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Strictly Come Dancing Makes TV History With 'Joyous' Same-Sex Dance

Strictly Come Dancing

Strictly Come Dancing has made TV history.

The British version of Dancing With the Stars aired its first individual same-sex dance Sunday during its results show.

In the groundbreaking number, Emeli Sande sang "Shine" as Johannes Radebe and Graziano Di Prima — two professional male dancers — twirled together on the floor.

"I've never felt so liberated. For the first time in my life, I feel accepted for who I am. That says so much about the people of this country," Radebe, who identifies as gay, told Hello! magazine after the performance. The dancer left the competition last weekend after his celebrity partner, Catherine Tyldesley, was eliminated.

"To be able to dance with a friend I respect and adore is joyous," he added to the British tabloid. "There's bromance galore between us, but there were no male and female roles, just free movement. It was beautiful, classy and elegant."

The pair also took to social media to remark on the momentous dance. "Love knows no boundaries," Radebe wrote on Instagram along with emojis of a rainbow and a same-sex couple. 

"Amazing dance, boys! On behalf of young queer kids (and adults) everywhere- Thank you!" raved Courtney Act — a RuPaul's Drag Race star who also made DWTS history this year after dancing in the franchise's first same-sex pairing in Australia — in the comments of Radebe's post.

"REPRESENTATION always matters!" tweeted Di Prima, who called the number an "unforgettable moment." Di Prima is currently in a different-sex relationship; he proposed to his girlfriend Giada Lini during a live performance in May.

While a few viewers expressed disapproval at the sight of two men dancing together, the comments on social media overwhelmingly filled with love for the history-making routine. "The sheer joy just radiated off them both. So great to see," wrote @Branstonmum.

"This was beautiful. I cried," added @CassieGunnis. "My husband commented that he hadn't noticed it was 2 men dancing together until I pointed it out as it was such a natural performance to watch."

Strictly Come Dancing has yet to introduce a same-sex dancing pair. However, a spinoff on ITV, Dancing on Ice, will feature one next year: singer Ian Watkins and skater Matt Evers.

Tags: television, Dance

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