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‘Dance is love, that’s it’ – Strictly’s Graziano Di Prima shuts down same-sex dance complaints

The Strictly Come Dancing pro dances hits back at the haters in Attitude's February Travel issue.

By Will Stroude

Words: Tim Heap

After much rumbling and rumouring, 2019’s Strictly Come Dancing will remembered as the series which saw the show’s first full-length same-sex dance routine between professional dancers Graziano Di Prima and Johannes Radebe.

The pair took to the floor to perform a short routine during Emeli Sandé’s performance on 2 November, and was watched and enjoyed by millions — none more so than the dancers themselves.

“At the end of the day, you don’t need to have a female and a male to dance; as long as you love dancing,” says Graziano as he appears on the cover of Attitude’s February Travel issue, out now to download and to order globally


Graziano Di Prima, shot by Joseph Sinclair exclusively for Attitude’s February Travel issue, out now

“Dance is love, that’s it,” he adds.

In the days following Graziano and Johannes’ performance, around 200 people complained to the BBC, shedding light on the depth of homophobia in 2020 Britaining as it claimed it was “offensive to feature two men dancing as a pair”.

But 25-year-old Graziano, who joined Strictly in 2018, tells Attitude that he is keen to focus on the vast majority of viewers who showed their support for the Beeb’s inclusive display. 

“We weren’t worried about it,” he says defiantly.

Graziano Di Prima, shot by Joseph Sinclair exclusively for Attitude’s February Travel issue, out now

“OK, there were 200 complaints, but there were millions of people writing to us, sending us videos saying thank you and celebrating our friendship. And for [Johannes], as a gay man, it means the world.”

Hitting back at those who complained, the Italian dancer continues: “Why should I care about 200 people? Are you kidding me? Those 200 people, you will see that in the future they will change their minds.

“It is such a silly thing because dancing is for everyone.”

While Graziano isn’t sure that his and Johannes’ performance necessarily means Strictly will introduce its first official same-sex celebrity pairing this year (unlike ITV’s Dancing on Ice, which sees Ian ‘H’ Watkins and Matt Evers perform together for the first time this weekend), he says that there’s no real reason why it would be detrimental to the quality of dance possible.

“All people are different. I don’t think it’s a problem. Of course, it’s up to us professional dancers to find a way to show the best side of the contestant we’re paired with.

“I think that people would love to see people of the same sex dancing together. It happens already in Australia and Italy. Courtney [Act] came second.

“As long as you are at peace with yourself and you love what you do, what is wrong with it? We are in 2020.”

Read the full interview with Graziano Di Prima in Attitude’s February Travel issue, out now.

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