Len Goodman leaves behind strong legacy after passing

Len Goodman (above) has been a judge on "Dancing With the Stars" from 2005 until the end of last year at the conclusion of the show's 31 season.

In light of the recent news of legendary dance judge Len Goodman passing away, I feel that it is important to discuss his legacy and impact on the ballroom dance community.

At the very end of "Dancing With the Stars""season 31, during the semifinals, he announced that he would be retiring from the show to spend more time with his family in Great Britain. Just three days ago, on April 22, 2023, Goodman passed away from bone cancer in hospice in Royal Tunbridge Wells. Today would have been his 79th birthday.

Though he was the hardest to please judge on "Dancing With the Stars", I think it is clear that his tough love made him the best judge that the show will ever see.

The show first aired in 2005, and has had 31 seasons so far. Out of the 31 seasons, Goodman was a judge for 29 of those seasons. 

Throughout the course of the show, Goodman’s judging style was incredibly unique and very effective. He was always the toughest scorer, but gave the best advice and corrections to the dancers each week. Though some of these comments were hilariously accurate and blunt like, “Parts were magic, parts were tragic,” he also gave extremely encouraging comments to the most talented dancers.

Everything that he did was rooted in tradition and the “rules” of the ballroom. He was always a stickler for more content that matched the style of dance assigned to the couples, and he loved the traditional moves that the pro dancers chose to choreograph for their stars.

During certain weeks nearing the end of the competition, usually the semi-finals, the couples are assigned a judge to give them pointers on how to improve a dance that they already did. This is known as the redemption round. Whichever couple got paired with Goodman for this round got the most specific and thorough corrections. 

Goodman was the best at paying attention to little details, such as the arm placement of the dancers, also known as “frame,” as well as the articulation of their feet, hips, hands and various other parts of their bodies that help to make the dance cleaner.

On multiple occasions, Goodman even got up on stage and danced alongside the stars, pros and troupe dancers. 

Overall, he was just such a kind, caring, sweet judge that just wanted the best for his dancers.

In addition to his role as a judge on "Dancing With the Stars", he was also a professional ballroom dancer, a dance teacher and a judge on a UK television program, “Strictly Come Dancing.” Though he started dancing late, at 19 years old, he accomplished so much throughout his life.

Since his passing, the entire "Dancing With the Stars" community has come together to grieve the loss of one of the most legendary figures in the ballroom dance community. 

In an Instagram post, fellow judge Carrie Ann Inaba said, “You were one of a kind, my dear friend. And I will cherish our memories and hold them close while I join so many in mourning your loss. Thank you for all that you shared with us. Your humor, your wisdom, your wit and your truth. Until we meet again, rest in peace, Len.

As a member of the dance community, thank you for all you did for us, Len Goodman. You will forever be in our hearts and we will miss you dearly.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.