Kevin Clifton has defended the use of props on Strictly Come Dancing, saying they are “so normal” in dance.
The professional on the BBC flagship show also clarified how songs are chosen for the dance routines.
Responding on Twitter to a fan who said she wished the show would stop using props and themes because she considered it a “dumbing down” of dancing, he said: “An intelligent and informed audience will know all about the beauty and history of dance.
“Like some of the greatest ever, like Fred Astaire who often created masterpieces dancing with props.”
When one viewer pointed out props are not used in ballroom dancing competitions, he replied: “But nobody said it has to be like the competition world.
“They used to show ballroom comps on tv sometimes when i was a kid. They dont anymore. Cos not enough people watch.”
He said of the use of props: “To me they are part of the story of a routine. To me strictly routines didnt used to have much story back in the earlier days.”
Addressing the song selection to accompany the dance routines, he said: “Music choices have always been a collaboration. Most of my choices get accepted.
“Extra dancers are only on 2 weeks and props are so normal in dance. Also props are not that new a thing on strictly to be honest.”
He added: “We are asked for our music choices at the beginning of the series and our list is used throughout unless there is a feeling that a song wont work and then we have a conversation. nobody can force a song choice on us.”
Strictly Come Dancing will return to BBC One in the autumn.