The Greatest Dancer

SFX for BBC's Dance Talent TV Show


ER Productions had a blast providing a range of special effects for BBC’s The Greatest Dancer throughout January and February.


The Greatest Dancer, a dance talent show, pitches dancers of all ages and dance styles against each other for the chance to win £50,000. The programme aired on Saturday 5 January, and featured a round of auditions where the studio audience chose which dancer would go through to the next round. ER Productions were lucky enough to be invited to bring the special effects to the stage for the live shows, creating unique and mesmerising looks for each act, as they danced towards the finish line.

Week one of the live show saw us fire up the opening sequence, as the 9 acts and their Dance Captains performed to Sia’s The Greatest, with close proximity pyro effects, in the form of orange and purple Mines and white Tracer Comets.

At the beginning of Froback’s Classical challenge we delivered low smoke, from 4 Cryo-fog with Floor Pockets, and around half way through we turned up the heat, operating 5 Flame Bars and 8 Cannon Simulators upstage of the performers. We covered Prospects Fraternity, in multicolour confetti, from 8 Powershots, at the end of their Colours-themed dance.  

For Harry and Eleiyah’s Doctor Who-themed routine to Everybody Wants To Rule The World, we filled the stage with Low Smoke and fired up 10 G Flames, as the duo appeared to time travel, escaping from peril. The Globe Girls were provided with 12 Jets and 2 Cannon Simulators for their all high-kicking and death drop, Sports-themed dance. We gave Ellie Low Smoke, and KLA metallic multicolour streamers from 8 Powershots followed by multicolour confetti from 2 Stadium Blasters for the finale of their Carnival inspired routine. 

The semi-finals saw us deliver a hit of silver laser comets with 1s x 6m Jets for the opening of the show to the song I just Got Paid. As part of Harry and Eleiyah's circus-themed challenge, to the song Beneath Your Beautiful, we provided low smoke and rigged an impressive 14-metre-wide pyro waterfall, from above, as the duo rose to the grid on an aerial hoop. We gave Dane Bates Collective atmospheric Low Smoke, and 6 Powershots fired red, yellow and orange slow fall confetti for their Night and Day routine to the song Shake It Out. For FroBacks Boxes-themed dance, we provided a 1/2 second x 7 metres Gerb pyro effect.

The finals saw KLA, Ellie, James and Oliver and Harry Eleiyah fighting to be crowned The Greatest Dancer. For KLA’s dance with Dance Captain, Oti Mabuse, to Last Dance, we delivered Low Smoke, 6 CO2 Jets and a hit of Laser Comets and Sparkle Cannons, ½ sec duration by 7 metre high. 8 hand-held flame torches, 6 G Flames and Low Smoke helped create an exciting look For Harry and Eleiyah’s dance to Game of Survival, performed with Cheryl.

We fired 8 Laser Comets for the end of James and Oliver’s performance of a Broadway inspired dance with Matthew Morrison. And for Ellie’s duet with Oti Mabuse, to Never Enough we delivered a low smoke and 20 x 20 Gerbs pyro effects. For her ‘reimagined’ performance to In This Shirt, we gave the impression of a train’s smoke, as it leaves the station using one Viper deLuxe.

Ellie was announced the winner of ‘The Greatest Dancer’ and  4 Sparkulars lit the way for her triumphant entrance. 2 Stadium Blasters launched red, purple and dark blue paper slow fall confetti over the stage for the grand finale. Everything was controlled via 2 Black Edition Galaxis Controllers, 14 Galaxis 10 Ways and a Roadhog 4. 

Thanks to Fremantle, Syco and the entire creative team for inviting us to help create a spectacular show. 

For more information about the products we used for the show, or for help with your special effects requirements, get in touch.