I’m no Nostradamous, but I’ll know good dancing when I see it!

Here is my next Blog instalment of SCD 2012. You can read the first one here. I’m writing this as the show runs, so I will be adding my comments as the action happens on screen!

The obvious thing, is that they appear to be trying to add even more glitz and glamour from last year. Now, to a cynical professional dancer like me, it’s too much – I want to see great dancing, weekly improvements and good old hard work, blood, sweat and tears. Joe public though, love the spice and sparkle of it all so I do understand what the BBC are trying to do.

It was quite a good opening, segueing from the red carpet celebrity announcement, to the professionals dancing into BBC TV centre and then onto the dance floor – nice. Perhaps Pasha should have waited until after tonight’s show to get his hair cut to have made the cut more believable.

It’s the usual Brucie and Tess. Incidentally, if you ever get the chance to go up and see the show you’ll notice that Bruce Forsyth genuinely is very funny and engaging. I would really love to know who writes his script for the show – he’s so much better not on the teleprompter. Kelly’s only comment so far is ‘Oooo, I like Tess’ s dress!’.


And now, onto the announcement of each pairing! Ladies first.


Fern Britton – Artem. Correct!


Dani Harmer – Vincent. Wrong!

Victoria Pendleton – Brendan. Wrong!


When the first pairing came out, I did get quite excited! Could I get them ALL right? No… When I was deciding who was going to be with who, I did think that it was a toss-up between Lisa Riley and Dani Harmer for Vincent, so I was close. I was way off the mark with Brendan & Victoria. Who else is tall enough for Jerry Hall?


And here’s the next group….


Sid Owen – Ola Jordan. Wrong!


Nicky Byrne – Karen Hauer. Wrong!


Johnny Ball – Aliona. Wrong!

Well, I got all of those wrong. I forgot that Ola is quite a shorty too so perhaps it’s not unexpected that she got Sid. I perhaps overlooked the fact that it was inevitable that they put Karen Hauer with Nicky from Westlife – put her with a popular celeb to increase HER popularity! Finally, Johnny Ball. I think it was really funny watching the camera pan down the lady professionals waiting on the stairs – and their faces were screaming “NOT ME NOT ME – PLEASE NOT ME!” Aliona’s face was a picture!

Oooo! Now we’re in for a treat!

Ian Waite & Darcey Bussell dancing the American Smooth. I’m confused. I honestly thought that American Smooth was based on Foxtrot and Quickstep in the main? Surely what they did was just a show dance? It was quite nice, albeit just a mix of poses and lines, but obviously it was just a way to prove that the new judge isn’t only a ballet dancer. I think she probably just is.

The last 4 ladies….


Kimberley Walsh – Pasha. Wrong!


Jerry Hall – Anton. Wrong!


Lisa Riley – Robin. Wrong!


Denise Van Outen – James. Wrong!

It all started so well! Not another prediction correct at all. Kimberley with Pasha is probably quite a good choice. She’s pretty feisty and I get the feeling she’ll want to be the boss, which will work quite well because Pasha is a little bit like a wet weekend at Pontins. Another good pairing is Lisa and Robin. She’ll need looking after and Robin really is such a lovely guy so she’s in good hands. It’s irrelevant I suppose that he’s the only one that seems strong enough to lift her.  I’m disappointed for Anton. Again he’s been stuffed up with a dud; I just can’t see Jerry Hall being any good. He really is going to need to stand up properly! Finally, Denise & James. I think that partnership will suit the both of them, although you may well see some fireworks!

And the final 4 fellas….


Micheal Vaughan – Natalie. Wrong!


Louis Smith – Flavia. Wrong!

Richard Arnold – Erin. Wrong!


Colin Salmon – Kristina. Wrong!

Michael and Colin are both very tall so I guess it had to be Natalie Lowe for either of them – and I plumped for the wrong one! I’ve no doubt that Louis Smith and Flavia will be excellent. I feel sorry for Erin, she’s got a dud as well – it’ll be her or Natalie Lowe out in the first week. Colin & Kristina look a little mismatched to me, she looks tiny next to him! Wait and see what she can conjure up though. It might actually be pretty good.

So, that’s it until the 5th of October. By the looks of the group dance, I think some of the professionals might need until the 5th of October NEXT year to get anything decent out of their celebrities. My predictions started so well with Fern and Artem, but quickly deteriorated, 1 out of 14 is pretty poor. Just goes to show what I know!

For now I’ll leave the predictions until after the first week of dancing, but all I will say is that it looks good for Louis Smith, Sid Owen and Denise Van Outen and curtains for Jerry Hall, Michael Vaughan and Richard Arnold!

That’s all for now…


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The Summer of sport is over… Long live Strictly!


Yes it’s back this weekend! Strictly Come Dancing will become the must watch TV choice of Saturday nights until Christmas. I know it’s early days, but I’ve decided to give you a run down on all of the ‘celebrities’ and how I think they will fare, even before they’ve danced a step! As you all know by now, it’s not necessarily the dancing that wins it anyway!

So I’ll be doing this prediction, followed by another once they’ve got partnered up with their professional dancer. I’m even going to try and second guess who they’ll get!


Ladies first…

First up, it’s Kimberley Walsh and already being touted as a favourite to win. Really? I know Girls Aloud were quite popular but she isn’t necessarily a fans favourite. She has a feisty history, so expect some hot tempered practice session when the going gets tough. It’d be great to see her with another fiery temperament like James Jordan (just for the training videos) but I think she’ll be put with someone a little more placid – Robin Windsor. Out in the Semi Final (week 11)

Another pre-dance favourite is Victoria Pendleton, fresh from her success at the London 2012 Olympics. I think she’ll do well – obviously dedicated and exceptionally fit, training will be a walk in the park for her and she seems to scrub up quite well too! She’s got a classy look about her and so in my opinion will need a classy partner. Step forward Mr Anton Du Beke! I think it’s finally his year and I see them going all the way. Winners!

Denise Van Outen is up next. The former lads mag favourite has been a little quiet over the past few years, but is sure to enthral the male element of the viewing public. Still looking quite glamorous and with an elegant look she’ll do ok. Pasha Kovalev to partner her and out in week 9.

The oldest (and tallest) lady in the line-up is Jerry Hall. In my mind most famous for being married to Mick Jagger, although I did see her in the original Batman film, so I’m not sure how she’ll pull this dancing lark off. Her height is an obvious advantage when stood still – but the show may require a little more dancing than posing (although that hasn’t stopped previous contestants from doing very well!). The only professional tall enough for her is Brendan Cole, so he’ll get fed up quite soon and things will turn a little sour no doubt. Out in week 5.

Now the smiley face of daytime TV – Fern Britton. She used to read the news on our local TV station TVS which is now Meridian, so I grew up seeing her on the telly almost daily. She doesn’t really look a lot different, which is probably due to her much talked about gastric band! She has bit of an unfair advantage having been in the SCD Christmas special a couple of years ago, which might go against her with the public. She is quite popular though and I fancy her to do ok. It’s about time that Artem got himself an older partner, so I can see him waltzing Fern all the way to week 7.

Being the age I am, I’ve not go a clue who Dani Harmer is. Apparently ‘Dani is one of the biggest stars of children’s television in BBC history’ according to her Wikipedia page. You can edit that yourself can’t you? She may well appeal to the younger element that have seen her on TV in their youth, but the jury’s out on whether she can dance. She did have a go at singing it seems, but that fell a little flat too. Perhaps dancing will be her niche – and James Jordan will be her driving force. He’ll kick her in to shape and get her to week 8, but probably only because there are much worse celebrities to clear out first.

The final lady, is a big one. Lisa Riley filled the screen on Emmerdale for over 6 years before presenting the awful awful awful You’ve Been Framed. I don’t think it will be canned laughter when she gets going on the show… Can’t see her being in it for long, although she may surprise us all and be really good. Or she might not. The little Italian Stallion will be her partner, Vincent Simone, and they will thoroughly entertain us until week 6 when we can take no more.

And now onto the men…

The second Olympian to be snapped up by the BBC is Louis Smith. To be honest, I’ve not been an avid gymnastics viewer, but I have always admired their strength and control. Louis is the best of our male gymnasts, and I expect him to do very well indeed on this year’s show. With his strength and poise, you’ll be sure to see lots of lifts, jumps and probably cartwheels on his way to glory. Well almost. I’ve got him partnered with Kristina Rihanoff, who isn’t adverse to being thrown around, and going all the way to the final but getting pipped into silver once more.

Eastenders favourite wide boy, Sid Owen is next up. With a cheeky grin and a bit of a swagger I expect him to be a dark horse. Besides, most BBC ’employees’ always do quite well. I think he’ll be a bit of a mover and surprise a lot of people. He’s quite a shorty, so there’s only one partner he can have and that’ll be Flavia Cacace. A semi-final place beckons…

Former England cricket captain Michael Vaughan is next. In the past we’ve had Darren Gough (winner), Mark Ramprakash (winner) and Phil Tuffnel (week 9) represent the men in white out on the dance floor. However, I’m not expecting anything special from Mr Vaughan. He won’t go for a duck but I do expect him to be out quite soon especially as I think he’ll be put with Karen Hauer. A former world Mambo Champion, she’ll have him doing all sorts of nonsense and getting him sent back to the pavilion on week 4.

Strictly hasn’t always been able to attract big film actors, and this series is no different. Colin Salmon has appeared in a number of TV productions and films, and is most famous for his role in 3 quite poor James Bond films. He’s a big lad, just over 6′ 4″ but I do expect him to be rhythmical and a firm ladies favourite. As he’s a bit of a giant, I do expect him to be dancing with the tallest of the female professionals Natalie Lowe. I think they’ll do quite well – week 10.

I’m very much looking forward to seeing Johnny Ball have a go. He’s by far and away the oldest contestant at 74 and I’m sure he’ll make for fun viewing. He’s got a bit of a nutty professor way about him, which is a shame he won’t be around for the Halloween show where they could’ve had a field day with the gimmicks. Erin Boag is the best bet for guiding this old fella around the floor, but don’t expect to see too much dancing. Second contestant out in week 3.

ITV tv presenter Richard Arnold is next up. Now make sure you don’t blink, because you may well miss him. Not got a lot to say about him and I should think his dancing will be the same. Partner by everybody’s favourite professional (not) Aliona Vilani, they’ll be gone in week 2.

And finally, it’s the little Irish fella Nicky Byrne. Sickly sweet, and with a permanent smile the former Westlife boy band member is sure to be a hit with all of the ladies (and some of the men too no doubt!). An accomplished dancer and singer, he’s bound to do very well indeed however most of Westlife’s songs were slow ballads, so how he’ll cope with the fast numbers will be interesting to see. Expect to see him in a white suit, getting up from a chair at some point in the series. Ola Jordan to partner him and his Irish charm will see them in the final, but taking the bronze medal behind the Olympians.

So there you have my review of this year’s celebrities and where I think they’ll finish, even before taking a step. We’ll all get to see who their partners are for real on Saturday night’s launch show, so I’ll take a second look at my predictions and let you know what I think.

Don’t forget you can have a go at learning to dance like them too! We’ve got lots of classes running each week catering for all levels and ages – if Lisa Riley and Johnny Ball can do it, so can you!


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A Big Thank You!

Sunday night was a great success and we wanted to say a few special ‘thank-you’s’ to all of those that helped to get us to our Grand Opening. So – THANK YOU!!


Oh and we’ve got a little message of good luck from our good friends, and invited special guests, Anton & Erin!

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August Video Blog

Now I know in the past I’ve said ‘It’s been a pretty busy month’ well, this time I really mean it! Getting the new studio ready for our Grand Opening was quite a task and hence the reason why this has come a little late in being put onto the website. However, it’s here now for you to enjoy!

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