If you were planning on putting your money on former professional boxer Nicola Adams using the Strictly Come Dancing betting pages, then you may want to rethink your decisions, as the star and her dance partner, Katya Jones, have been removed from this year’s show, due to a positive coronavirus test from the latter. BBC Bosses confirmed that Jones has tested positive for the virus, despite presenting with no symptoms. The pair have since been instructed to go into immediate isolation, separately, missing the rest of the series as a result.
Although Nicola Adams will remain obsolete in the betting odds, there still seems to be a chance that she’ll get to take to the Strictly floor once again. Reportedly, the iconic pairing will be brought back for the show’s final, in an attempt to sooth the burn left by their early departure.
But, why are people so upset about Adams and Jones’ dancing partnership being cut off so early? Well, for many, seeing two females dancing together on a prime-time television show is the kind of inspiring, social progression that our society has so greatly needed. With that in mind, let’s delve a little deeper into the timeline of reactions this controversial move has brought with it, from the British public.
In an article published on the 27th of September 2020, almost a month before the show was even due to air, it was noted that complaints had already started to pour in, after the news that a same-sex pairing was due to hit license-payers’ screens.
Strictly Come Dancing have teased their openness to featuring a same-sex dance duo in 2019’s competition, when they showcased two of their male professionals dancing together as Emile Sande performed, as that week’s musical guest. Strictly fans seemed to react positively to the performance, with one of the judges, Shirley Ballas, going as far as saying that the dance was “the most magnificent thing I have [ever] witnessed”.
Following this performance, the BBC stated that they were “proud to have featured same sex dancing” as well as voicing that they were “completely open to the prospect of including same sex pairings” in future shows.
Well, when Nicola Adams got the call to say that she’d been offered a place in the Strictly Come Dancing ballroom, she chose to test that statement. Prior to the series’ launch, the TV giants went on to announce:
“Nicola Adams requested an all-female pairing, which we are happy to facilitate. The show is first and foremost about dance, the sex of each partner within a coupling should have no bearing on their routine”
Adams is no stranger to breaking records, as well as making history in a whole host of ways. Many years ago, at the 2012 Olympic Games, Nicola Adams become the first openly LGBT+ person to win a gold medal in boxing. And, with her same-sex performances on Strictly, she has set yet another record for the gay community.
Speaking on her latest record, she said:
“I think it’s really important – it’s a big step for the show. It’s nice to see that we’re able to move on”.
Although there are many who don’t agree with having two females dancing together on our television screens, you cannot deny that having just that, is a great sign of progression, and a step towards a more equal and fair society.