On the Swing Dancing subreddit on Reddit, we came across this fascinating post by “The_Nubbin” (aka Benjamin Cook) describing a recent lindy hop performance on the BBC show Strictly Come Dancing. For those that don’t know Strictly Come Dancing is an extremely popular British television dance competition show, where celebrities are paired with dance professionals to compete in different ballroom and latin dance styles. (In the US, it is known as Dancing with the Stars.)
On a recent episode, the competitors engaged in a “Lindy-Hop-a-Thon.” Here’s how it went, get ready…
My knee jerk reaction as a lindy hopper was to cringe and decry the bastardization of our dance on another popular television show. Then I read the reddit commentary by Benjamin Cook, a lindy hopper for more 13 years and an assistant for the show. He breaks down several points about this production:
Basically, Jenny Thomas the choreographer had a near impossible task, and she did the best should could, with the dancers, the song, and the extreme time limitations she had to work with. Given all that, I’m kind of shocked any of their movement was even halfway decent.
I found this to be an enlightening glimpse into the behind-the-scenes of producing a show like Strictly Come Dancing. The Benjamin closes with “I thought they did a great job, and I’m super proud of what they did!” I can only agree.