The Nostalgic Reason People Instantly Fell In Love With ‘Flirty Dancing’

FOX TV has combined reality dating with competitive dancing to create a new show, Flirty DancingHosted by Jenna Dewan, the television premiere aired on December 29, 2019, to lukewarm reviews from critics.

The concept is simple, albeit a little unbelievable. Viewers, on the other hand, instantly fell in love with this new reality show for nostalgic reasons.

Who is Jenna Dewan?

Contestants Erin and Brandon on Flirty Dancing
Contestants Erin and Brandon on Flirty Dancing | FOX via Getty Images

Dewan, 39, is best known for her dancing role in the 2006 movie Step Up, where she met her former husband Channing Tatum. The two have since divorced and share a 6-year old daughter.

Dewan started her career as a back-up dancer for Janet Jackson and went on to work with pop sensations such as Pink and Christina Aguilera. Dewan is currently pregnant, expecting her second child with boyfriend Steve Kazee.

The busy mom is familiar with television reality shows, as she was the previous host of World of Dancewhere competitors danced for a $1 million grand prize.

This is not a remake of ‘Dirty Dancing’

The catchy title, Flirty Dancing, immediately brings to mind Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey dancing the night away in Dirty Dancing. But this is not the Catskills, and nobody is putting baby in the corner.

The premise of this new show is for dancers to create chemistry, without even knowing each other, or talking beforehand. Three individuals perfect a dance taught by well-known choreographers. The main contestant performs with the first dancer, as viewers wait to see if sparks fly.

The dance is then repeated with the second contestant. When the music ends, the main dancer must decide which partner they want to date. It’s kind of like ballroom speed dating.

The choreographers are no strangers to the dance floor

The popular reality show utilizes scenic Los Angeles locations and world-famous choreographers to create spectacular blind dates. The contestants are “regular” people from all walks of life, and not models looking to appear on television. Most have limited dance experience but share the desire to find a fulfilling relationship.

The choreographers, Tyce Diorio and Travis Wall, both worked as choreographers on So You Think You Can Dance. They are tasked with turning average people into overnight dance sensations.

This is not simple for any dance professional, but somehow they find a way to make it look easy. Dancing With The Stars mirror ball trophy winners, Val Chmerkovskiy and Sharna Burgess, will also join the team as dance instructors.

Critics of the show are quick to point out the absence of sweat on the dancers. They also question how everyday people can perform at such a high caliber in such a short time. Fox has refused to say if multiple takes are used to create these seamless performances.

Cyreeta Sharp, a contestant on the reality show, says she “can’t go into detail” about how Hollywood magic turns her fancy footwork into a “swoon-worthy dance sequence.”

Reliving the nostalgia of viral engagement videos

The vulnerability of this show is reminiscent of the nostalgic engagement videos from a few years ago. Couples would celebrate their union, by dancing in public, as family and friends stood by cheering them on. As the dancing duo performed a routine in unison, the crowd patiently waited for the big moment.

The final move was for the male partner to get down on bended knee and propose to the love of his life. The female partner was usually surprised, which made for great romantic fun.

Several of these types of videos went viral on social media because viewers loved watching romance play out on the dance floor.

Producers talk about the concept of the show

Executive producer, Jilly Pearce, recently told the Los Angeles Times that the show intends to bring romance back to dating. She looked at courtships from years past and remembered how love was found “on the dance floor, not an app.”

Showrunner Mike Yurchuk, explained how this show is unique in that participants get the chance to see if there is chemistry between them before they even say a word to each other. There is no scouring dating profiles to find the perfect match. He says, “Flirty Dancing offers a truly blind date.”