While dance has always been popular, it has risen to new heights in recent years. And one of the main reasons for that is the growth in the popularity of dance shows on TV. Strictly Come Dancing is the first name that everyone knows when it comes to dance shows, but it isn’t the only one and there are also a number of US shows now available on UK screens too.
Strictly Come Dancing
Strictly Come Dancing arrived on our screens in its current format in 2004 with its main show on a Saturday and results show on a Sunday. Since then, it has been named as the world's most successful reality TV format and has seen a string of related programs around the world 40 countries and counting.
The format of pairing celebrities from different backgrounds with professional dancers shows people that almost anyone could learn to dance – although there were always a few who never quite managed! A panel of judges score each dance out of 10 and the lowest ranked pair leave the competition each week, gradually reducing numbers until the final week where 2-3 couples go head to head.
Dancing with the Stars
Dancing with the Stars is the name often used for the worldwide versions of Strictly that are broadcast in many countries including the United States. The US version started in 2005 and uses a similar format to the UK show, pairing US celebrities with professional dancers. You can view this on some UK channels or streaming services.
The Greatest Dancer
This is one of the newest additions to the dance show range and aims to find the UK’s best dancers from a wide select of dance types including tap, ballet, jazz and more. Also created by the BBC, the show will include four weeks of auditions. The audience is in control of who progresses with 75% or more needed for them to progress. The live show starts at week five where dance captains pick three acts to work with. The eighth week is where the finalists perform, and the winner is named.
Dancing on Ice
Dancing on Ice features professional figure skaters and celebrity partners dancing on ice in front of a panel of judges. Starting in 2006 until 2014, the show has recently returned and an 11th series started in January. It has included famous figure skaters such as Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dan coaching the contestants.
Britain’s Got Talent
Britain’s Got Talent isn’t a dance show as such but there is often plenty for dance fans to see. The show allows people to audition with any talent and impress the panel of judges including Simon Cowell. If they manage to do this, they progress to the live show. Progress comes through a combination of the judge’s votes and also a public phone vote which takes place after everyone has performed. Top ranking acts then progress on to the next stage.
There is also a US version called America’s Got Talent and there are versions of the show in 58 countries around the world, all under the ‘Got Talent’ heading.