“American Ballroom Challenge” Promises High-Quality Dance for TV

Ballroom fans, get ready to rumba! Filmed at the Ohio Star Ball last November, PBS’ three-part “American Ballroom Challenge” series premieres this Friday, April 24. And it’s already gotten a stamp of tentative approval from notoriously tough dance critic Alastair Macaulay, who says while most TV ballroom performances cause him to react with horror, these couples get it right, particularly those who make it to the final rounds.

Hosted by Mary Murphy and Tony Meredith, the first episode features the American Smooth and American Rhythm divisions, where couples compete in the waltz, tango, cha-cha and mambo. In episode two, viewers will see International Standard and International Latin, followed by a best-in-show finale competition across all styles. We’ll also see some teacher/student pro/am pairs and of course behind-the-scenes peaks at the intriguing and—to many classical dancers—mysterious world of competitive ballroom dancing.

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