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BBC to explore the world of competitive ballroom dancing in Blackpool

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BBC One is heading to Blackpool to explore the world of competitive ballroom dancing in a new one-off special.

For the first time ever, the world of ballroom has agreed to swing its doors open for the Blackpool Dance Festival for Blackpool’s Ballroom Battle which will air on BBC One and iPlayer later this year.

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The BBC share: “This year, thousands of dancers from more than 40 countries will descend – in sequined glory – on the seaside town for the legendary Dance Festival. As our cameras zoom in on some of the competitors, viewers will witness the real-life tears, tribulations and triumphs, the glitz and the glamour of this truly global, high-octane event, where the passion could not be greater, nor the stakes higher.

“For almost 100 years, this has been one of Britain’s best kept secrets, as dancers have followed their dreams to Blackpool and placed their hopes and ambitions in winning the coveted title of the British Open Champion. Now audiences will be able to quickstep into their extraordinary world and glimpse first-hand exactly what it takes to become the very best.

“Along the way viewers will meet some of the larger-than-life personalities, influential players, trainers and coaches of ballroom to reveal the inside story of life behind the scenes within this unique and little-known culture of competitive ballroom.

“Featuring Blackpool in all its glory, Blackpool’s Ballroom Battle is a tribute to a world where dreams are made and broken every year in the dazzling Empress Ballroom of Blackpool, and where what happens on the dancefloor, doesn’t always stay on the dancefloor.”

The special is being consecutively produced by Stacey Dooley and her production company Little Dooley.

The former Strictly Come Dancing star and TV presenter said: “The minute I was introduced to the extraordinary world of ballroom, and Latin I was hooked! The culture, the passion, the dedication, the anecdotes, the sequins…!

“We are hoping to deliver an insightful, thrilling look into an iconic scene that has until now, felt relatively undiscovered. And I really can’t wait!”

Kate Phillips, BBC’s Director of Unscripted, added: “I am so excited to bring Blackpool’s Ballroom Battle to BBC audiences, Little Dooley have done a fantastic job in getting access to the Blackpool Dance Festival which has long been a hidden and mysterious world to those not in the dancing community.

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“In the programme we will get to witness some absolutely thrilling ballroom dancing, and go behind the scenes to see the stamina, hard work and dedication that it takes in order for these spectacular dancers to get to the top.”

Broadcast details will be confirmed in due course.

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