Ever since she was a little girl, Althea wanted to be a dancer. The awkward young woman endured taunts from the graceful Oena because she wanted to compete in the Panathenian ballroom dance competition. Then Hercules volunteered to be her dance partner. Anxious to make sure the duo would not defeat his niece Oena, Asterius tried to have them killed. But they thwarted his plan and took lessons from the Widow Twanky. After fighting off an attack by Asterius' henchmen, Hercules and Althea arrived at the Panathenian just in time and performed the dance of their lives to thunderous applause.moreless
Willa O'Neill (Althea) plays the recurring character of Lila, Gabrielle's sister on Xena. She also previously appeared in several episodes of Hercules as Phoebe, daughter of one of the Argonauts.
Nitpick: In the dance routine shown at the beginning of the episode, the music does not match with the dance. The music playing appears to be swing, while the dance would seem to be a type of waltz.
Michael Hurst based his performance as Widow Twanky on the pantomime character named Mrs. Sidebottom (which had been performed by his mother, Edith). The name itself comes from the pantomime production of Aladdin, Mrs. Twankey is the mother of Aladdin.
Hercules: You all right?
Widow Twanky: No, I'm not! How they manhandled me, and it's been so long!
Widow Twanky: You see, fighting in its very essence is like a dance and you, my hunky Herc, are a natural.
Hercules: Thanks, I think.
Hercules: Pardon me?
Widow Twanky: Don't you 'Pardon me' me, you! I shall give you 'Pardon me'! I will 'Pardon me' you into the middle of next week! Now, hold that hand out. Right now, young man, or there shall be no lesson today. (Hercules holds his hand out) Ooh, it's quite a strong hand, really. Shapely forearm. And look at the of those biceps! Ooh, it's huge! Hold me. (wraps Hercules' arm around herself)
Hercules: Sorry we're late, but we had to do a little practicing of our own.
Widow Twanky: Oh, practicing, is that what you call it these days? Mucking about, discovering appendages you never even knew you had. Ooh, you are a nasty, nasty little boy!
Widow Twanky: Now tell me, have you ever fought with a partner?
Widow Twanky: Emm, and what perchance is his name?
Widow Twanky: Iolaus. Well, Hercules, I know this will be difficult, but I want you to imagine for a moment that I am Iolaus.
Widow Twanky: Wait! You're not going to the Panathenea dressed like that!
Hercules: It's all I ever wear.
Widow Twanky: I know, and I'm sick of it!
Mathew Waters, William Smith and Tim Boggs won the 1998 Monitor Award for "Film Originated Television Series - Audio Post Production" for this episode. Michael Hurst won the 1999 TV Award for "Best Director - Comedy" for this episode.
Kevin Sorbo rates this amongst his five personal favourite episodes of the series.
Instead of the regular Hercules theme song playing during the closing credits, we hear "Hercules Swings Again" performed by the Scotty Morrison Big Band.
Willa O'Neill was pleased when director Michael Hurst allowed her to create her own "interpretive dance" for Althea in this episode.
Producer Eric Gruendemann had been trying to get them to do an episode with Michael Hurst in drag for years, and he finally succeeded. He considers this one of his finest personal achievements for the show.
Disclaimer: The Widow Twanky, once again on top of the dance world with the success of the Hercules Hustle was not harmed or tripped during the production of this motion picture.
The outfits worn by the Magistrate's soldiers are the same as were worn by Greek revolutionaries in their war to expel the Turks in the 1820-30s. The same uniforms are worn by Greek soldiers (Evzones) today at Syntagma Square in Athens for the Changing of the Guard outside the Parliament Buildings.
Althea's Dad: I thought you'd be wearing a cape or sumthin'.
Hercules: I, uh, tried. It just didn't fly.
This is an inside joke to Kevin Sorbo almost landing the role of Superman on the show Lois & Clark: the New Adventures of Superman.
This episode is a take-off on the quirky comedy movie Strictly Ballroom.
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