Calling all hopeless romantics! Ever dreamed of a meet-cute where soulmates connect without saying a word? Welcome to Fox’s Flirty￼￼￼￼￼ Dancing, which teaches strangers choreography to perform with a partner — before meeting that person. The two then come together to do the routine and decide if they’re a match, solely based on their dancing.
“These people are truly looking for love,” choreographer and Dancing With the Stars vet Sharna Burgess says in the latest issue of Us Weekly, on newsstands now. “This was a beautiful experience of taking these people that are truly looking for love and understanding what their dating life has been, what they’re looking for and what hasn’t worked for them, and trying to put that into a dance.”
The 34-year-old pro dancer￼￼￼￼￼ is used to choreographing for people new to dance. But Flirty Dancing is an entirely new challenge. On the unscripted series, hosted by Jenna Dewan, contestants will dance with two partners before choosing whom to ask on a second date. The performances take place in “the most gorgeous locations,” says Burgess, upping the romance factor.
Though that may sound intimidating, Burgess believes that connecting through dance is actually a more natural way to date.
“[Usually] you have to figure out what to say and how to say it — do you talk about whether you’re divorced? Do you talk about your history? — and worrying about that conversation, which can be intimidating,” she notes. “Simply being in someone’s presence, taking in their energy and seeing that chemistry through dance, it’s such a special thing.”
The proof is in the contestants, who appreciate not having to make small talk. “People’s real [side] comes out in these dances because they’re not worried about anything but connecting with this other human,” says Burgess. Plus, it requires immediate trust: “Traditionally, you practice lifts and tricks a lot with your partner before you perform. Here, dance is the vessel for them to get to know each other. If they mess up, how do they get through that together? It kind of imitates life.”
Although Burgess was “blown away” by the results of the show, it’s safe to say some viewers will be skeptical. Her response? “Chemistry is chemistry. Sometimes you can’t pick where it lands.” In fact, she’s interested in trying it out!
“Watching, I thought, maybe I’m doing the whole dating thing wrong,” she shares with Us. “It certainly made me even want to get out there and see if I could have chemistry with a person like that.”
Flirty Dancing premieres on Fox Wednesday, January 1, at 8 p.m. ET.
With reporting by Travis Cronin
For access to all our exclusive celebrity videos and interviews – Subscribe on YouTube!