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Same-sex couples could be banned from ballroom dancing by UK governing body

  • Jock S.Trap

    Shame on the BDC for even thinking this would be right. Such discrimination has no place in British society! End of!

  • Mikeylano

    If it’s a sport, then why not leave open the possibility for having same-sex competitions if there is enough interest in it?

    Usually in sporting events, everyone should be on equal footing, so each team has the same number of males and females. But that doesn’t mean that separate tournaments could be open to teams that consist solely of males or females.

    There would be absolutely nothing to gain from closing the door on same sex couples. If there is enough interest, good, let it go ahead. Otherwise, have the option there for the future when there might be. It’s just pure bigotry to state that same sex couples cannot compete.

    • Opentelemark

      There are same-sex ballroom competitions, and they tend to be more International than the corresponding levels of the “Mainstream” ballroom dance competition circuit. I have competed with my civil partner in mainstream dance competitions, and we were judged fairly, although that is not always the case (I witnessed it this year in Blackpool). Most “mainstream” comps always have all-ladies (sic) events, for which there is never a problem. And there’s no real difficulty in a man taking the follower role – in fact it is quite good to help you lead as well. I thought the mainstream comps were beginning to open up a bit more, and it’s a real shame if the opposite is true.

  • J

    As I understand it, the legality of this all hinges on whether “the physical strength, stamina or physique of average persons of one sex would put them at a disadvantage”. I seriously doubt whether that is their motivation though, particularly given the archaic-sounding formulation “one man and one lady”. That makes it sound as though it’s all just tradition for tradition’s sake.

  • CHBrighton

    At the very least the BDC should have examined the issues around having same sex dancing partners in competitions and worked out what advantages and/ or disadvantages might accrue to the partners, to other dancers and to a particular competitions if same sex dancing partners were to compete. If, on analysis, there were issues that needed addressing, then these should have been addressed along with people concerned and their representatives. Of course, one can understand the BDC wishing to maintain and promote high quality dancing, but these issues, too, needed to be faced along with a desire to remove barriers to inclusiveness and equality while not permitting anyone to gain unfair advantage.

  • Ed Woody

    I was a ballroom dancer for 10 years, and while I can see the difficulty in choreographing for a same-sex couple – the vast majority of standard dance movements are designed as men’s steps versus women’s steps, especially in ballroom as opposed to Latin, and it would take a substantial amount of from-the-ground-up redesign to get around that – none of that is an excuse for outright banning it. This attempt is purely motivated by animus, as others have said.

    Besides, ballroom dancers are already used to dancing with the same sex. At pretty much every classroom, performance or contest I’ve ever been to, women dance with women simply because there aren’t enough men interested in ballroom dancing to go around.

    • Karl

      Please explain, I don’t understand the difference between men’s steps and women’s steps. Are men incapable of doing women’s steps for some physiological reason, and vice versa?

      • Anders5000

        I was going to ask the exact same thing. Maybe new names are needed for the step process.

      • Ed Woody

        Not incapable, no. It’s just that in the five ballroom dances – waltz, quickstep, foxtrot, tango, Viennese – the traditional forms involve the man stepping forwards while the woman steps backwards. That’s the direction of dance – the man ‘leads’ while the woman ‘follows’.

        Obviously a man is capable of performing the woman’s steps. It’s just that to do so, he has to play what is pretty clearly defined as the ‘woman’s role.’ If he’s happy doing so, go for it. It’s just it would smack to me of that horrible thing when there’s a gay couple and somebody asks them, “So who’s the husband and who’s the wife?”

        It’s not so much of an issue in the five latin dances – cha-cha, rumba, samba, paso doble, jive – because the roles have always been more equal there in the first place, and the choreography looser and less proscribed by tradition. Same-sex dancing in latin would be much easier to do. (Okay, maybe not in paso.)

        But in ballroom there are those clearly defined gender roles, and while it’s not impossible to break them and I support trying to do so, there will be significant resistance just from the fact that these are the traditional forms that people have always been judged on.

        If both men want to be ‘men’ and not one of them be the ‘woman’, what effect does that have on who leads and who follows? Do you just go by height? Do you switch half way through? What about moves that are specifically designed around the woman doing something glamorous and extravagant in her colours-and-feathers dress while the man in his black tailsuit stands there supporting her – how do such moves translate when there are two men in black suits or two women in feathery dresses?

        These are the questions that will be asked. Again, I emphasise that I don’t consider any of them insurmountable or any kind of reason NOT to do it, but others will.

        • RealDancer

          What utter codswollop !!

          10 years a ballroom dancer – but you have obviousey completely missed the fact, that in the basic figure of the waltz steps 1 2 3 of the gentleman are repeated in steps4 5 6 of the lady …

          Following your reasoning, a lady would never be able to dance that … so not even a walz possible. Pity …

          • Ed Woody

            So these people are just supposed to do a box step for the whole three minutes? Hard to win a competition with that. If you are a “real dancer” then you know perfectly well what I’m saying and are just being contrary for the sake of it.

        • Peter

          Ed, It’s really not that difficult for a man to lead, or a woman to follow. The standard of dance in same-sex comps is very very high. And the choice of choreography is always a choice of the couples. You can be glamorous and extravagant without feathers! There’s some good examples of same-sex ballroom here if you want to have a look: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3NgPgMagYs&list=PL03A90C40781029EC

          In same-sex comps, role-switching is allowed, but not in “mainstream” comps. I have danced in both, with my CP.

        • LeatherNun

          Lordy, it’s difficult to know where to start.

          • Ed Woody

            Perhaps you could start by pointing out one single thing I said that wasn’t true. If you read what I said, it’s quite clear that I don’t think any of it is an excuse to ban same-sex dancing. I’m simply presenting the arguments OTHER people will inevitably make, and explaining their reasons for them.

    • Rehan

      With apologies for going off at a tangent, I believe it’s thought by some that the tango originated as a dance for men (in the Buenos AIres docklands, where men seriously outnumbered women), as indicated – I’ve heard – by the formality and distance between the partners in the classic version.

  • Brightonbear

    Gays strike back by banning straights from Line Dancing and that YMCA song dance

  • Anders5000

    “take into consideration the feelings of the competitors…”

    What, so the current other competitors could kick up a fuss simply if they didn’t like it? And the same sex- couple could be banned from that competition because of that? Sounds like mob rule.

    Also, lady is the female equivalent of gentleman or lord. If you are going to use “man” then use “woman”. Anything else sounds ridiculous.

  • Katie

    “It would define a dance partnership as having to consist of a “man” and a “lady”
    Outrageous discrimination, which is both homophobic and sexist.
    It also has classist overtones too. I suppose the Dance Council (or whatever they call themselves) is too air-headed to realise that it is only been relatively recently in British history that the establishment have classed the majority of women as ‘ladies’. Strictly-speaking, to give one prominent example, the now Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton is the first woman to marry into the British royal family who is not ‘a lady’.

    • Rehan

      Well … TRH the Duchesses of Kent and Gloucester – ? (Abstruse point, I know!)

    • Ian

      No, Kate Middleton NOT the first female commoner to marry into the ruling royal family.
      The first was Elizabeth Woodville in 1464 when she married King Edward IV.

      • Rehan

        And, as I’m sure you know, in Britain even an aristocrat with a courtesy title (Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, Lady Diana Spencer) is, strictly speaking, a commoner.

        • Ian

          Yes, Rehan. I was aware that Lady Eliz.Bowes-Lyon
          [the future her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, for anyone who may not be aware]
          was a “commoner”.
          My late Grandma (born 1890) dinned it well into me as I was growing up!
          Actually, Eliz.Woodville had been married before (and had a child, I think) but had been widowed.
          Edward married her in secret, for he knew the Royal Court would have veto’d it.
          Incidentally, she turned out to be no mere cypher, but was a good supporter and advisor to her husband the King throughout his reign

  • Rehan

    One man and one lady

    ??!! So it’s not open to any woman then?

    The bizarre and archaic terminology is an apt indicator of this body’s capacity to think.

  • Truth

    I’m never goin to watch the men’s doubles at Wimbledon ever again. It’s so shocking and frankly stomach-churning to see two men cavorting around a court in that way. And as for same-sex synchronized diving ….. plain filth! The authorities should do something about those acrobatic troupes where two men hold and gyrate with each other. One pair were on the Royal Variety Show …. doing it in front of The Queen. All this homoerotic stuff which stirs the homophobic crotch should be banned.

    • Hue-Man

      Have you noticed all the outrageous same-sex fancy footwork from Brazil, polluting the entire world?! Plus the gay footwear. Shocking. Hugging. Horrible.

  • qv

    Ladies Against Women!

  • Jase

    Too many old people in control.

    Time for fresh blood and early retirement (not so earlier for many)

  • Mihangel apYrs

    “man” and a “lady”.

    good luck with a proper definition of “lady”: presentation at Court could be a useful rule of thumb

  • de Villiers

    I am finding it hard to see the less favourable treatment here or what laws it breaches.

    • jayjonson

      You probably also do not think that the law limiting marriage to one man and one woman is less favorable treatment or breaches any laws.

  • jayjonson

    Sue the bastards.

  • Stephen

    Pink News is profiting from homophobia.

    Notice the article on the front page about Stoli vodka.

    Comments are disabled. Why?

    Could it be that this Tory loving website does not want to be criticised for teaming up with a drink that is currently being boycotted across the US for its links to the homophobic Russian regime and its persecution of gay people?

    Is money all that matters to this website. Do LGBT people in Russia deserve the utter contempt in which they are being held,

    Why is Pink News taking money from a company that is funding our persecution in Russia?

    • Rehan

      Seriously Stephen, you’ve lost the plot: there’s no article on Stoli or any other vodka on my PN page, and a search only finds one article from January. I suggest you take some sort of chill pill and avoid this website altogether in future, as it seems to only make you inordinately agitated.

  • Chris in LA

    This is moving towards the silly. Equality is one thing. Demanding participation in absolutely everything is quite another. Many traditional dances in various cultures are same gender, while others are male and female, and some are solo dances. Western ballroom dancing developed around the traditional marriage market dances and parties of the well off. Dancing is still a pairing off activity. While same gender couples need to pair off too, perhaps we should not push into every activity as “gay” people. In my experience LGBT people are welcome in most places as “people” just like any other. LGBT people also want our own spaces — social centres, clubs, bars — and we would not like them to be overrun by straight people, however gay-friendly they might be. Likewise cruises and vacations designed specifically for LGBT people.

    Leave ballroom dancing as it is. As a non dancer and someone who is not very interested in ballroom dancing, I imagine some of the pleasure lies in the colourful dresses. LGBT people can participate as a gay man with a lesbian dance partner, Bisexuals can participate even more easily. Why not take full advantage of the situation as it exists. Gay people have always done this, often with great success.

    LGBT ballroom dancers who want to compete as same gender couples should petition the Society to include a same gender category within the competition. The same gender couples could compete separately or as part of the general group, but be judged separately. If all the dancers and spectators begin to feel that an open competition works well, then that’s the way things will go. If not, same gender couples would continue as a separate category.

    There are so many examples at present of countries, groups and individuals behaving in anti-gay ways as part of a backlash against advances in gay rights, that we should be doing all we can to stem that tide. Religious groups want to overturn protections for LGBT fellow citizens.
    Many places do not have laws against discrimination in employment.
    Those are the arenas for action and activism.

    The right way forward, in my opinion, is to make workable compromises and not to antagonize. We want to keep our friends and make more friends.

  • Eugene

    “one man and one lady” – Not one man and one woman? Not only are they homophobic but they are clearly sexist as well.

  • gingerlycolors

    The Ballroom Dancing Council should drop any idea of banning same-sex couples from participating in competitions immediately. Can you imagine them banning mixed race couples? What an uproar that will cause!
    Remember the Sugar Dandies, the gay ballroom dancers who appeared on Britain’s Got Talent a couple of years ago? They were well received by the audience and made it to the semi-finals.

  • bermeir

    Why is this a gay vs straight issue, though? NOWHERE does it say that the same-sex couples have to be a certain sexuality. A straight woman could dance with a straight woman. Or a gay man with a straight woman.

    Sexuality doesn’t come into it.

    It’s about the notion that males have a higher strength/stamina than a woman. Whatever, though, actual sexuality doesn’t come into it.

    Feel the **** is being unreasonably stirred here.

  • Daniel

    Should they move to do this, they will in fact be in strict contravention of the Equality Act 2010. Why is it that gender and sexuality must still decide so many things?

    • bermeir

      Sexuality doesn’t enter into this at all-a gay man can dance with a lesbian. Conversely, two straight men can choose to dance together.

      It is not a sexuality issue at all. It IS a gender issue, of course, but it is simple common sense that men have more stamina and strength then women in ALL sports so why stir the pot and call it a lgbt issue when it has naff all to do with sexuality?

      • Daniel

        Sexuality may not enter into this, but gender certainly does. Gender is a protected characteristic under the Equality Act.
        To infer that one gender has more strength and stamina in sport than the other is a fairly sweeping statement that has no truth in it.
        It is a matter of equality. If two persons of the same gender wish to partake in the competition together, there is no lawful reason why that should be prohibited.
        Perhaps you should take a moment to re-read my original comment, as you seem to have some misapprehension as to what I said.

        • bermeir

          You mentioned sexuality deciding things, in this case, it does not.

          And men-gay or straight!- are generally stronger than women. That’s not homophobia more a statement of generally accepted fact.

          • Daniel

            Again re-read the final sentence of my original statement. It is rather clear as to meaning.
            Please quote your scientific and empirical evidence that men are “generally stronger than women”.

  • Psychologist

    Regardless of technical issues in each dance – this is at the heart of it, a discrimination issue, and no doubt brought about by homophobes disguised as “concerned dancers” ! To me, if they agree this ban, it would be in contravention of the equality laws act 2010.
    Whilst this “appears” to be about gender rather than about sexual orientation, I’m betting that there is homophobia behind this !

  • Dewi Sant

    I believe it should be banned – end of

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