Kate and Anthony‘s “Wrecking Ball” dance during Bridgerton‘s “The Viscount Who Loved Me” is more than a one last time. It’s the beginning of transparency. When it comes to the dance sequences in Bridgerton, every choreographed number by Jack Murphy tells an incomparable story.
Just keep looking at me. No one else matters.
Of all the songs, Miley Cyrus’s “Wrecking Ball” doesn’t exactly fit them. While some parts suit beautifully—the lyrics implying a breakup don’t work. Still, the Midnite String Quartet cover fits seamlessly with this choreography as both Kate and Anthony genuinely believe this is their last time. It’s Kate running from the truth, and it’s Anthony knowing with every aching bone in his body that he will never dance again after this moment.
It starts calmly—the two of them sensing one another in the ballroom, undoubtedly waiting for the opportune moment to speak once more. Jonathan Bailey and Simone Ashley show us much in silence as they find brief repose before it quickly dawns on them that they shouldn’t be speaking in public.
But what Ashley shows us before Kate even speaks aloud is that she doesn’t want to run—not now, not ever. Whatever this is, she wants to hold on to it for a little while longer. The contentment they finally feel near each other is something they know they won’t ever come by again—no one else could steady the cascading waves beneath them. And so, one last time, Kate tries to engage in something only they’re familiar with—a dance that leads to serenity.
Once they start to crack a bit, a joke or two, three fingers then four, Kate Sharma brings it up one more time. Are you going to ask me to dance? Are you going to say yes? No verbal declaration at this moment is necessary; all he needs is her hand moving towards his, the chance to take ahold of it, tighter than ever before, thinking that it’s indeed one last time.
In both of their sole dances, Kate is wearing warm, vibrant colors—the kinds that represent openness. Pink and orange aren’t pale lavenders or purples. There is no armor in them. There is only Kate Sharma, moving alongside the man she cares for her, wanting more than anything to keep holding on to the steadying adoration he brings to the surface.
It bears repeating that from the moment Kate falls off the horse, Anthony Bridgerton stops breathing. And much of that is still exhibited in Kate and Anthony’s “Wrecking Ball” dance despite the detail that he’s trying desperately to conceal how much pain he’s in.
Their souls have been dancing long before the two even realize it’s happening, but this moment is mesmerizing because the choreography doesn’t allow them to stop. When everyone else moves aside, they keep going.
Just keep looking at me. No one else matters.
They have thus far not wanted to stop, whether in empty gardens, under secluded gazeboes, drawing rooms, or libraries. Neither of them has wanted to see anyone but the other—moving in such a way that every word is exchanged in silence and through every touch.
There are plenty of beautiful moments that stand out during Kate and Anthony’s “Wrecking Ball” dance, but nothing comes close to the moment where their hands move down their faces. Simone Ashley emotes brilliantly with her performances in a season that doesn’t give Kate Sharma many words to speak aloud. And her eyes especially communicate in ways that demand pages and pages of excavation.
Because much of what this comes down to is the detail that Anthony Bridgerton sees a part of Kate Sharma no one else could. He sees the elements of her that mirror his own darkened corridors, the pangs of grief, and the fears that the universe could strip good things from their grasp at any moment. He sees her for who she is, wanting the kind of life that includes her or no one else. And thus, for the audience to see Anthony’s eyes, then have the camera pan to Kate’s is a beautifully moving showcase of the detail that they needed to see themselves before they could see each other fully.
We can understand just how much Kate loves Anthony at this moment because her eyes tell him before words could ever say. And what we see in Kate’s eyes isn’t a woman who wants to leave, but a woman who wants to stay—a woman who wants to keep holding on, a woman who wants to lean a little bit closer. This moment is all that they have left.
Just keep looking at me. No one else matters.
And that’s what happens amid this chaos, the world spinning around them with people coming and going—she keeps looking at him. She chooses his eyes. They continue to look deeper and deeper into the other’s soul—everywhere others haven’t dared to cross. They aim for places that terrify them, the spaces where they are most alone, etching themselves onto every piece of their sorrow, wanting to stay there for eons—to make the darkness light. When the music stops, they not only continue looking at each other, but they continue holding onto each other.
As mentioned in our review: The love between them is anything but a wrecking ball; it’s a steady stream of all things good and pure—laughter and unwavering devotion, without the words even spoken aloud. It’s shimmering passion, serenity, and the searing love rushing between them. It’s all there, spreading with every move they make, enveloping them in a sea of passion and yearning.
Simone Ashley and Jonathan Bailey brilliantly show us that Kate and Anthony are thoroughly taking in every longing glance and the presence of each other’s physical touch as though it’s the air they need to breathe. They can’t kiss on the dance floor, but it’s the one thing they both need, jaws clenched and inching tighter—closer and closer until everything blurs beyond their love. We all know where this would lead if they weren’t in public.
There’s not a single moment throughout this dance where they aren’t crystalizing the detail that no one else matters the way they do. There is nothing left to say but take in every ounce of this moment even while the world watches them in their agony. And so, it’s all in the eyes, every look that continues to cement that if this truly is one last time, they’re searing every piece of their love into the other’s soul, ensuring that they leave them knowing they’ve done all that they could.
This is where the most relatable parts of Cyrus’s lyrics come in—Don’t you ever say I just walked away; I will always want you. Kate was running away, believing with everything in her that Anthony did not love her, convinced that all they shared was a mere passion when they were alone. I can’t live a lie, running for my life; I will always want you. Because if this isn’t love, if he doesn’t love her the same way she loves him, she can’t stay—she can’t be near him when all she wants is to break his walls and entangle her wreckages with his.
When it comes to their adoration, they’re both pivoting near the ashes of their memories until one of them bursts into flames, confessing it all to free themselves from the ongoing torment. That’s where Anthony’s confession will come in because the dance leaves them holding on when everyone else moves along, not wanting to part ways because their souls cannot bear the thought of divergence.
Beautiful expression of so much I didn’t see but do now…thank you!
Thank you for reading!
Your writing is absolutely impeccable!! As I read this, I was remembering this scene as I have watched it so many times 🙂 – the way these two look at each other is heart wrenching thinking this is the last time… That part with the close up of their eyes and his jaw clenching OMG when I first watched that, I was completely blown away and teared up (Chefs Kiss). Thank you for writing exactly how I saw this!
So so so beautiful! Thank you!
Such a beautiful analysis!!
Thank you for putting these thoughts into such beautiful words…such a remarkable dance with such sad thoughts but such a wonderful ending
Love this piece. I only disagree about Wrecking Ball. The song fits because they wreck each others walls, promises to themselves, and past traumatic trails of pain as they become more and more authentic to one another over time. The pressure to behave in front of family and the Ton is blown away dancing to this song. They are public now and no turning back. It is seizing adulthood in front the Ton’s eyes. Anthony still looks around briefly at the end of that dance, still giving some evidence of concern. Kate moves in for one more nose kiss before the end of that dance, a way they were connected many times. A kiss goodbye? When Kate let’s go of his hand at the end, she shakes her head still not fully convinced he loves her rather than mere passion. It takes his beautiful proposal to smash the last wall between them. “Well then, it seems the two of us are finally seeing eye to eye on something.” Yes, they are.
The second part of Wrecking Ball sums up their relationship perfectly:
I never wanted to start a war
I only wanted you to let me in
Instead of using force
I should’ve just let you win
Just wonderful – I love it! Jack x
Thank you for the amazing choreography that inspired all this!
Lovely analysis. Just wanna understand why everyone else left the dance floor during that scene. Tried to cone up with multiple reasons. Can’t seem to find one that fits the bill.
I’ve just discovered this site (via a link on Twitter) and it’s wonderful. I love the deep dives into the Bridgerton scenes and characters especially Kate and Anthony. Thank you for such lovely and eloquent writing. I will be reading more!
My view on the rest of the Ton leaving the dancefloor? I think because they felt it was scandalous that Kate (Edwina’s sister) and Anthony (Edwina’s ex-fiance and person she left at the altar) were dancing so intensely together. It was clear something was going on between them. In effect if these people had remained on the dancefloor, maybe they felt they would be tainted by association by such scandal. In those days, people did everything they could to distance themselves from scandal, including shunning and ignoring those at the heart of it (such as in the post-wedding promenade scene).