It’s the British reality show that sees singles meet their potential partner on the dance floor, but what is it about Flirty Dancing that makes it such a heartwarming watch? Tara Ward finds out.
What in the sweet soft shoe shuffle is it?
Flirty Dancing is Britain’s latest television sensation. It’s a reality show about two strangers on a blind date who meet to unleash some interpretive dance, and if they like the cut of their dance partner’s hornpipe, go on a second date. Basically, it’s people falling in love through the art of dance, and it’s the most delightful piece of television you’ll ever waggle your jazz hands at.
I’m sorry, I thought you said “two strangers falling in love through the art of dance”, which sounds completely bonkers.
I did, and it is, but it’s also completely cha cha charming. Clips from Flirty Dancing have gone feral on social media, with people around the world soaking up a few precious minutes of unbridled, shimmy-shaking joy. In a TV world where the search for true love involves MAFSNZ train wrecks or inspecting a random’s nether regions a la Naked Attraction, Flirty Attraction is sweet, wholesome and super lovely.
But what actually happens?
It’s a blind date with a twist, a body roll and a kick ball change. The singles are taught two halves of a specially choreographed dance, which they perform when they meet for the first time in public. They dance without exchanging a single word, and when the music stops, they go their separate ways, still without speaking. If either singleton feels a spark, they can choose to meet up. If not, they’ll sashay away, never to speak of this moment again.
Wait. They don’t talk to each other?
Not a single syllable. Flirty eye contact, sure, perhaps a cheeky wink, a chaste kiss on the hand if they get carried away. The dancers do their talking through their spirit fingers, which is a concept I’d like to see embraced everywhere from work meetings to the doctor’s office.
It sounds terrifying. It sounds like murder on the dance floor.
Like Sophie Ellis Bextor said, “I know I know I know I know I know I know I know.” Strangers, dancing together in public? There’s no way this should work, but it does. Nobody puts Flirty Dancing in the corner, so limber up and prepare to fall in love.
Why should I watch?
The moment the singles begin to dance is incredible. The nerves are palpable, but when the dancers lock eyes for the first time? Magic. It’s electric. It’s an electric boogie.
Also, the feel-good factor Flirty Dancing is off the dance chart. Your faith in love will be restored, and it’ll make you want to burst into a spontaneous dance routine in car parks and supermarkets everywhere. Flirty Dancing is all about old-school romance and the connection between two people, and these brave singles are putting their razzle-dazzle out there like never before. Be warned, the rhythm is going to get you.
If it’s this good, everyone must be doing it, right?
You betcha. Next month America launches their own Flirty Dancing, hosted by Jenna Dewan, while the Dutch have made their own version that even features dancing oldies, bless their wee fox-trotting hearts.
So, how long before Flirty Dancing waltzes its way to New Zealand?
Nothing’s been confirmed yet, but like true love and my everlasting hope that one day someone will make Dancing With The Stars NZ: All Stars, good things come to those who wait. Until then, we’ve got promo clips on YouTube.
Join The Spinoff Members for as little as $1 for as little as $1 to help us continue our work and cover the stories that matter. Get a free Toby Morris-designed tea towel when you contribute $80 or more over a year.
The Bulletin is The Spinoff’s acclaimed daily digest of New Zealand’s most important stories, delivered directly to your inbox each morning.