Shall We Dance?

Strictly Come Dancing began as a reality competition in Britain in 2004.  Since then it has branched out to 35 countries on all continents, generally known as Dancing with the Stars.

Australia was the first country to create a local version, followed by countries as diverse as Albania, China, India, Russia, and South Africa.  The most recent country to join in is Vietnam.

This contest became the world’s most popular television program among all genres in 2006 and 2007, according to the magazine Television Business International,  reaching the Top 10 in 17 countries, and was named as the world’s most successful reality TV format by the Guinness Book of World Records 2010.

Israel’s sixth season of the show – called Rokdim Im Kochavim –  will begin on November 1st and will end in January.  And for the first time in any of the shows worldwide, it will be featuring a same-sex couple.  TV presenter and sports journalist Gili Shem Tov, who has a female partner in real life, said dancing with another woman feels more “natural” for her.  She will be partnered with professional dancer Dorit Milman. They will share on who will lead the dances.

Gili made a statement about her decision:

“I have realized that dance is about co-ordination and energy between two people, whether female or male. The challenge to dance with a woman in a public contest interested me because it’s unique and has never been done before. Because I share my life with a woman and have a family with her, to me this is the most natural thing to do.”

Producer of Dancing with the Stars in Israel, Asaf Gil, said: “I’m extremely proud to have a same sex couple in our new season of Dancing with the Stars. Although this was initiated by the celebrity itself; I hope many other territories will follow.”

The headlines have reached around the globe.  I’m proud that it’s happening in Israel.  And I’m also waiting for the day when this just isn’t “news”.

Oh, and as if there wasn’t enough buzz, former “Baywatch” star Pamela Anderson is scheduled to appear in the Israeli show this season as well.  She will be commenting and performing, but as a guest, not in the actual competition.

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