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Dance is a national obsession. Millions of us tune in to watch it on TV, and internet dance sensations like Gangnam Style and the Harlem Shake get billions of hits.
The Nation’s Favourite Dance Moment counts down the twenty most iconic dance moments that have captured the hearts of the nation. From booty popping to hair flipping, Riverdance to Flashdance, Hammer Time to Timewarp, the dancers and choreographers who helped create the magic reveal what it takes for a dance move to enter the national consciousness.
A panel of dance experts including Dancing on Ice judges Ashley Roberts and Jason Gardiner, choreographers Arlene Phillips and Brian Friedman, Strictly Come Dancing judge Len Goodman and Diversity’s Ashley Banjo, compiled a definitive list of their favourite dance moments, for ITV viewers to vote on.
Choreographer Arlene Phillips said: “I think most of these dances live in people’s memories – who hasn’t tried to walk like John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever? I don’t think there’s anyone.”
Diversity’s Ashley Banjo said: “Without a shadow of a doubt, the moonwalk was the first thing in my top dance moments. Seriously, hands down that guy is never gonna be matched. He is unbelievable.“
From the elegance of Fred & Ginger to the memorable Strictly Come Dancing escapades of Ann Widdecombe, the timeless Bolero to the unforgettable Singin’ in the Rain, the countdown includes dance floor fillers and toe tapping tunes that have all stood the test of time.
The show hears from music and dance icons including Kylie Minogue, Olivia Newton-John, Torvill & Dean, M.C.Hammer, Fatboy Slim, Louis Smith, George Sampson and many more.
The Nation’s Favourite Dance Moment covers vogueing, tap dancing, ice-skating, ballroom dancing, Gangnam Styling and even some pelvic thrusting…
When the film adaption of The Rocky Horror Picture Show hit screens in 1975, everyone was doing the Time Warp in unison. Christopher Biggins and the cast of the current stage production explain how the infectious music, along with the dance floor instructions, makes for an irresistible combination.
Beyonce is renowned for her powerhouse performances and in 2008 she launched a dance sensation that had single ladies, married ladies, single men and just about everyone else strutting their stuff on dance floors everywhere. Beyonce’s backing dancers Ebony Williams and Ashley Everett reveal how much hard work went into creating what would become one of the most iconic music videos of the decade.
Whilst dance crazes like Saturday Night, Agadoo, the Macarena and the Birdy Song have been popular, the internet has made dance crazes even bigger, as South Korean pop star Psy discovered in 2012. The dance floor phenomenon, Gangnam Style, captured the imagination of people across the globe spawning hundreds of copycat videos on YouTube.
On Valentine’s Day 1984, 24 million viewers tuned into the Winter Olympics in Sarajevo. Here, Jayne Torvill explains the almost trance-like state she and dancing partner Christopher Dean found themselves in when performing Bolero. Christopher Dean reveals how much preparation had gone into the performance that would turn out to be the most important of their career.
The film that saw a generation swooning over its steamy dance routines, Dirty Dancing made dancing cool and inspired countless copycat dancers to attempt the famous ‘lift’. Olympic Gold Medallist and 2012 Strictly Come Dancing winner, Louis Smith, reveals just how challenging that lift really is at the end of a tiring dance routine, whilst paying tribute to the original movie and putting his own stamp onto it.
From start to finish, Grease offers a bumper crop of hit dance moves and routines that continue to get the nation’s toes tapping 35 years on. Olivia Newton-John tells of the chemistry she had with John Travolta that made their on screen partnership electrifying. The Nation’s Favourite Dance Moment uncovers how Travolta made every move sexy and how Grease Lightning spawned a dance floor move that’s gone down in history.
The dance legend that is Gene Kelly inspired everyone from Justin Timberlake to Michael Jackson. In 1952, Kelly starred in and choreographed what is arguably the best musical film of all time. The feeling of love encapsulated in a dance, Singin’ in the Rain took three days to shoot. The film’s director, Stanley Donen, tells how troublesome the shoot was but how delighted he is with how popular the scene remains to this day.
In 1983, a dance troupe spent three and a half hours in makeup to create a group of dancing zombies who became part of a unique video that frightened and enthralled audiences in equal measure and that continues to inspire new generations of dancers. Some of the dancers, choreographers, and the director behind Michael Jackson’s Thriller, John Landis, reveal how different the King of Pop was in front of and behind the camera.
In The Nation’s Favourite Dance Moment’s finale, a flash mob performs a countdown of the twenty dance routines in a busy railway station – a fitting tribute to the popularity of all of these iconic dance moments.