Last night, my other half and I finally got round to watching last Saturday’s Strictly Come Dancing (what the rest of the world calls “Dancing with the Stars”) on catchup. It eventually came down to a dance off between former tennis player Martina Hingis and former policeman and now TV presenter Rav Wilding, with the judges plumping to keep Wilding in the contest after a two-two vote broken only by the casting vote of Len Goodman, the chief judge.
We both felt that Martina was unlucky to go. Now I’ll admit that in my case, a lot of this is probably due to the fact that I’m a heterosexual bloke and will thus – given the choice between two people whose dancing I have no particularly strong feelings about – generally go for the pretty girl in the nice dress.
And I did think Martina was looking quite pretty on Saturday night. Actually, I’ve always thought she was quite pretty… [Day dreams for a moment]. But anyway. [Takes deep breath – focus, focus!]
In the dance off, both couples had to dance the one dance of the two they’d done over the two shows that had scored the highest, which in both cases was the rumba they’d danced that night. Both, in my totally amateur and frankly ignorant opinion, were a bit ropey, but in different ways: Martina danced badly; Rav didn’t dance.
And this is where I think that male and female contestants who can’t dance (such as these two) are affected in different ways by the various dances – in particular which dances will make them look awful as opposed to merely bad.
I’m probably drastically oversimplifying this, and I should stress in advance that I have no idea what I’m talking about, but the dances break down into two families: ballroom and Latin. In ballroom (except for the bit at the start that always pisses Len off) you dance round together in a hold, with the man leading; in Latin you generally dance together, but not in a constant hold.
So if you’re a woman and you can’t dance, you’re best off doing a ballroom dance, because then your male partner can drag you round the floor while you hang on to him trying to look beautiful (and attempting to avoid “the claw!!!”); whereas in the Latin you’ll be all flailing arms and wooden legs.
By contrast, if you’re a man who can’t dance, the ballroom dance will be a horror show in which your partner attempts to maneuver a weight much larger than her (that’s you!) around the floor while making it look like the complete opposite is actually occurring; whereas in the Latin you can simply stomp around looking macho and masterful while she desperately dances around you in an attempt to stop anyone noticing that you aren’t actually dancing. (If a woman tried that, she’d merely look dull and slow, and her partner would probably look a tad “flamboyant”).
Anyway, this was exactly what happened on Saturday night. Rav stomped around looking masterful; Martina flailed her arms about.
Personally, I’d have given it to the one who was actually dancing.
And the fact that she’s cute doesn’t hurt.