“Two women or two men – indeed anyone regardless of their gender identity – can dance together, in any style”

BY SOPHIE GRIFFITHS

In the fifteen years that Strictly Come Dancing has aired on the BBC, they have never included a same-sex couple…

This year, National Student Pride are calling on the BBC to include same-sex couples in its 17th season.

As Claudia Winkleman replaced the late Bruce Forsyth to join Tess Daly last year – making history as the first all female presenting duo on British TV – it’s time that Strictly continue to push forward and progress by including same-sex dance partners.

On 23 February 2019 at the University of Westminster, Student Pride will prove that same-sex couple ballroom dancing is possible with their parody of the popular BBC show, “Strictly Come Voguing”, in front of the biggest gathering of LGBTQI students in the UK.

Guests such as Ian McKellen, Evan Davis and Reece King are all set to attend the event which will also focus on commemorating the 50th anniversary since the Stonewall Riots. 

All students are welcome to apply to compete in the competition which will feature a professional vogue dancing crew, The House of Revlon. The show will also mix a “drag runway competition”, with a voguing final.

Kenni, a member of the dance crew, will go through the “five elements of voguing” and the LGBTQI history behind the expressive dance form.

Hopefully, the event will be a way of not only celebrating this huge anniversary for the LGBTQI community, but a way of starting a conversation that aims to break down barriers within it.

Voguing is the chosen form of dance due to the ballroom scene’s inherently queer history, stretching back long before Madonna showcased the dance style in her hit song, Vogue. 

Voguing, a highly stylized modern dance, was born from the ballroom in the late 1970s when the POC community felt segregated from the LGBT community.

It was through voguing in the ballroom that a safe space was created where the POC community could express their queer identity.

Voguing acted as a form of self-expression in which both fantasy and reality could be lived out in terms of gender and sexual identity.

Co-chair of the group Georgina Trott adds: “Its crazy such a great show doesn’t have same-sex couples competing.

“We can’t wait to show the world that two women, or two men – indeed anyone regardless of their gender identity – can dance, in any dance style.”

“National Student Pride is a safe space where so many queer young people attend their first pride.

“We hope, as so many do every year, LGBT+ students will walk away inspired to be their true identity.”

Weekend wristbands with after-party entry to G-A-Y Heaven are £5 and available online here. Image BBC Strictly Come Dancing Facebook.

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