Dancing Inspirations: Strictly Come Dancing

I know Strictly has been annoying to dancing purists (increasingly so as the series have gone on), but for me it's been a lifesaver.  Suddenly it's no longer embarrassing to admit that I have a passion for paso and a taste for tango, or that for many years I've been a huge fan of Anton du Beke and Erin Boag.  (And for the record, yes, I do think they should give Anton Bruce's spot when he finally taps off into the sunset, and yes, I do still hanker for Arlene's honest feedback and encyclopedic knowledge of dance, although I'm pleased that the BBC have at last found a worthy successor to her in Darcey Bussell).  For me, Strictly has filled many long, dark, depressing winter evenings with sparkles, glamour and excitement.

I'm always slightly at a loss when a series ends, so I was delighted to discover on Christmas Day that my lovely husband had tracked down tickets for the live tour when it visited Sheffield Arena in February.  And just to prove that I went, here's me holding up my programme and scorecard.  Yes, the live tour definitely scores a ten with me.  It's very obviously staged, but it's beautiful to watch and there's a fantastic atmosphere from start to finish.  The presenter, judges and celebrities all enter into the spirit and there's no feeling of boredom despite the fact they must have done it all dozens, if not hundreds, of times by now.  I especially loved getting closer to the stunning costumes - I've always had a bit of a thing for ballroom dresses, and one of the most enjoyable parts of writing 'Perfect Partners' was imagining what lovely things Lisa would get to wear as part of the Couples show. 

To round off the weekend, we followed Saturday's visit to the Strictly Live Tour with 'Anton and Erin do Hollywood' on Sunday.  Once again, both the dancing and the costumes were amazing, but this time the real star of the show was the full concert orchestra bringing the beautiful movie tunes to life.  I've no idea how the producers managed to seat a full scale orchestra on stage at Sheffield City Hall and still fit in quicksteps, foxtrots and viennese waltzes!  All in all, the weekend was a real dance extravaganza, and just what I needed to help me get in the mood for writing about dancing - after all, with my first dance book launching on Kindle in just over a week, what better time to be getting on with the sequel?


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