A tribute to a fallen dance legend


Sarah Abdullah, Social Media

Generally known as the long-time judge on “Dancing With the Stars” and “Strictly Come Dancing”, Len Goodman embodied the essence of what an educated, sophisticated and dedicated dancer aspires to be. Through his strict yet constructive judging techniques, Goodman left a vast legacy in the dance world. His expertise of the art influenced the shows and the dancers he judged to gain immense popularity.

Unfortunately, on April 22, Goodman peacefully passed away from an unlisted cause of death at the age of 78. Goodman had been battling bone cancer and passed in the presence of his family. The uncanny coincidence is that Goodman predicted his death as he relished on his father’s life, describing his death at 79 years old; Goodman passed just 3 days short of his 79th birthday.

As a professional ballroom dancer, Goodman has an astounding history and achievements pre-TV era. Originally from Kent, England, Goodman grew up learning ballroom dancing. Throughout the span of his career, one of his most notable achievements includes winning the prestigious British Exhibition Championships four times amongst his several other awards.

Sophomore Maggie Sommers, a fan of Goodman, said, “Len was a wise man and he showed his expertise as a judge on the shows he was on. Though, many people don’t know what it took for him to become a judge and a well-known legend. Len’s background in dance led him to being an accomplished dancer, and that quality shows when he is judging.”

As Sommers shared, the legacy Goodman left contributed to him being accomplished. This, in turn, led Goodman to receiving many recognitions. . One of his most fond achievements was winning the Carl Alan award in recognition of his efforts in dance.

Goodman was as experienced in his perspective of life as he was in dance. In an interview with the Daily Mail last year, Goodman talked about life and said, “It’s like when you have a car. You keep it serviced, but even so, you’ll have some trouble with your carburetor, and you’ll need to get it fixed. And eventually the whole thing will conk out, and there you go. It’s more about the journey, and mine has been lovely.”

His spirit was nothing less of contagious and though he is gone, he has inspired many young dancers and left a remarkable impression on Dancing With The Stars. “As a dancer myself, he was an inspiration. He represented class, elegance and discipline to the dance industry. Dancing With The Stars is one of my favorite shows and without Len as a judge, the show will not be the same,” Sommers said.

Among the dance world, there are only a few legends that will never be forgotten no matter how much time has passed. These icons will continue to shape dancers around the world. Individuals like Goodman opened up a plethora of opportunities for dancers that helped expand horizons of dance as a sport. Throughout Goodman’s time as a judge, he was always known for being a tough judge, but when a dance was good, the smile on his face showed it and his words radiated those around him.