- Title: ISRAEL: Same-sex couple in Dancing with the Stars
- Date: 3rd November 2010
- Summary: VARIOUS OF SHEM TOV AND MILMAN DANCING DURING DRESS REHEARSAL
- Embargoed: 18th November 2010 12:00
- Location: Israel
- Country: Israel
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment / Showbiz
- Reuters ID: LVABJT0YZ419EBZSE1UDAU9LVFDZ
- Story Text: Two Israeli women teamed up on Tuesday (November 2) to become the first same-sex couple to compete in a version of the internationally popular Dancing with the Stars television series.
Gili Shem Tov, a TV sportscaster, performed the cha-cha with Dorit Milman, a professional dancer assigned by the show to perform with her.
BBC Worldwide Productions, which licenses the series' format globally, said it was the first time a Dancing with the Stars competition had featured a same-sex pairing.
Shem Tov, who is a lesbian, said "it felt natural" to dance with a woman.
"I decided to dance with a woman because as I live with my girlfriend and we are raising my son, 1 year old son, together, it felt natural to me to dance with a woman. That's my way of life and I want to show it also by dancing with a woman. It's important for me to say that I don't have a problem to dance with a man but I think for me it's more interesting and challenging to dance with a woman," Shem Tov told reporters.
"If by doing that even a few people will be more tolerant and open-minded, I achieved my goal," she added.
The Dancing with the Stars format, in which celebrities are paired with professional dancers and compete for the votes of judges and viewers, is broadcast in more than 75 countries.
Assaf Gil, executive producer of the Israeli version, predicted that the public will react favourably to the performance of two women.
"I'm sure that there will be diverse amount of reactions. Some people will like it more than others. But I'm not afraid, I think we've made a calculated, very thoughtful decision and I'm sure that at the end of the day, it's going to be interesting both artistically, emotionally and the public would react to it very favourably, at the end of the day," Gil said.
Shem Tov said she and Milman would take turns leading in their performances in the 12-couple competition.
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