Hi all. So here starts my weekly blog on my thoughts (good or bad) on the celebrities who have taken a leap of faith (or for some a hoping for that all important PR leap) but most importantly will they impress you, the real voters at home.
Along the way I hope to give you some guidelines from inside the ballroom dancing world and to let you know whose ‘Top Line” really is worthy of a Ten or whose footwork in their Foxtrot was a shocking Four!!!
In no particular order but rather just how I feel, here we go this week with a very short sharp eye on the celebrities and their professional partners!
Mark and Ivete (Tango)
The Tango is a very dramatic dance and with his overall great acting skills there was a great deal of performance as well as content in this routine, meaning recognizable basic steps as apposed to just bringing gimmicks. For his first time out was a great dance. As the danced progressed he actually got stronger and more confident.
Tony and Aliona (Waltz)
They didn’t score so highly overall and I feel he was slightly under marked as he managed to pick up the actual essence of dance, which can be very hard in these first weeks. His scores were low though as a result of one too many errors. First rule of dance Learn your steps well! With good arms, good understanding of dance in general he was unexpectedly actually not a complete let down.
Ashley and Ola (Cha Cha Cha)
A tad stiff on his opening night but with a baby on the way and still doing his day job he just about got through opening night. I’m thinking the public at home will be expecting a lot more from this one but I don’t think it will take long for Ola to work her wicked way and get what she wants out of this man on the dance floor!
Quite a clever routine as Ola was actually doing most of the work in week one but we can over look that and hope it’s not long before baby arrives and releases all his visible pent up frustration!
Natalie and Artem (Cha Cha Cha)
Coming second on the leader board and Craig announcing she was one of the front
runners, there is nothing like pressure to start this series of Strictly Come Dancing. It’s clear to see this lady oozes confidence and delivered a great Cha Cha Cha. I can see some sort of dance training in her body by how she moves her weight, which means we will get some absolutely awesome performances but never assume that just because somene has maybe danced before that they can do Ballroom! A lot more rhythmical movement will be needed from her body but a really great week one.
Sophie and Brendan (Waltz)
It is just great to see for the first time Brendan seemingly in harmony with his celebrity partner and more to the point he wasn’t even picking his partner up but
rather looking as though he is really enjoying to dance with Sophie. There is no training in the world that can beat a team that really hit it off from the start. Being the queen of ‘Cool’ Sophie is going to be one to keep your eye on. Her attention to detail is noted and will hold her in good stead as the weeks go on.
Susanne and Kevin (Jive)
With it being the first time a Jive has ever been performed in week one this power woman was on some mission to get our attention from the word go. With so much energy, choreography and connection with her professional partner wow this is going to be a sensational couple. We may have to hold on to our horses every week as I don’t think there is going to be any holding this lady back. It’s typical a more gentle Rock’n Roll version would be taught in the early days of learning to dance in the social world but never a full on Jive with everything packed into it!!! Secretly though I love it when I’m right as I’d predicted on radio she’d be a top contender in this show!!!
Ben and Kristina (Cha Cha Cha)
With Len picking up on Ben’s ‘terrific footwork’ and some of the judges picking up on his timing they seem to be really looking at the nitty gritty bits from the start this season! Give him a break is what I say. He is one of our rugby male heroes who just needs a bit of time to grasp how to be the master on the dance floor (like all men) but once accomplished, it could be a Matt Dawson Saturday night surprise once again. As well as being absolutely gorgeous and having a smile that could melt a thousand hearts this man I hope is not going down without a fight. He looks as though he’s going to need a bit of your support though for the first few weeks!!!
Fiona and Anton (Tango)
Well Anton will definitely have his hands full with this gorgeous lady of Bond! And for those of you who have always complained Anton has never had the right partner to win with…well this would be the year if ever he were going to do it. Fiona is not only stunning but what a strong lady of movement she is. With strong twisting actions and the strength to lift her own weight across the floor, Anton is going to have to pull out some really great choreography for this lady and if I were him, I wouldn’t be holding back with anything. The more daring the better for this woman. He’s already challenging her with lots of the demanding choreography required in this dance but I say…more, more and then even more!!!
Dave and Karen (Cha Cha Cha)
OMG and here’s our comical couple of 2013!!! We always look to Anton’s pairing for a bit of a laugh but darlings I think it may not be there this year but rather with our poor Karen Hauer! But what a legend, I’m not entirely sure really how much Cha Cha Cha content there actually was as I was rolling around in so much hysterics that I couldn’t concentrate to tell but for entertainment plus, I’d give him a Ten. I absolutely loved it! And I loved his vocal counts! From counting 1-8 then changing to 2,3 cha cha cha, to then singing the words of the song we were able to enjoy a Liquorice Allsorts of dance and drama!!!
Rachel and Pasha (Waltz)
With a beautifully danced Waltz it was soon apparent that the judges felt she was too quiet. People deal with their nerves in different ways but I am guessing that Rachel goes into herself when under pressure. Unfortunately in dance it is easier for a professional to calm a personality down than to boost one up, so this will be quite a challenge for Pasha as the weeks go on. She definitely has the talent to do very well in this competition but she is going to have to find her ‘mojo’! Over exaggeration of moves and intentions will be the way forward for Rachel.
Julian and Janette (Cha Cha Cha)
Wow did somebody turn the microphone up on poor Julian as he stood shouting into Bruce’s ear after his Cha Cha Cha chilling performance? Or was this someone whose nerves had gone completely into overdrive? This man’s visions in life are above and beyond average. I am guessing anything he takes on board he will completely commit his entirety too just as he does with his exclusive fashion designs! Give this man a vision on the dance floor and he will live it to the depths of his fingers to the top of his head and down to the bottom of his toes! Becareful what you wish for Janette and plan well, as if you over cook this lovely little fruit cake it could all go very very wrong.
Deborah and Robin (Tango)
In this first week you want your celebrity to be able to deliver the correct choreography and the correct timings. Anything on top of that is a bonus. With Deborah sadly, there were quite a few places where she kept going wrong which therefore resulted in the judges picking up on her errors. But talk about bouncing back, nothing stopped her from carrying on. She kept that head high, a strong bite of determination to get to the finishing line and a wall of steel ready to take the judges on, as she knew she’d messed up in a few places! I was impressed with her recovery and I can see she’s a fighter so when the going get’s tough and the possibility of a ‘dance off’ comes knocking, I have a good idea who may stand their grand here.
Patrick and Anya (Jive)
This was a high impact routine but sadly a lot of technical errors were already noticeable. Each dance will have one major technical step or movement that needs mastering in the week. In a Jive it would be the Chasse…but sadly it was ‘Chasse-less’ and therefore left the performance looking a little flat footed and heavy. That said Patrick is an awesome performer who will grasp the idea of the choreography and will be great at blagging through dances even if it goes wrong or runs out of time to perfect it during the week. In my mind I am still trying to decide where to place Patrick though. Is he a potential champ in the making or a slow burner who may burn out? I probably need a couple more weeks to get to connect with him 😉 !!!
Vanessa and James (Cha Cha Cha)
This lady is one big personality and I think we were all expecting her to come out with a bang. Sadly though, big personalities don’t always deliver a big dance.
The choreography was really quite boring for James so I am also guessing she is struggling to pick up the choreography in the training days. But it’s early days and I am sure James has plans for her. And don’t ever over look that this is only a dance tournament but the ‘power of the mind’ will play a large role this Strcitly journey. More dancing and less about Vanessa and it could be a whole different out come.
Abbey and Aljaz (Waltz)
Wow ‘The dance of the night’ according to Len and the highest score of the
weekend so why was it such a show stopper for week one? Well firstly dare I say ‘which cat got the cream’ here…him or her! With two incredibly gorgeous people Waltzing around the room with lots of drive across the dance floor and creative choreography changing in an array of directions, it was beauty and the beautiful on the dance floor. I genuinely hold my hands up here to getting this one wrong with my expectations as I thought this was going to be ditzy one meets ditzy two on the dance floor – as who in this world has great looks and can dance?…Well it could be these two!
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Until next week… get up and get dancing!
World Masters, International, United Kingdom
& British National Champion of Latin American Dance
Winner Strictly Come Dancing 2006
Carl Alan & BDF Award winner for services to dance
Director of Karen Hardy Studios