Strictly Come Dancing – Blog Report Week 2

Strictly Come Dancing 2013

So after a VERY stressful 2 weeks I am now officially out of my busy season as of today until January 2014!!!! Consequently a day in bed with marshmallows and ice cream was necessary oh and a fab movie ‘Convoy’…probably too old for most of you out there…but a must on your ‘movies to see’ in your lifetime!!

Witnessing a really great week and being surprised it is only week two, I am finding myself discussing dance terminology and ‘dos & don’ts’ on the dance floor of things I wouldn’t normally be doing until a few more weeks into the show! Could this therefore mean, our front runners could burn, our slow burners don’t peak in time and our middle of the row celebrities with great potential, are eliminated way too early in the show??

My concern overall though is with the choreography, where more ‘entertainment options’ in these earlier weeks are being chosen, rather than getting the foundations of dance pounded into the celebrities and possibly more simple designs put together…there maybe a chance for Vanessa Phelps yet!! IT will all be revealed as the weeks unfold…

So here are a few notes on those that caught my eye over the weekend:

First up had to be he most incredible Charleston by Sophie Elis Dexter & Brendan Cole.

With four nines I was completely over joyed to see the judges acknowledge this great dance with their marks. Never have I seen such impeccable timings between a team. For me it was the dance of the night and sent a message that this could be our first professional going for a double crowning of that Strictly Come Dancing title. With such strength in her feet and a fearless mind delivering a performance of ‘the queen of cool’. I can’t wait to see what’s on the agenda for next week.

Next up with greatness was Natalie & Artem with their Waltz.

Dare I put it out there that in week two seeing Natalie going up against Sophie in the grand finals would have been one sensational showdown. But let’s not forget celebrities will have their strengths and their weaknesses and I can see Natalie is going to be sensational inher ballroom. With Craig Revel Horwood acknowledging her great head rolls on her standing spin I was bowled over by this couples partnering with an excellent ‘top line’ and not even the breath of a gap between their bodies!

With it all looking to be ‘all about the girls’ this week, I have to finish my praises with the pure exuberance, energy and high impact performance we once again witnessed from Susanna Read & Kevin Clifton with their Tango.

Even though I am concerened she is going to burn out if she keeps going like this I am interested how the celebrities not only take on board the choreography and the timings from their professionals but early on it seems as though they are picking up on their professionals characters also. With Kevin being someone full of energy and who when dances will ever demand praise and admiration for his commitment to his dancing, I can see Susanna has too picked up on this. Sadly though it did lead to a very poor top line and a braking of the frame as they entered into some very challenging chorographical steps, that said if she keeps working on perfecting that top line as soon as possible could this be an all girls final for Christmas???

…and so to those needing a little of my love and maybe support for their potentially not so great week two performances but who knows they could have potential over the weeks ahead!

First up has to be Vanessa Phelps & James Jordan’s Waltz.

Knowing how great this man is with his choreography I can only guess there maybe ‘struggles in the training room’ possibly of Vanessa having difficulties in retaining complex choreography, or she may even be panicking if she can deliver his type of choreography. Being very emotional and often personal, James choreography will need to be delivered from the heart. I am really hoping that in these early weeks he is drilling Vanessa with the technique to aid her in the long run. Most importantly though when standing alone she must stand like a lady and close those ankles together. With such gorgeous dresses she is adorning I am being some what put off once I get to the bottom. I have my fingers crossed for this lady as she could bring a lot to the world of dance but she has to embrace the challenges… oh and her partner James!!!!

And finally… Rachel and Pascha’s Salsa.

What a bizarre performance. A woman who has dared to where some of the shortest dresses on BBC and has the looks of a goddess that when it came to a dance demanding feminine, natural sexiness…it just wasn’t there. You can argue what some people think is sexy – others may not. But when it comes to Ballroom and Latin American dancing each dance has its very distinct character which must be understood and visible on performance night. From the hot and seedy, sultry and sodden clubs of Cuba, hot body language rings out every night as the undulating bodies of the Cuban people, dare to entice into each others arms. Basically, it’s the sexual calling of the human body moving in motion. Sadly, this is not what I saw on the night from our stunning Rachel. Every week it must be understood the dances are not only about the sparkling costumes or choreography designed to depict the dance but rather how much the celebrity really embraces and fully understands the dance in its entirety – internally as well as externally!

Remember, keep up to date with my news and reviews on Strictly Come Dancing 2013, but it’s an incredible combination of celebrities, professionals, judges and you the public who make the ultimate decision on the night of this most glamorous and addictive season of dance.

If you are being driven to want to learn to dance yourself click here to find out more: and to find out about our 25 minute complimentary lesson at Karen Hardy Studios

Until next week…

Karen Hardy
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

More than a dance studio