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TV Review: Flirty Dancing

Strictly dance:
Hannah and
James did a
duet in Bristol
before they
could begin
talking with
each other


Flirty Dancing

C4, ★★★★✩

THAT dodgy pun in the title doesn’t inspire confidence, does it? Even with Diversity dance supremo Ashley Banjo at the helm, the latest spin on the ever-growing number of TV dating shows looked to have ‘tacky’ and ‘cringe’ practically hickeyed on its neck.

So blow me down if it didn’t turn out to be touchingly sweet and romantic, a throwback to old-school courtship. The simple ideas are often the best and Flirty Dancing — we really need to tango that title — is based on a beauty.

First moves: Ashley teaches routine

With Banjo as their dance teacher (and seemingly relationship counsellor as well), two singletons learn a routine to be danced with a mystery partner, eventually turning up at a carefully chosen location to dance with their date. The key rule? No talking, just dancing. It could have been a recipe for disaster. But the resulting dance dates were clearly an electric rush of, if not passion, at least amorous adrenaline.

With dance distracting from nerves, first impressions were based purely on making a choreographic connection and the need to trust a total stranger.

Banjo’s belief that dance connects us in ways that words simply can’t paid off handsomely. It helped that the opening two pairs featured in episode one were clearly blessed with their fair share of innate dance ability. James and Hannah’s duet on the roof of a Bristol observatory had moments worthy of Strictly.

But a sneak peek to future episodes reveals the formula works even if the daters are more from the two-left-feet tribe. When you let dance do the talking, this marriage of Blind Date and flashmob hits the sweet spot.