Len Goodman's Son James Is Also A Professional Dancer

"Dancing With the Stars" judge Leonard "Len" Gordon Goodman died on April 22, just three days shy of his 79th birthday. His manager confirmed that bone cancer was the cause of his death, telling BBC News that his family was with him when he died at a hospice in Kent, United Kingdom. Goodman retired from the show in 2022, telling People that he wanted to focus on his family.   

The legendary dancer wanted to be a consistent presence in his grandchildren's lives during his retirement years. He told the Daily Mail in December 2022 that, while his son James was growing up, he was "all over the place, in America, in Germany, making a living for the family." It seems as if Goodman grabbed the opportunity to put the younger Goodmans first in his later years especially because he may have missed out on many moments with James. He reminisced, "I have asked James about this. I said: 'By and large, was I an OK dad?', and he said: 'By and large, yes.' But as we were just saying, people don't always tell the truth. He might have been thinking: 'You were bloody awful.'" 

James posted a tribute after his dad's death, and it's clear that he thought nothing of the sort. In fact, in many ways, he has followed in his father's featherlight footsteps. 

James Goodman followed in his dad's dancing footsteps

James William Goodman is also a dancer.  In his book, "Better Late Than Never: From Barrow Boy to Ballroom," Len Goodman revealed that he and James' mom, Lesley Pine, knew early on that James had a gift for dance and music. They didn't push him to join their dance class, but when he showed an interest, they encouraged him to participate. Len wrote, "From the outset it became clear he had a talent for it." It's little wonder that James also became a dance teacher and now works at the Goodman Dance Academy. He also followed in his dad's footsteps when he stepped into a certain role. 

James adjudicated at a charity dance competition. He told the Northampton Chronicle, "I am much more generous with my marks than Len." In an in-article photograph, James can be seen holding up a perfect score of "10" while carrying out his duties as a judge. On the other hand, contestants had to earn high scores from his dad. Len was famous for the way he said certain scores while appearing as a judge on "Dancing With the Stars." In this Instagram video, he delivered the line "Seven!" much to the delight of his granddaughter. In addition to his duties as a ballroom dancing teacher, James performs a more corporate role in the family business. At the time of his father's death, James was a director for the company Len founded, Pleasurable Pastimes.

James Goodman is a family man

James Goodman is besotted with his two children. The dance coach and Sophie Bird are the proud parents of Alice and Jack Goodman. His social media page is filled with funny and memorable snaps of his kids and family. In one poignant Instagram snap, Len Goodman proudly holds his newborn grandson in his arms while James looks on. He captioned the image, "Three generations of the Goodman's." James and Bird also paid homage to Len by naming their son Jack Michael Leonard Goodman.

James took to Instagram to pay tribute to Len after he died. "My Dad and best friend passed away late on Saturday night with Sue (Barrett) and I by his side. He was a wonderful Dad and I will treasure forever the memories I have with him. He died knowing he was much loved and for that I'll be forever grateful. I know everyone thinks their Dad was a legend but mine truly was," he wrote. Father and son had each other's back to the end.