What other unsexy dances might Seann Walsh and Katya Jones do on Strictly?
The ‘Strictly’ snog duo defused all sexual tension with a gender-neutral jiggle last week
Strictly Come Dancing: Katya Jones and Seann Walsh did a gender-neutral jiggle after their kissing scandal. Photograph: Guy Levy/BBC
“It’s a problem,” says Rio El-Asir of Arthur Murray Dance Centres. “We have a strict policy that fraternisation of teacher and student is prohibited. People send their daughters here, their wives, so we have to be just like doctors. Students fall for the teachers usually.”
Nature finds a way. Tens of hours of staring into each other’s eyes while grinding each other’s hips clearly triggered something for the Strictly Come Dancing pair Seann Walsh and Katya Jones. Last weekend they came fourth with their first post-kissing scandal “dance of shame”. Nearly 12 million UK viewers tuned in – the highest audience of the series so far – to see them do the gender-neutral jiggle of a charleston. Tomorrow they plan to do the quickstep. As some have already noted, it is another deliberately unsexy choice for a pair now doomed to entertain us. “We call it the horse-riding dance,” El-Asir adds. “There is no body action in the way of hip rotations. Just galloping.”
“It’s the fastest of all the dances,” says Shaun Mcenery, a London choreographer who also appeared on Dancing with the Stars in the Middle East. “There’s no time to think sexually. I’d say it’s quite childish. At the beginning I never used to like it. Do you know hopscotch? It’s a bit like that.”
Prophylactic dancing is an under-rated genre, but sometimes it is necessary. If the sight of Saturday’s winners, Stacey Dooley and Kevin Clifton, dressed up as Minions wasn’t enough to put you off men and women being proximate, here are some more deeply unsexy ballroom dances.
The Viennese waltz
“Things like the Viennese waltz or the foxtrot are social dances that you could dance with any lady,” El-Asir says. “It does not signify anything sexual. The dress code is all covered. The posture is very square.” Lord Byron once wrote a dyspeptic letter in which he denounced the antisocial nature of the dance. The couple, he ranted, were “like two cockchafers spitted on the same bodkin”.
Once associated with youth, the jive was said to have a corrupting influence when it emerged in the early 1930s, and was forced underground by a disapproving older generation. But despite its reputation – and the best efforts of Ed Balls, the British former Labour Party minister, when he appeared on Strictly – this is one Latin dance that is never sexy. It’s too high energy, too eager and excitable to be romantically enticing. Does anyone find repetitive kicking seductive?
The English – not Argentinian – tango
The English tango originates from the Argentinian version, an inferno of passion. But it was manipulated by the English for competition, because the Argentinian tango is highly athletic and simply too difficult for most. “They call it the chicken-and-cock fight,” Mcenery says. “You have these fast head twitches and switches. The man hardly looks at the woman, and when he does she looks away. It’s quite intense, with feelings of aggression, even anger.” – Guardian