Words: Alastair James; pictures: Joseph Sinclair and BBC
If you’ve ever wondered what a show would look like where you get the drama of Love Island combined with the glitz of Strictly Come Dancing, then I Like the Way U Move is probably the show for you.
The new BBC Three reality TV show asks the question – can you fall in love through dance? Over several weeks a group of professional dancers and 'rookies' will live together, pair up, and dance to stay in the competition.
Hosted by former Made in Chelsea star, and Strictly 2020 finalist, Jamie Laing (which is pronounced Lay-ng BTW, not Lang) and US dancer 'KK', the show will see an array of guest judges join the pair to decide who’s crackling together and whose got the “least fire”.
Having had a sneak peek at some of the show we can tell you it’s hot, sexy, and sweet. It also flips the script on whether LGBTQ contestants are a "logistical difficulty".
Attitude caught up with Jamie ahead of the show’s release on Sunday 17 October.
I wonder if, first of all, I could get a quick elevator pitch from you about the show?
It’s a hybrid between dating and dancing. We have five professional dancers who partner up with our 'rookies' and they have to teach them to dance and put on a show each episode in front of myself and a guest celebrity judge.
We then choose the couple with the best chemistry. It’s not Strictly Come Dancing where it’s all about the dance; it's all about the connection that you see on the stage. Think Strictly meets Love Island.
I'm sold. How does the coupling work?
We start off with five pros who are all unlucky in love. They go into a house and go to a mixer where they can choose a rookie, partner up, and in 24 hours teach them a dance routine. Then they compete in a dance-off. At the dance-off, they either stay or go home. Then they get the choice of staying with their partners or go to the next mixer and then the winners win a nice little prize.
How do you think dancing will help people fall in love?
Dating is all about trust and loyalty. So is dance. You need to have both when you’re dancing. Dating is very tactile – Can I touch them? Can I hold their hand? etc. When you dance with someone you have to get over that awkward dating stage and those worries so you fast-forward lots of things.
You can get a real, intense connection with your dance partner. And that can form into a relationship. You can tell if people have a great connection by the way they dance so it’s not about whether they can dance, it’s about the connection.
And the couples genuinely fall in love. I’m so proud of the show and the couples who took part, it’s inclusive of couples of all genders. It’s what we need!
What made you say yes? Did you miss the dancefloor after Strictly?
Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to become a host and a presenter. I used to line my teddy bears up in a row and pretend I was a chat show host ever since I was four or five years old.
And the reason I went into reality TV was because I wanted to be a presenter, so this is a dream come true. I couldn’t be more excited, or more honoured to be given this opportunity.
Well, my next question was how excited are you! So this is a lifelong dream?
It’s a complete lifelong dream. I love entertaining, I love people. I think we live in a generation where we don’t really connect with one another because we have all these apps. I love connection and that’s what the show is all about.
What’s the number one thing people are going to enjoy about the show?
I think that it’s never been seen before. What I love about it is it's new, it’s different. People aren’t produced to an inch of their lives and having been a part of a reality show for 10 years I understand this is incredibly unique.
Can we expect drama?
Oh my god! So much drama! People put their hearts and souls into this and some things don’t work out. Add dance in and it adds pressure. Lots of wonderful moments as well!
Will we see any dancing from you?
There’s one moment of me dancing with my co-host 'KK', but I don’t know if they kept that in. I have no clue… I felt like a very uncool dad dancing. I’ll be very happy if they kept it in.
Jamie Laing and co-presenter 'KK' (Photo: BBC)
Do you ever find yourself dancing around at home?
I was at some engagement drinks the other night and tried to get everyone to salsa dance. They didn’t want it. When you’ve had a Margherita or two, it seems like a great idea but no one else wants to.
Will you be reuniting with Karen [Hauer], your Strictly pro?
She’s not on it, but we have some amazing guest judges such as Oti Mabuse, Giovanni Pernice, Johannes [Radebe] lots of Strictly people.
Do you have a signature dance move?
The first move I was taught on Strictly was a Cuban Break, it’s my go-to now. It’s just where you bend your knee and go for it…
Haha! Ok! And aside from Strictly, have you ever impressed someone with your dance moves?
Never! Before I did Strictly, I felt like I could dance then doing Strictly you realise you can’t whatsoever. My girlfriend is really not impressed with me ever, with anything I do. But I think that’s why she loves me. So that’s a good thing! I will try and impress her with dance moves but she won’t have it.
Did you have any advice for the ‘rookies’ on the show?
I would say resilience and listen to your teacher. Just listen 100%. The professional knows best.
Jamie Laing and contestants on I Like The Way U Move (Photo: BBC)
What makes a good pairing whether it’s dating or dance?
It goes back to trust. Everything in life is about that; business, friendship, business, dating, dance. So, if you create a good bond you’re in for a good chance.
Are there any common pitfalls that you might find in dating as well as dance?
Confidence. It’s attractive, right? And in dance, you have to be confident. So, the more confident you are when you date someone, the more attractive you are; and the more confident you are when you dance, the better dancer you are.
How did you find Strictly?
Strictly was amazing. Really tough! Physically it was ok, but it was mentally draining because you have to learn a new language every week and dance in front of the nation.
It was really tough and really intense but an amazing experience and something I will love forever. I’m not envious of anyone doing it this year because I’ve done it and I know how hard it is.
It’s like running a 5K. When you try and do a fast 5K time you think it’ll be easy and then you realise how hard it is.
What do you make of Karen and Greg this series?
They’re smashing it! They’re so good! Thank God I’m not in it this year because they’re unbelievably good! All of them!
Have you rewatched Disney’s Hercules since Strictly?
I haven’t watched the film, but I’ve watched my routine a few times and it’s ridiculous! That was a special moment.
I Like the Way U Move will be available as a boxset on the BBC iPlayer from 17 October.
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