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Gay Times Chat With AJ Pritchard

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Strictly Come Dancing’s golden boy AJ Pritchard made television history last year when he was the focus of the BBC One show’s first ever same-sex routine. The 24-year-old speaks on the public reaction to moment, how he plans to incorporate more same-sex pairings in his own headline tour, and why he prefers not to label himself when it comes to his identity.
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AJ Pritchard on the reaction to his same-sex routine with Gorka Marquez on Strictly:

“I think coming from that routine, the audience reaction was definitely one hundred percent positive and I think that shows, not how far everyone has come, but rather how open minded people are. It was great – why wouldn’t it be great? Why would people even think that it wouldn’t be good in the first place? I think that was the greatest response for me. Positive energy.”

“There was not even one negative thought from the pros, from the audience, from everybody that was in production. And I think that is what is really so good about a platform that is so powerful, that is Strictly, to have 12 million viewers every Saturday – which is unbelievable and it seems to be growing and growing from year to year – and to be using the platform in such a positive way.”

“I don’t think we could have anticipated the reaction that it got on the show because it was overwhelming. I think for the professionals as well, speaking on our terms it was one of the most powerful numbers. The music was so strong, and the fact that you have the males dancing together and the females dancing together, it was really one of those dances where you could express yourself even more. And then we didn’t really think about the response that we would get on the social side, because you don’t ever really think about that – especially initially. But the response was overwhelming to see that it kind of made such an impact to so many people for so many different reasons.”

“I know that everyone always asks when do you think it will happen, the same-sex couple on Strictly? And to be honest I don’t know when it will happen. I think when it does happen, it will happen for the right reason and I think it will be represented great because Strictly always do that through the BBC. I think that it will be embraced, that is for sure.”


AJ Pritchard on his decision to include same-sex pairings in his debut headline tour:

“I think within myself I feel I get more of a younger audience and that is what Strictly portray me as on the show, which is great to know that they bestowed that – not pressure – but that kinda, ‘You’re representing that younger generation.’ It keeps me on my toes and means I always have to stay ahead of the times.”

“I think for me, whether it be male dancers or female dancers, whatever it is, the empowerment, and movement to music is so much more powerful – especially when you see two guys dancing together, that strength that can be created. That can’t always be created when it is a male and female dance through the traditional styles of a waltz – it can be very calming. Whereas when you want to portray a stronger story having two guys together hitting it to the music, for me, it is one of the strongest things that you can see.”

AJ Pritchard on not wanting to label himself:

“For me, it has always been about being happy in that time. You never know how times will change in where you are in your life. But it is always about being happy and being true to yourself. Like always following your heart – obviously listen to your brain – but really just at that time in your life.”

“I think that it is mad that everything always has to have a label – whether it be the clothes by designers, or whether you are in a relationship or not. Everybody always wants to have that label when it is not always necessary.”

“It doesn’t need to be a thing. What’s wrong with talking about it as something simple? I think in the past it has always been like, ‘We’re going to talk about this now.’ Well just talk about it normally – you don’t need to make it about ‘a this’ or ‘a that’.”

“At that time of your life, whatever you are, or wherever you are, things always change and you can’t ever say never, because you don’t know what is around the corner, and you don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow. As long as you’re happy, I think that is the main thing. It’s something people forget way too often these days getting so stressed thinking about what other people’s opinions are or what they need to do tomorrow.”

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