In a long-anticipated move for ‘Strictly Come Dancing’, the show has finally aired a dance that incorporated same-sex pairings.
The routine came after of years of criticism around the show’s choice to only allow men and women to compete as partners.
The performance, which aired on Sunday night’s results show, featured all of the professionals dancing with a same-sex partner on their own specially made podium.
When the moment finally aired, many fans were living for it:
And many audiences praised the fact that the routine was weaved in naturally and not made a “gimmick” by the show’s creators.
As well as Jason Gilkison, the creative director of choreography on the show, thanking fans for their praise of the number.
But although it was great to see representation in a professional routine, some fans drew attention to the fact that ‘Strictly’ still does not allow same-sex couples to actually compete. Was the routine an attempt to skirt around the issue?
The show previously aired a brief moment of same-sex dancing in 2014 with Robin Windsor and Aljaž Skorjanec paired up, but there has never anything more substantial.
Recent years have seen audiences talking more about how the show can be less heteronormative within the ballroom format.
Even many of the show’s stars have joined the conversation, with 2016 ‘Strictly’ contestant Judge Rinder recently telling the Telegraph that “it would be great if it happens” and that “visibility really does matter”.
Strictly’s head judge Shirley Ballas has also said the change would be “marvellous”.
Groups such as the United Kingdom Same Sex Dance Council have also been campaigning for over a decade for increased awareness of and participation in same-sex dance competitions.
However, bosses have so far resisted the change, with a spokesperson for the show saying in August: “‘Strictly’ has chosen the traditional format of mixed-sex couples and at the moment we have no plans to introduce same-sex couples.”
‘Strictly Come Dancing’ continues on Saturday at 6.30pm on BBC One.