Strictly same-sex pairing 'brings show into 21st Century' says Midlands dance teacher

Strictly Come Dancing is set to have its first same-sex couple in the history of the show – a move a Black Country dance teacher has said 'reflects the way the world has changed'.

Warren Bullock with wife Jane at Zig Zag Dance Factory, Wolverhampton
Warren Bullock with wife Jane at Zig Zag Dance Factory, Wolverhampton

Olympic boxer Nicola Adams will be competing with a woman on the BBC dance contest due to be aired in the coming months – making Strictly history by being the first contestant to be part of a same-sex pairing.

Nicola said she was the one who suggested the idea to the show's producers, and said it was "definitely time for change". She said it would also be nice for LGBT couples to feel more represented.

Nicola Adams will be starring in Strictly Come Dancing this year - picture by David Davies/PA Wire.

Professional dancer and teacher Warren Bullock, from Wolverhampton, said the move reflected the way the world had changed in the last 50 years.

Warren, who runs Zig Zag Dance Factory, with classes across the Black Country, said: "Things that wouldn't have been acceptable 50 years ago are now commonplace and totally normal.

"I don't think it's controversial or odd at all. Of course there will be some people who are unhappy, not everyone is accepting.

"But part of putting it out there on mainstream TV is all part of educating people and bringing them and the show into the 21st Century."

Warren, who starred in reality television show Baby Ballroom, said two women or girls dancing together was seen often in the competing world – as there are not often enough men or boys for the women to partner with.

He said: "All three of my daughters danced with girls first, before they found a male partner who they wanted to dance with. But I think dancing in an all-girl partnership really teaches both girls the skills needed to learn to dance."

Warren Bullock pictured with the stars of Baby Ballroom L-R: Arjan Barard 7, Isabel Chance 8, Lara Webster 10, Katrina Barard 9, Emily Davies 9 and Jack Webster 8

The teacher said it would be interesting to see who would be the 'leader' – the dancer who usually would be the man – and who would be the 'follower' – the woman – in the partnership between Nicola Adams and her professional dancer.

The athlete will not find out who she has been paired with for a few more weeks.

Warren added: "For the leader, they have to hold their body weight in the correct position, forward – over their feet.

"Nicola – being a boxer – I could see her being the leader as in boxing you often have to hold your weight on the balls of your feet.

"Will they both wear dresses too or will the leader wear a tail suit for ballroom? And trousers for Latin? It will be very interesting to see how it works.

"I think it really opens the doors for other partnerships in the future."

Nicola Adams won a gold medal for Great Britain at the London 2012 Olympics, and again in Rio in 2016. She retired from the sport last year.

Strictly has previously featured two male professionals dancing together in a one-off routine, when Johannes Radebe and Graziano di Prima performed to Emeli Sande's Shine last year.

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