British Dance Council Considering Same-Sex Partner Competition Ban

On July 21st, the British Dance Council will consider a proposal that would define a dance partnership as between “one man and one lady.”


The British Dance Council (BDC) will on Monday consider a proposal that would define a dance partnership as between “one man and one lady,” reports The Guardian.

The proposal is based on an argument that a two-man partnership has an unfair advantage over a mixed-sex pairing due to additional strength and stamina.

If the proposal is passed, John Church and his partner Alex Lewall will be banned from defending their UK Closed Championship, over-35 pre-championship title at the next championships later this month. The pair, who are both gay but not in a relationship, have been dancing together for four years.

Speaking to The Guardian, Church said:  

"It's a totally regressive step and as far as we are concerned it would be the end of our dancing careers. We don't want to be trailblazers, we aren't asking for special treatment, we just want to dance and to be judged solely on our dancing – not what sex we are."

If voted in, the new rule will state:

"This council recognises a partnership to be one man and one lady in all adult amateur and professional competitions and championships unless otherwise stated."

According to BDC president Bryan Allen, the change in the rules will not result in a ban on same-sex couples but mean there would be a category which was only open to mixed couples.

However, in dismissing the proposed rule change, Church said “dancing isn't about power, it's about technique, positioning, poise, presentation – physical strength doesn't come into it.”

A petition against the rule change, currently with almost 2,000 signatures, is available at

Back in 2009, there was some controvery when a same-sex couple auditioned for So You Think You Can Dance.


  1. woodroad34 says

    Well, that’s a new (and flawed)one. The previous excuse was that the dynamics and body movements (based on the human structure) were different with a man/woman pairing than with a same sex pairing (the man is usually the stalwart stiff one and the woman more flexible thereby offsetting each other). I’ve often pointed to the two brothers of Los Hermanos Macana as being an excellent example of two men dancing…Their ease, fluidity and mental approach/humor is wonderful (‘ve actually never seen two women dance together in ballroom). I think there’s the all-important “ice” factor when dancing something like the waltz, which requires a sense of romance between the two dancers, that’s actually turning straights off and ruining their idea of what romance really is (i.e., they’re the only ones who actually feel romance).

  2. woodroad34 says

    Oh, and btw, given the amount of gays in ballroom (or ballet, or whatever other dance style) who can actually pass the romantic fantasy of a waltz with a woman, that’s another falsehood. (geez! how many times does one have to remind people of any romantic movie with Rock Hudson, Tab Hunter, or dance partnership with Rudolph Nureyev/Margot Fonteyne, or Erik Bruhn and his partners (Erik was a lover of Nureyev) and then have to watch people totally amazed that the male lead was gay and not straight.)

  3. JackFknTwist says

    Dear Brian Browne, (and all other A-holes,)

    What does Jesus say about this ?
    A dancer.

  4. Randy says

    One of my few jealousies as an atheist is that I can’t look forward to these people roasting in Hell for their incessant bigotries.

    Sex-segregated sport needs to come to an end. The best competitors should win, regardless of their genes or genitals.

  5. StrongerMale says

    If this passes, I will lose a lot of respect for Brits. This is a step backward; not as bad as India, or Russia, but it sends a message to the world.

    If this passes, women should be barred from jobs that require “strength and stamina”, as this change would be an admission that they have SO MUCH LESS that they couldn’t compete with men.

    F*** the British Dance Council. We know this ban is as good as passed.

  6. Richard says

    Gay couples should be allowed to participate and look as ridiculous as straight couples in ballroom dance competitions.

  7. petey says

    Actually, I think the committee has a point. Two men dancing ballroom-style is a completely different dynamic with a particular advantage in competition. Ballroom was invented for a man and woman. Let it be.

  8. Tyler says

    “Styler” you’d know all about that. You and Petey are the same troll (Rick). He’s so closeted he can’t even own his own (stupid, homophobic, sexist) opinions. Rick is quite the pathetic, messed up person. Probably mentally ill. Definitely a coward.

  9. St.Eve says

    when 2 people dance together there’s a intimate relationship created, I think they’re afraid the audience will tune into it, see us a humans capable of a connect loving bond.