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08/04/2008

Lance's reality -- are people ready to deal with it?

by Jeremy Hooper

200808040834Since rumors began that openly gay former boy bander Lance Bass might be hoofing it up on the next season of "Dancing With The Stars," tongues have been simultaneously wagging about the possibility of Lance dancing with a same-sex partner. However, one person who doesn't seem to think we'll be seeing a male-male dance off in the near future is is "DTWS" dancer Cheryl Burke, who is quoted by E! Online as having said at a recent party:

"I don't think that would happen," ..."I don't think America is ready to watch two men dancing."

A shortsighted assessment to which we reply:

"::sigh:: Why must this nation's gay acceptance always be talked about as it its a skydiver waiting to take the plunge or a bread oven slowly eeking its way towards the right temperature? I mean, really -- what does it even mean that America's not ready to watch two men dancing? Two men already do dance together, sometimes even in the presence of heterosexual couples. So what does the implication that Americans must wait a little longer really mean -- that we must temper reality until some folks are able to deal with it? No, that's not how this whole human actuality thing works!"

Though it should be noted that Burke is not an official spokesperson for the show, these are comments she expressed in an unofficial capacity, and that Lance is not even confirmed for the show at this time. So it remains to be seen if the LanceBassda will replace the Lambada as the 21st century's "forbidden dance." Stay tuned.

Cheryl Burke: No Same-Sex Dancing for Lance Bass [E! Online via Yahoo!]

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Your thoughts

If someone's not ready for a commitment, it usually means there are things they want to do first that would interfere with a commitment. If someone's not ready for dessert is because they're waiting for current food to digest some more.

So my question is, "what needs to happen first?". I mean, what are we waiting on? Do two men need to kiss on TV first? Cause that's happened. Do they need to dance together, but not as a couple, because that's been happening since the days of Fred Astaire. Seems to me that "America is not ready for that" is the nice way of saying "F*CK NO!"

Posted by: Jason D | Aug 4, 2008 9:45:19 AM

What I find interesting about this controversy -- which at this point seems to be based on little more than speculation anyway -- is that both sides seem to be assuming that the choice of Lance's dance partner for the show might be determined based on his sexual orientation. I'm not convinced of that at all.

Picking your dance partner based on your sexual orientation and their sex makes sense if you're going on a date that will involve dancing. It's not as big a deciding factor when you're picking a dance partner for a dance performance. Under those circumstances, there are much bigger concerns, such as whether the two of you work well together, have the necessary chemistry, and possibly (especially in the case where dance routines to be performed will involve lifts) differences in size and weight. Such considerations could very possibly cause Lance (or whoever chooses the pairings for DWTS) to still choose a female partner.

Or Lance may end up dancing with a guy. Either way, I hope the decision is made based primarily on what will make for some awesome dancing.

Posted by: Jarred | Aug 4, 2008 11:08:43 AM

No, I don't at all think Lance (if he were to even do the show) absolutely MUST have a male partner, as per his orientation. The only issue that would arise for me (who has never even seen an episode of this show) is if he (or anyone) was told he COULDN'T have a same-sex partner.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Aug 4, 2008 11:16:04 AM

Dancing with the Stars is both produced and broadcast by ABC.

Regardless of what America wants, I am sure ABC is aware that having a same-sex couple would easily overshadow everything else on the show, at least until they get voted off (Probably within the first or second episodes, because anti-gays couldn't resist voting). So the question then becomes, would ABC want that? Would they willingly create what they know to be a contriversy in order to win ratings and publicity? Or would they refuse to taint their show with such a sensation and unleash the ineffectual but annoying wrath of a FotF boycott and harassment campaign?

Anyway, it's ABC that has the veto power here - if they don't want to deal with the attention a same-sex couple would create, they would just demand he pick an opposite-sex partner.

Posted by: Suricou Raven | Aug 4, 2008 3:08:05 PM

There were gay men on "So You Think You Can Dance," and all were paired with women or did solos. When they started switching partners, some of the women (probably all straight, AFAIK) acted shocked when their male partners actually looked at their cleavage or seemed to enjoy close contact.

Last season "Dancing With the Stars" had--*jokingly*--a two-male tango with Steve Guttenburg and the male pro dancer he practiced with because his female partner was hurt. My wife (who loves all these dancing shows) and I were disgusted by how they milked the "mango" for laughs and how Guttenburg was expected to be really uncomfortable. (He was, too.) Of course, his "Police Academy" movies also had really homophobic scenes of his character's bumbling nemesis ending up in a gay club and doing a tango with some muscle-man in skimpy clothes.

Whoever Cheryl Burke ends up with, I'm going to make it my business to vote against her.

Posted by: GreenEyedLilo | Aug 4, 2008 6:08:42 PM

I am gay and i dont think Lance should be dancing with a man.Thats not what ballroom is about.Its between a man and a woman.You see tons of gay guys in the real world of ballroom and you wouldnt see any guy dancing with another guy.Why does it have to be so hard for DWTS to decide who he is suppose to dance with?And i also agree with Cheryl,i dont think America is ready to see it yet.Specially ballroom dance,its a very intimate and sensual sports.Not only the liftings but the intimacy,the touching parts etcs.are still unacceptable.Abc is going to make a mistake if they do that,even if im gay i dont support the idea at all!SYTYCD is a different story,not that much close contacts so its ok.

Posted by: TATA | Aug 4, 2008 8:00:06 PM

TATA, please do a Google search on "same-sex ballroom dancing." You can, in fact, see men dancing with men in real life, and women dancing with women, too.

Posted by: GreenEyedLilo | Aug 4, 2008 8:54:59 PM

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