Photo credit: Michael Becker / FOX.
Flirty Dancing roared onto the reality TV scene on one of the last days of 2019. The dance-dating show was coming off of a strong lead-in, thanks to FOX's NFL show, The OT, and the curiosity factor of how a dance date would work.
On the first day of 2020, Flirty Dancing nestled into its regular time slot on Wednesdays with its second episode and lower ratings. The New Year's Day holiday and the fact that there were two episodes in one week might have thrown the viewing audience off.
The show has a lot of heart and that is what made the series a huge success in the U.K., where it is in its second season. The U.S. version did switch up the format by making Flirty Dancing a competition. This may be the one element that doesn't necessarily work with the show.
Host Jenna Dewan sets up a person looking for love with two dancing dates. Each potential love interest represents something different personality-wise and the style of dances changes — from upbeat to romantic.
They are then paired up with a top-level choreographer to help play matchmaker. So far, audiences have seen Travis Wall, Tyce Diorio and Kathryn Burns. In the third episode, Dancing with the Stars veterans, Val Chmerkovskiy and Sharna Burgess are up on deck.
Viewers get to see the struggle of learning choreography and the fact that movement doesn't always come easy to people. And even if they pick up the number quickly, the thought of pouring emotion into a dance with a stranger can be a bit awkward.
The magic happens when the couple sees each other for the first time and their dance gets the cinematic La La Land treatment at epic Los Angeles locations like the Hollywood Bowl or the Santa Monica Pier. Based on the first two episodes, the romantic dance has won 75% of the time. The slower dances force the intimate moments more, so the dopamine reaction is palpable. The contestant with the upbeat song almost doesn't stand a chance.
While both dances give the viewers a real thrill of dance and connection without words, the show does end on a downbeat since one of the contestants won't get to meet the person they danced with. The competition takes that away from them if they don't get chosen.
In Season 1, Flirty Dancing has promised a show featuring body positivity, interracial dating and a wide variety of ages, but the one thing they won't be touching on is same-sex partnerships. The U.K. version has been very successful in this arena with a clip even going viral late last year.
Executive producer Mike Yurchuk told The New York Times that the “limited run” of Flirty Dancing did not allow time for it in Season 1. It's hard to believe that reason when there are six episodes in total, but Yurchuk promised it was a priority if the show gets a second season.
While apps and technology of swiping left and right might be less time-consuming in a busy world, taking dating back to the dance floor, where many prior generations met their mates, might be the purest way. If the Flirty Dancing leads to a marriage or two, it might also prove that love on the dance floor is the connection we all need in our lives.
Don't miss Dance Network's 'To The Pointe' interview with 'Flirty Dancing' choreographer, Tyce Diorio: