Research Output
LGBT+ mainstreaming on strictly come dancing: Queering the norms of ballroom dancing
  This paper proposes that LGBT+ mainstreaming on reality television programme Strictly Come Dancing creates space for audience demand for radical, authentic representations of same-sex desire and intimacy, both of which challenges normative representations of ballroom dancing. Integrating concepts of normativity and authenticity explored in existing scholarship, I argue against the encountering through a defensive stance, of reality TV’s normalization of queer narratives to promote authentic, inclusive representation. Focusing on dance-themed British reality TV programme for family entertainment, I draw on a queer reading of 285 newspaper articles on Strictly Come Dancing’s same-sex dance partnerships and 35 interviews with LGBT+ equality dancers in the United Kingdom, to conclude that active engagement with mechanisms of normalization can open up spaces for a reclamation of queer representation in its authenticity. The article makes a contribution to media and cultural studies and queer television scholarship through a troubling of anti-normativity, proposing a working with normativity to achieve queer inclusivity.

  • Type:


  • Date:

    24 December 2023

  • Publication Status:

    In Press

  • Publisher

    SAGE Publications

  • DOI:


  • ISSN:


  • Funders:

    Economic and Social Research Council


Wong, Y. N. (in press). LGBT+ mainstreaming on strictly come dancing: Queering the norms of ballroom dancing. Media, Culture and Society,



anti-normativity, authenticity, ballroom dance, LGBT+, reality TV, same-sex strictly come dancing, sexuality, queer intimacy, equality dancing

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