BBC - Strictly African Dancing

By Martin Offiah and Natasha Kaplinski | Sat 9 July 2005

Learning about African culture through dance

Strictly African Dancing, was a one-off special event celebrating the culture and history of Africa.

Strictly African Dancers

Six African British personalities were each paired with an African dance troupe for intensive training before performing a traditional African dance before a live audience in traditional costume. During the process of learning their moves the guest African Britons were given an opportunity to reconnect with their African heritage and culture.

Taking part was Tupele Dorgu, Tunde Baiyewu, Tessa Sanderson, Robbie Earle, Antonia Okonma and Louis Emerick.

Although the competition format of the show required the acts be judged and rated, this element of the programme was superfluous. The simple reason for the success of the format was the eradication of the artificial ‘black’ identity through a sadly short, but nonetheless interesting reconnection with Africa. The only elements that let the show down were the frankly sexist and incessant talk and focus on ‘booty’ during Tessa Sanderson’s section.

As with the successful BBC 2 series ‘Who do you think you are’ this made for a programme that was both entertaining and educational for all BBC audiences representing a rare case of great public value.

Winner: Robbie Earle

External Links
Strictly African Dancing Website
Strictly African Dancing - Bios

Ligali is not responsible for the content of third party sites

Speak Out!

Click here to speak out and share your perspective on this article.

Get involved and help change our world