Show Me Jericho

Image: BBC Strictly Come Dancing

Hey! Hope you’re ok, hope you’re well? Sorry I’ve been MIA for a while. Things have been a little busy round here, and as you can see from my last post (and the photo above), I’ve also been engulfed in the world of Strictly Come Dancing – or should I say the World of AJ Odudu & Kai Widdrington? At the weekend, they performed an outstanding, champagne-quality Quickstep to Benny Goodman’s Sing, Sing, Sing, followed by a beautiful, sensual Rumba to Maria McKee’s Show Me Heaven. I mean, STUNNING! Anyway, it all comes to an end this weekend with the GRAND FINAL. Unfortunately, I’m hearing news of injury today, but whatever happens, they’re my WINNERS anyway! (Plus, we’re all really hoping they’re more than just good friends 🙂 )

In other news…

  • Tap classes finished last week for the Christmas holidays and I am determined to keep practising the routine we’ve been doing to the swing number Jericho by Hot Sugar Band while I have the space to work on it. I might also try to get back on the exercises I got from the Tap City tap festival this summer.
  • There was a talk by Tap Dance Research Network UK last week on the Whitman Sisters, which I had to miss because I had my class. I was happy to hear they would be sharing the recording with members for a limited time, so I set aside the afternoon to listen to/watch it…but they took it down early! I’ve sent them an email!
  • Here’s a helpful co-ordination exercise we did in one of our classes this month – I only recorded it on one side, but you keep switching sides:

Keep dancing! x

Strictly 2021

BBC Strictly Come Dancing

I do this every year – I say “Oh I’m not bothered about getting into Strictly Come Dancing this year”, and then I get completely engrossed and I’m watching the live show, the results show, all the weekday It Takes Two shows and I’m all over the social media! Well, this year my favourites are the stunning AJ Odudu & new pro dancer Kai – AMAZING chemistry and fantastic routines, especially their sizzling Argentine Tango, which I can’t stop watching, a banger of a Jive on week one and THEN on Saturday night they pulled off a killer Charleston. Yes, I’m obsessed! I definitely think John & Johannes and Rose & Giovanni will be joining them in the final –  it’s such high standard of competition this year!

Are you watching?

Keep Dancing!

Here’s a run-down of my week in a series of bullet points:

  • Finally got back to making salads for lunch – BOOM!
  • Randomly ended up having lunch with my tap teacher and her sister
  • Nailed the advanced beginners tap routine
  • Had another go at improvisation (one at a time, call & response, in a circle – argh!)
  • Intermediate tap was extremely challenging, but I loved it!
  • Switched to advanced beginners daytime class for next half term (starting 8th Nov)
  • Booked an Afternoon Tea & Spa for 1st Nov…can’t wait!

We now have a two week break from tap, and I am not going to do any dancing in that break. Last year I booked a place on a La La Land Tap workshop at the Arts Ed school in Chiswick (West London) and then didn’t go because I’d had a bad day at work and I was DONE. My natural leaning is always to do more, but I am trying to do less – any dancing that I do will be in my garage! In the meantime, I am getting ready as early as possible for the 4 Christmas fairs I’ll be doing with my soap business.

Do you watch Strictly Come Dancing? Maybe you watch Dancing with the Stars if you’re in the US or elsewhere. My favourite couple is Ashley Roberts (from the Pussycat Dolls) and her professional partner Pasha Kovalev (Pashley hahaha). She did an amazing cha cha and I LOVED their Dirty Dancing salsa routine! All the routines are on the BBC Strictly YouTube channel. I really want to learn to cha cha, but I’m going to park that ambition for now…

BBC Ashley Pasha
Image from BBC

 

Strictly

 

Someone asked me today if I’ve been watching Strictly Come Dancing as I’ve been quiet about it this year. Yes I have been watching, and I also watch Strictly It Takes Two on BBC2 at 6.30pm every day! Obviously I need to watch it on catch-up when I’ve got Ballet.

My favourite people this year are Alexandra Burke (amazing!) dancing with Gorka, and then Mollie King (really funny) with AJ (channelling Swayze). I also think Susan Calman is doing great and so is Debbie McGee with her amazing developpe!

I am trying to stay away from Twitter on a Saturday night after becoming very annoyed with members of the public decrying those who are taking part who have apparently already had dance training:

It’s not fair! They shouldn’t win! Strictly should be about non-dancers! I can’t stand her! She’s so fake! She’s been in the West End! She’s done Ballet!

On the ballet thing, who hasn’t?? Most of the girls I went to school with did ballet lessons as kids. SO WHAT? Doesn’t mean they can walk into a studio and just start doing amazing Samba bachatas! Some of the dance training these critics refer to may actually be just some choreography for the stage (e.g. for singers). Not quite the same as the stuff they’re doing on Strictly.

Do you know what? If all the contestants were terrible:

a) the show wouldn’t have lasted this many years

b) you’d never keep the interest of the public

c) it is a prime-time entertainment show and you need a variety of dance ability

d) it has been going for so many years now, I think the pool of celebrities is a bit small to be restricted to those with zero dance training.

My SO and I had a few Salsa lessons and one Rumba lesson a couple of years ago. Although I picked up Salsa fairly well, I found the Rumba more challenging. Not every dance will suit everybody. Not everyone is used to partner dancing either. My SO found the classes a bit more challenging because he’s not a natural dancer, but he’s still had lessons, so does that disqualify him from Strictly if it were open to the public?? (Oh, he’s had dance training!)

I do find it interesting that the venom being spouted on social media was not directed at previous STAGE SCHOOL winners, such as Jill Halfpenny and Jay McGuinness…

Anyway, rant over, and no more reading of Twitter comments!

I would love to learn to Samba, but I’m doing enough at the moment!