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Does Lacey Chabert Do Her Own Dancing in Hallmark's "The Dancing Detective: A Deadly Tango?"

Lacey Chabert and Will Kemp danced their way into our hearts in 2020 with the most watched cable movie premiere of the year, Christmas Waltz, and since then, fans have been itching for another story that would reunite the two on the dance floor.

Chabert and Kemp both executive produce The Dancing Detective:  A Deadly Tango, but the concept for the tale is credited completely to Kemp.  When he pitched his idea to Hallmark, executives recognized the perfect opportunity to delight fans once again with their favorite dancing duo.

The Dancing Detective:  A Deadly Tango with Lacey Chabert and Will Kemp
Image:  Hallmark Media

What is The Dancing Detective:  A Deadly Tango About?

Constance Bailey (Chabert) is a very independent and detail-oriented detective who, despite her success rate, hasn't been promoted in five years, primarily because she doesn't work well with others.

When the CEO of Aston International is murdered days before the annual executive ballroom dancing competition, Bailey is sent to Malta to investigate.  Interpol is watching, so it's Bailey's chance to prove she can be a team player.

Bailey is taken aback, however, when she learns she must go undercover as a new Aston employee and participate in the ballroom dance competition--even though she's never danced once in her life.  Sebastian Moore (Kemp) is a professional dancer and former actor with a penchant for detective movies who pretends to be her husband, and he is tasked with speedily turning her into a credible dance partner.

Known for working his employees into the ground, Aston isn't liked by anyone, including his widow, so nearly everyone is a suspect.

To Bailey's surprise, Sebastian possesses keen detective skills and is excellent at assessing body language, following her lead, and asking the right questions.  Sebastian even selects fake names for the two of them--Stuart and Sally--based on a 1970's detective show called McMillan & Wife, which starred Rock Hudson and Susan Saint James.

Bailey and Sebastian explode with chemistry, especially on the dance floor, so they are a convincing couple--until they start asking too many questions and get closer to solving the murder.

Ripe with red herrings and spiced with danger and intrigue, this cozy mystery is a must-see for Hallmark fans, especially those who have yearned to see more fancy foot work from Chabert and Kemp.

The Dancing Detective:  A Deadly Tango is Humorous

Murder is no laughing matter, but that doesn't mean Kemp can't ham things up a bit, and Chabert leans into the humor without over-doing it.

As Sebastian hammers out the details of their cover story, he experiments with different accents:  Texan, Scottish, and East Coast, and it's funny.  Bailey convinces him to stick with sounding British. 

Throughout the movie, Bailey teases an overzealous Sebastian by referring to him in famous detective terms.  She calls him Rockford, Miss Marple, Poirot, and Columbo, to name a few.  More often, she affectionately calls him Mr. Fancypants.

Despite her feisty, independent nature, Bailey's subconscious reveals more than she cares to admit.  She falls asleep and dreams of dancing with and kissing Sebastian, and Sebastian walks in and finds her kissing her pillow during her R.E.M. state.

The vibe throughout the movie is playful, and Chabert and Kemp are natural together.  Even the background music that plays throughout the movie isn't ominous and suspenseful as you might expect in a mystery, but it's a tango mix, which is flirty and seductive.

Does Chabert Do Her Own Dancing in The Dancing Detective:  A Deadly Tango?

We know Chabert learned how to waltz in 2020, but can she really fox trot and tango, or is it a stunt double?

Turns out, Chabert faced her fear of dancing once again and nailed it like she did the last time.  It helped that Jean-Marc Généreux, the same choreographer who taught her to waltz, returned to instruct her and Kemp on the new dance sequences.

Chabert tells Southern Living, "You learn these routines and then all the sudden you're on set.  You feel pretty secure about it and then you have to add in the dialogue and blocking for your characters and you're counting steps while you're remembering lines and looking around and acting out a scene and trying to do all of the technical things we have to do as actors.  So it was quite a challenge but man we had a lot of fun doing it.  A lot of laughs.  And I hope we have a chance to do it again."

Kemp is a professional dancer in real life, but he's not trained in ballroom dancing, so they both had a lot to learn.  Kemp won't allow Chabert to downplay her new skill though and says, "This lady can now dance," and he refers to her as "phenomenal."  Kemp jokingly admits, however, that "The blooper reel is probably as long as the movie."

While Kemp is proud of the 1940's dance style of one scene, another great moment is when Sebastian teaches Bailey to tango in the water so her feet can glide without her giving them undue notice.  It reminds me of the scene from Dirty Dancing when Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey practice the iconic lift in the water. 

The Dancing Detective:  A Deadly Tango-Lacey Chabert's Favorite Scene to Film
Chabert shared on Twitter that the dream sequence was her favorite scene to film.

Chabert and Kemp are poised and flawless on the ballroom dance floor, but the scenes are short and leave viewers wanting more.

Would You Like to See The Dancing Detective Become a Regular Series?

There is no word from Hallmark on whether or not The Dancing Detective will become a regular series on their Movies & Mysteries channel, though both Chabert and Kemp seem keen on continuing.

The movie's ending certainly leaves the door wide open.

Share your thoughts on whether The Dancing Detective should be a stand-alone movie or a regular mystery show in the poll below:
Be sure to tell Hallmark how you feel.  With enough input from fans, maybe we can convince them to bring us more.  You can reach Hallmark via e-mail or phone:

  • 888-390-7474  

Hallmark's "Wokeness" Is Muted but Still Present in The Dancing Detective:  A Deadly Tango

Like many corporations that pander to the left-wing mob, Hallmark CEO, Wonya Lucas, has been leading Hallmark down the same "woke" path since she took over the brand in 2020.  She has tried to strike a balance between producing the feel-good stories we have come to expect from Hallmark while injecting diversity, equity, and inclusion into most new movies--the code words for acting like a racist while claiming to be anti-racist, and ramming LGBTQ+ characters down the throats of viewers who don't want to watch perversion be normalized by a sin-sick culture.

Despite the blowback Woke Wonya has received from the largely conservative demographic, she has persisted with her political agenda, which has pushed Hallmark viewers into the arms of Bill Abbott, former Hallmark CEO who launched the Great American Family channel--a family-friendly alternative that is devoid of sexual deviance and offers clean movies rom-com viewers don't have to filter in advance.

In fact, Michael and Janeen Damian, who brought us the first Christmas Waltz, will be writing and directing a new holiday movie in 2023 for Great American Family called Paris Christmas Waltz that will star Jen Lilley and Matthew Morrison.

The Dancing Detective:  A Deadly Tango mutes the wokeness so it's subtle enough not to disturb normal people, yet it is definitely not absent.

In most dancing scenes, you'll notice the other couples include older people (can't be ageist!), multiracial couples (can't be racist!), and a guy dancing in a wheelchair (can't be ableist!).  In a scene where Jennifer Tate and Tom Stevens, employees of Aston International, discuss Sebastian and Bailey, Jennifer states that had Mark Aston been alive, he would have liked the cute dancer--referring to Sebastian, not Bailey.  Gotta get in that plug for the LGBTQ!

Jennifer Tate is also a character who claims to have left her previous job because it was an "all boys club" where she couldn't advance in her career.  Can't miss an opportunity to rail against the patriarchy to please the militant feminists!

Is The Dancing Detective:  A Deadly Tango Worth Watching?

Yes.  Despite the covert wokeness in The Dancing Detective, it's not a high enough dosage to make the movie toxic, though it still proves Hallmark cannot be trusted.  The movie is filmed in gorgeous Malta, the costumes are exquisite, the dancing is magnetic and poised, and Kemp and Chabert are charming.

In the movie, the dancing competition is judged on skill, presentation, and chemistry.  If you apply a similar rubric to The Dancing Detective:  A Deady Tango, it would score a perfect 10.

Image:  Hallmark Media


  1. This is a great review & should be sent to Lacey Chabert’s & Will Kemp’s Twitter pages so they & more fans can read it.

  2. TBH, this movie looked dumb from the moment it was announced. That, and after what Hallmark did to all their other mysteries, I refuse to trust them again with keeping new mystery series.

    I don't mind old people dancing, or wheelchair dancing. But when it looks totally shoehorned in, that's when I have a problem. (Fun fact: At the start of 'Wedding Season', there was a brief shot of 2 women dancing, and it looked completely awkward and out of place!).

    I find it interesting that while there hasn't been many explicit gay couples in these recent movies, the writing for most new Hallmark movies have gotten worse with all the other stuff they're sneaking in (climate change references, radical feminism mentions, off screen gay couples, you can probably think of the rest). It also doesn't help much that most of the actors or main couples are either really wooden or just don't have much chemistry.

    Looks to me like Hallmark is really flailing at the helm with allowing so much new 'freedom' with their writers. And it's showing in the ratings. HMM's new movies have been really low rated this year, even with the really clean Blessing Bracelet movie.

    At least the 2nd Christmas Waltz movie will be on a better network with much better producers. -Maria

  3. I loved it chabert & Kemp are a great match

  4. I loved watching Lacy and Will!! This was an awesome movie and would love to see more!!!❤️


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