thing. Many of us are so accustomed to the labels ‘Man’ and ‘Woman’ for the distinct roles in the dance that we are startled by calls for gender-free teaching and notation. There is a long and complex social history of men and women quite frequently dancing in the ‘opposite’ role.

In the debate that fizzed and crackled during the long hot summer, same-sex dancing partners tended to be equated very generally with romantic partners. This is surely to miss the point that, amongst the many great recommendations for dancing, is the fact that you can have a lot of fun dancing with someone even if you don’t fancy them! The traditional structure of a couple-dance is a safe space. At Dance Around The World, enjoy dancing with people of all genders and none. It will be joyous, life-affirming and definitely not rationalised!