If there was one man who seemed to be a well-known face of dance, it would have to be Len Goodman. For years, he was not only a ballroom dancer, but he was also a judge. For many viewers, they knew him from the British series, Strictly Come Dancing. In the U.S., he was a judge on Dancing with the Stars.
In fact, Goodman was on Strictly Come Dancing from its inception in 2004 until 2016, while he was also one of the original Dancing with the Stars judges as well. From 2005 until 2022, Len Goodman brought his knowledge and compassion to our screens as head judge of DWTS.
Sadly, Goodman passed away on April 22, 2023 at the age of 78. And that leads to the premiere of Season 32 of Dancing with the Stars on September 26, 2023.
Dancing with the Stars honors Len Goodman by renaming their Mirrorball trophy
According to ET Online, the current cohosts of the reality series kickstarted the new season with a tribute to the late head judge of the competition. Alfonso Ribeiro started off by pointing out that they were missing a major member of their DWTS family, Len Goodman. His cohost, Julianne Hough continued by saying, "Len was on this panel for nearly all of our 31 seasons. And although he is irreplaceable, we wanted to keep his spirit alive."
In order to keep his memory alive, Dancing with the Stars has chosen to not only rename the Mirrorball trophy that the winner walks away with at the end of the season, but it also got a makeover in honor of the tribute. It will now be known as the Len Goodman Mirrorball Trophy, and it will be held up at the end of the competition, much like athletes hold up their championship trophies.
On top of this premiere episode tribute, Hough teased that they will be doing a "spectacular tribute to Len" in the weeks ahead.
We can't wait to see how else they pay tribute to Goodman, especially in light of all that he brought to the table for the series and even the world of dance.