Category Archives: Strictly

Strictly Cruise – A Review by @Team_Clifton

Ever wanted to go on a Strictly Cruise? The lovely Marisa (@TeamClifton) on twitter recently returned feeling sparkly and reinvigorated following a Strictly Cruise. She kindly agreed to review her experience for you all. Here is what she thought of the whole cruise in her own words:


Going on a Strictly themed cruise was something I had wanted to do since I had become Strictly mad. The only problem was that I had to convince my mum it was a good thing to do. Unfortunately, my mum didn’t have the same desire to go on a cruise. After two years of persuasion, my work finally paid off and the cruise was booked. Nothing like the excitement of seeing Jo and Giovanni in a showcase. The thought of going to places we had never been to in Spain, France and Italy was the final point of persuasion. So we arrived and, after gasps of “that ship is huge”, we boarded the ship and bumped into Joanne Clifton who had the same thought as me – get the Wi-Fi sorted – not cheap though.

Then it was time to explore the ship. It soon got a bit awkward as we kept bumping into Jo everywhere we went. Maybe the ship wasn’t as big as we thought! 🙈

Our cruise got off to a bit if a rocky start as the Bay of Biscay was particularly choppy but that didn’t stop us working out what we could do. As well as the Strictly Q&A, photo sessions, dance lessons and showcases there was also the usual cruise entertainment. I needed a PA (my mum!) to plan it all out. Of course, we treated ourselves to a spa treatment and found the gym – needed to work off the good food and, as we headed south the weather improved and got warmer, the sunbathing started. Then the dolphins came, at first we weren’t sure, but there was no mistaking the second time as there were about 10 in a pod.

After three days we started to look out for our first port, Alicante. Everyone seemed to be surprised at how nice it was as it was mostly known for Alicante airport. Apart from the occasional plane taking off you would not have known that there was an airport at all. What we did see was a beach, a Marina, a castle, pretty promenades and lots of coffee shops.

Back on board, we got ready to see the first Strictly showcase starring Jo and Giovanni. It was amazing and a good chance to see them show off their skills and to see that amazing Jive again. Sadly this time it was performed without Ore but we did have the world record holder for number of Jive steps in a minute to replace him. Giovanni was keen to remind us of that achievement!

Next Stop Barcelona. We had an excursion booked so had to be up and ready to go by 9.30am. But it was a good way to see a lot in a short time. Sadly this was where we said goodbye to Jo and Giovanni but where we said hello to Neil and Katya, AJ and Chloe who kicked off their cruise with a Q&A.

Sadly due to the choppy sea, we next stopped at Marseille instead of Cannes where it rained. A lot. We tried to see as much as we could but as I was wearing flip flops the squelching eventually got too much so we went back to the ship for lunch. It was then off to Italy, Pisa and Florence first and then Rome, where we had booked excursions as we wanted to see a lot. Tip if you want to go to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel book an excursion that has a fast track as the queues are can take more than two hours to get in. The other advantage to booking an excursion is that the ship will not go without you and at the port for Rome we needed lots of time so this was useful for us. Leaving this port meant that we started the journey home heading back towards Spain. So we had to make the most of our time left on board. Evening Entertainment included Lance Ellington known for being a Strictly singer, notably singing in Korean for Gangnam Style when Ed and Katya danced their salsa. Other singers included really good tribute acts for the Beatles and Michael Buble. The cruise has its own company Headliners which did a really good tribute to the musicals so it’s worth checking it out. This is in addition to the Strictly entertainment which at this stage of the cruise included AJ, Chloe, Katya and Neil. This was a nice opportunity to see more of what the professional couples could do and we were given the opportunity to see the dance that AJ and Chloe performed for BGT and one of Neil and Katya’s amazing showdance. One more stop at Cartegena in Spain and then onto Gibraltar our final stop.

As we leave each port, the entertainment team hold a sail away party. The Ventura put on really good sail aways with, in my opinion, a really good James Corden lookalike leading it. Even Craig Revel Horwood, who joined us at Gibraltar, joined in! Another Q&A session, this time, with Craig who was brutally honest about his past and made sure the audience was kept up to date with the recent announcements that Natalie was leaving and that the new judge, to replace Len, had been announced. Then we started getting ready to watch the final showcase, the Passengers Strictly Competition! With Craig, AJ and Richard, one of the ship’s crew, judging and Chloe presenting it was a lot of fun. Another Q&A with the Strictly production team which was very interesting and revealed a side to Strictly you don’t get to know about.

Now nearing Southampton, suitcases were packed up again and put out for collection leaving us an opportunity to fully enjoy our final night on board. One last quiz, we never did win one, a last evening meal and then it was soon time to say goodbye to the amazing staff on the Ventura as we arrived at Southampton. It was an amazing experience with memories I’ll never forget. P and O’s motto is: ‘This is the Life’. And it certainly was for us. Don’t be surprised if you see us on another Strictly cruise next year!

Thank you Marisa for reviewing your cruise experience. *persuades her husband to book a cruise next year* If you’ve been on a Strictly Cruise we’d love to hear what you thought of it. You can either tweet @scd_support or comment below this post to let us know. We look forward to hearing from you.

Cassie 🙂 

Strictly Overheards – What do Star Wars and the Strictly Glitterball Have in Common?

Sometimes Kids say the funniest things but also 7 year old logic is officially awesome. Earlier this afternoon, I picked up my wonderful little Strictly fan from school and took her in search of a Father’s Day present for daddy!

Whilst we were out shopping, I caught her staring at a Star Wars Death Star. (My Husband is a huge Star Wars fan – so anything Star Wars related would go down well.)

She grabbed my attention before telling me:

Mummy, the Death Star looks like a Strictly Glitterball but without the sparkly bits on the outside.


Kevin from Grimsby likes Star Wars and did a Star Wars themed Charleston on Strictly, so he made the Death Star sparkly again and made Star Wars all Strictlified. He should really win the Strictly Glitterball this year!


I officially love her logic and thought process!  There you have it, that’s what the Glitterball and a Death Star have in common.

Do you agree with Bella? Vote in the poll below to let us know.

Cassie 🙂

Strictly Support Group – Strictly Couple Weeks – Team Glita – Day 1

So, last night on our twitter feed, we announced the latest Strictly couple to be put in the spotlight as part of our Strictly Couple Weeks.

Yes, we have chosen Team Glita and every day this week we will be sharing one of their dances. At the end of the week we’ll give you the chance to vote in a poll to crown your favourite Team Glita moment.

In case you missed it earlier, we started the week off sharing their brilliant Charleston. When we first saw this dance it proved what a fearless pairing these two were. The choreography was challenging, but brilliantly executed and we got to see the first of many Gleb Specials,  moments we came to love every week we watched this couple dance. 

We love couples who look like they’re having the time of their life dancing, and these two filled us with joy with every step they took on the Strictly dancefloor. This dance was a joy to watch and we’re pretty sure it’ll help motivate you and get your week started.


We’d love to hear what you thought of this dance. Tell us by tweeting @scd_support or commenting below. We look forward to hearing from you.

Cassie 🙂 

Strictly Support Group – Sparkly Suggestions for Shirley

Last week, we had our first bit of Strictly news, as the wonderful people at the BBC unveiled the lady who will be head judge this year, Shirley Ballas.

We cannot wait to see her on the show and with her latin dance expertise she’ll definitely know her stuff. We’re sure she’ll also give the couples some brilliant constructive criticism. 


We know she’ll be amazing but we asked you to share some of your sparkly suggestions for Shirley ahead of her new role. Here are some of your wonderful answers:

We do agree that she should carry a spare 10 paddle at all times. If she doesn’t use it, we’re pretty sure it’ll come in handy for (gently) hitting Craig on the head when he scores couples lower than they deserve. 

For us we think that she should carry a harness with her at all times, to keep Bruno in his seat! We do worry about him when he falls off his chair. When we mentioned this, we had one wonderful suggestion from another of our fab-u-lous followers:

Of course, if she does wear a crash helmet it’ll have to be covered in glitter and sequins, we are on Planet Strictly after all!

My 7 year old’s advice to her is be yourself or a unicorn! Do they even have those on Planet Strictly? *looks confused*

What are your Sparkly Suggestions For Shirley? Comment below to let us know or tweet @scd_support. We look forward to hearing from you!

Cassie 🙂 

Strictly Day – 13 Reasons We Love Strictly

13 years ago today, Strictly graced our TV screens for the very first time. We knew from the very first moment it was a winning formula which we would come to love and have never stopped watching it since. 

But what’s made Strictly one of our all-time favourite shows? Here are thirteen reasons we love Strictly!

1. Those Unforgettable Dances

In series one we had Chris Parker and his unforgettable Paso Doble. In series 14, it was the turn of Ed Balls with his Gangnam Style Salsa. There are moments that are pure entertainment which are truly unforgettable and just remind us that you don’t have to be a brilliant dancer to win our hearts, you just have to dance like nobody’s watching. The only thing is, we are watching and we will fall in love with you!


2. Those Magic Moments

Yes, as well as the entertaining dances, there are those moments of pure perfection, when dance magic is created on the Strictly floor! Take for example, Danny and Oti’s Samba. It was a moment when music, choreography, dancing and everything seemed to come together to create one of the greatest dances we have ever seen!


3. The Wonderful Pro Dancers

They wow us week after week with their group dances, but also with their choreography, patience and teaching ability. Yes, the Strictly Pros are possibly some of the loveliest people ever. They are truly inspiring human beings and the show would not be the same without them! They are super lovely to all their fans and are inspiring young dancers to follow their dreams! 

4. The Judges

Whilst the couples may await the judges’ verdict with trepidation, it’s something we look forward to week after week. Yes, Bruno’s falling off his chair, Craig’s cutting comments and Len (we’ll miss you Len) and his len-isms. They become catchphrases which we take into everyday life. Craig’s scores may be harsh at times, but they only encourage us to vote more for our favourites!

5. Tess and Claudia

Our two hosts entertain us week after week with their wit and humour. It cheers up and brightens our winter months. Who could forget Claudia in a Dolphin suit? Or the fishing gag last year? Together they bring us comedy genius which together with wonderful dancing brings us some of the best TV ever! *Imagines how much fun a night out with these two would be* 

6. The Band and Singers

The live music on Strictly is world-class. It gives us goosebumps and amazes us. Credit has to go to the singer last series who sung Gangnam Style in Korean. *bows out of respect* Overall, the music adds to the effect and gives us some of the most memorable performances on TV ever!

7. The Glitterball

For many shows, the trophy looks ever so boring or is just a symbol, but on Strictly they get quite possibly the sparkliest most glitzy trophy ever in the whole world. It’s every girl’s dream (my little girl asked for one in her bedroom – we’re still waiting for it to be put up) and embodies everything that Strictly represents. It brings us sparkle during the dull autumnal and winter months.

8. The Costumes

Week after week, Vicky Gill and her team of sequin stitchers and seamstresses create some stunning looks which would not look out of place on a fashion catwalk. They help our couples get into character and have given us dress envy many times during the series. 


9. The Friendships

Year after year, we see our couples become the best of friends!  We love seeing Strictly reunions on social media between celebrities and pros, but it’s lovely to see the camararderie between the couples and celebrities each year. They are like a family who can never be separated. 

10. It is a Family-Friendly Show

As a mum, there’s nothing I love more than being able to watch shows with my family. I live with possibly two of the youngest Strictly superfans who have been brought up watching Strictly every year. Part of its appeal is that you can watch it no matter how old or young you are. I watched it with my mum and grandma when the show first started and now I watch it with my little girls. If it had an age rating it would say suitable from 0-100+ 

11. The Hair and Make-Up

Yes, the Make-Up team create some looks which don’t only look awesome but make us want to cover ourselves in glitter every day of the year. We love watching Strictly each week to see what the couple’s make-up and hair will look like.  One of our all-time favourite make-up looks has to be this moment:


12. It Takes Two
Yes, this post wouldn’t be worth the blog it’s written on if we didn’t mention It Takes Two. We are firm believers that a dose of Strictly every day keeps the doctor away (in Winter.) From the Sunday results show until Saturday’s live show, Zoe Ball and her wonderful team keep us entertained with a behind the scenes look at Strictly. We love that we get to see what goes on in a light-hearted way.

13. The Tour

For those of us who are unable to get tickets to the live shows, we love that we can not only go and see The Strictly Live Tour but also follow some of our favourite professional dancers on tour around the country and (if you’re lucky) on a Strictly Cruise. It keeps the Strictly magic going on long enough so we do not suffer from Strictly Withdrawal symptoms!

So there we have it, those are thirteen of the reasons why we love Strictly. What makes you love Strictly? Tell us by tweeting @scd_support or commenting below to let us know. We look forward to hearing from you.

Cassie 🙂 

Strictly Support Group   🍀 St Patrick’s Day 🍀 Poll

Happy St Patrick’s Day to all our followers and friends! 🍀💃🏻🍀


Over the past 13 years there have been many great Irishmen and women who have taken to the Strictly floor.

In true Strictly Support Group style, we know there’s just one way to decide who is the greatest….. with a poll!

All you need to do is choose your favourite from the poll below and vote! Voting will remain open until 8pm tonight when we’ll reveal the results after our quiz! 

Keep voting and dancing.


Cassie. 

Strictly Support Group – 🔟 things we ❤️ about Strictly💃🏻

We’ll put our hands up and proudly admit that we are Strictly Superfans. The other day, Bella asked me “mummy, what are the 10 things you love most about Strictly?”

We sat down to work to decide what really made Strictly so uh-may-zing. Here are our Top 10 things we love about Strictly.

Mummy (Me!) and my 10 things I love about Strictly.

  1. I can share it with all the family – I love being able to enjoy Strictly with the kids, as well as with my husband and the rest of our family too. It is a show that appeals to all ages.
  2. The sparkles, the glitz and the glamour – As a girly girl, I love all things that sparkle (I am a bit of a magpie and try to grab anything that sparkles when I see it.) The sparkles as well as all the glamour and glitz just act like a magnet and draw me towards my TV screen week after week.
  3. Gorka, Pasha All the professional dancers – As well as being simply the best dancers (and teachers) in the world they are also inspirational and just the loveliest people ever.
  4. It brings a little bit of joy and sparkle to our d-u-l-l autumn and winter days – Let’s face it, autumn and winter would be boring without Strictly. It brightens up even the cloudiest day and never fails to make us smile.
  5. The friends we’ve made – Strictly has brought so many like-minded people together from different parts of the country. You know who you are!
  6. Those magical performances which have inspired us – Every week there’ll be one moment which leaves us speechless and gives us goosebumps. The dancing is pure perfection, the live band and singers do an incredible job week after week.
  7. The fact that we can make a difference – Yes, Craig, you may feel the need to give couples scores under 5, but us fans are here in our hundreds of thousands and poised ready to vote to ensure that the person who has been under marked gets through to the following week. We hate saying goodbye but love the surprised look when a couple who have been at the bottom of the leaderboard find themselves safely through to next week.
  8. Claudia (Winkleman) – We’re pretty sure her Wikipedia article should be changed to read “TV Presenter, causer of mayhem and fun in the clauditorium!” We love Claudia and Tess and together they are a great partnership. Claudia’s comic timing and her quick wit have left us in stitches of laughter week after week!
  9.  The live music and band – Sometimes tasked with recreating music classics, they always pull it out of the bag and produce a brilliant arrangement for couples to dance to. In fact, there have been occasions where we’ve preferred their interpretation of the music to the original song.
  10. It keeps getting better – We say this week after week and year after year, Strictly always seem to amaze us with their productions. They really do keep getting better and deserve all the awards they win!

Bella’s 10 things she loves about Strictly

  1. The Sparkly Glitterball – It is so shiny and sparkly, I’d like one in my bedroom when I’m bigger.
  2. It makes me smile even when I’m feeling poorly – During last year’s series, we had to tweet along with Strictly from hospital, when Little Bella’s appendix burst. Despite her feeling rubbish, being able to watch Strictly in hospital really put a smile on her face.
  3. The best professional dancers in the world (ever!) – I love all the pro dancers as they are amazing, but I love the Cliftons most because they are awesome.
  4. It helped me start learning to dance – I didn’t like dancing much before Strictly, but I love learning to dance now. When I’m older I’d like to be a professional dancer or a teacher!
  5. I can watch it with my mummy – She gives the best snuggles and lets me stay up late to watch Strictly with her all the time!
  6. The friends I have made – I have made a lot of best friends because of Strictly. I think everyone who likes Strictly is very kind and nice.
  7. They have a youtube channel – It means I can watch dances all the time forever and forever and forever.
  8. The Sparkly Dresses and Shoes – They make all the girls look like princesses and I think they always look beautiful and magical.
  9. It wins awards – Strictly give out a Glitterball to people so it’s only fair that they should get a glittery award too.
  10. It has an awesome tour – Mummy says I’m still too little to go to the real Planet Strictly and watch Strictly being filmed, so I love that they have a tour that I can go to watch Strictly at with my mummy, daddy and baby sister!

So there you have it, our top 10 reasons why we love Strictly. We’d love to hear your reasons you love Strictly. Tweet us @scd_support or comment below to let us know. We look forward to hearing from you. We may even feature some of them in our next project on our blog and twitter #10ThingsWeLoveAboutStrictly

Cassie (and princess Bella!)

 

Strictly Come Dancing Live – 2017! – A Review

Friday night was an extra special night in our household. Not only was it time for us to head off to Wembley to see the Strictly tour, but it was the youngest member of the Strictly Support Group’s first outing to a tour. Yes, little Elodie (aged 2) went to Wembley.


As we arrived and prepared ourselves for what was set to be an uh-may-zing night, we were greeted by the sparkliest and largest Glitterball we had ever seen. It was so fab-u-lous, both our girls wanted to take it home with them. *gives the Strictly Tour team an idea for merchandise next year.*

Before we knew it it was time for the show to start. We had been excited about this tour for many months. Not only was it the tenth anniversary of the Strictly Tour, but it was also a bit emotional as it’s Len’s last outing as judge on the tour. We were also over the moon that 6 of our favourite members of the Class of 2016 were performing Ore, Danny, Louise, Daisy, Lesley and Ed. It looked set to be an amazing night.

The show did not disappoint. With more professional dancers on tour than ever before, we were treated to some of our all-time favourite Strictly Routines.

The “pillowtalk/cell-block tango” routine wowed us and had us on the edge of our seats (especially as there was an aerial performer thrown into the mix too.

The West-Side Story routine captivated us with the romantic love story between Janette and Aljaz followed by Karen Clifton portraying Anita from West Side story perfectly!

The show kicked off with the energetic Hairspray group number from Blackpool. We felt it appropriate they danced to the song “nicest kids in town.” This year’s cast came across as the nicest and loveliest cast on Strictly ever. We had not one, but 15 favourites, and they truly were the Nicest Kids in Town. Little Bella loved it so much she did not stop dancing throughout the routine.

We were also treated to some of our favourite routines from each of the couples.

Daisy and Aljaz performed their groovy Salsa and their unforgettable waltz, which moved us to tears it was so beautiful.

Ed and Katya performed their American Smooth and their Gangnam Style Salsa. There was a roar of applause when Ed performed the lift that almost became a disaster perfectly and we were also happy to have seen the routine that became one of our highlights of 2016, Ed doing Gangnam!

Louise and Kevin performed that perfect Paso for which we have one word, #slay, and their hoedown of a quickstep which brought us joy and made us smile from start to finish.

Ore and Karen performed the Jive and Showdance. Both these routines were two of our favourites from the live shows, and their energy as well as their passion for dancing shone through in each performance. They really did do Joanne proud!

Lesley and Gorka performed the quickstep and charleston. We can honestly say Lesley’s energy is admirable. She’s in her 70s yet kept up with people half her age. It led to my 6 year old telling me that she wants to be able to dance like that when she’s 70!

The winners on the night were Danny and Oti who performed their perfect Charleston and THAT Samba. Both dances were even more impressive seeing them in the arena. We’re sure that Danny has a career ahead of him in the West End. What was more touching was that he could not believe he received a Standing Ovation for that Samba.

As well as the dancing, we also had some comedy moments including Craig attempting the Gangnam Style (after a challenge from Ed,) Len letting us know he still sleeps with his Ninja Turtles (glad we’re not alone!,)  Kevin’s pleas for votes (and a tantrum at the end when they didn’t win 😂 – he is the king of comedy!) Gorka’s attempt at Cockney Rhyming Slang and Katya showing off the knowledge she has gained from dancing with Ed Balls.

All those performing shone bright like stars on the Dancefloor and we must also give credit to Anita Rani (last year’s tour runner up and Strictly 2015 contestant) who did a brilliant job hosting the tour. Credit also has to go to Karen Hardy who turned judge on our couples. Her knowledge and her comments made us realise that she could easily step into Len’s shoes. We also loved that she gave Ed a 10 for his Gangnam Style routine!

We say this every year and will say it again, this year’s tour was better than ever. Yes, it was the tour’s 10th anniversary, but it wowed and amazed us even more than we thought it would. From the production to the costumes, to the music, to the dancing, everything was pure class! Strictly just keeps getting better and better. We cannot wait to see what the team have up their sleeves for 2017.

Strictly, Thank you for an amazing night. From us, you score a 10/10 with a sparkly Glitterball on top!

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If you’ve been to see the tour, we’d love to hear what you thought of it! Tell us by tweeting @scd_support or commenting below to let us know. We look forward to hearing from you.

Cassie 🙂

Strictly Overheard – We’re all going on a Strictly Holiday! 🌎✈️💃🏻☀️🏝☀️💃🏻✈️🌎

It’s that time of the year, when we choose our yearly summer holiday. Whilst debating our choices earlier, my little Strictly Superfan had an interesting suggestion. Here’s what happened?

👩🏻 Mummy: So Bella what do you think of our holiday choices?

👸🏻 Bella: They’re ok mummy. I liked Croatia last year, because we got to see Giovanni land and Aljaz land and I bought Bruno. 

👩🏻 Mummy: And what about France?

👸🏻 Bella: Will Strictly be on then and do they have glittery ice cream?

👩🏻 Mummy: *Googles Strictly in France and when it’s on* It may be and I’m sure we can find some glittery ice cream wherever we go.

👸🏻 Bella: *Looks suspicious.* Mummy, I’ve got a better idea, why don’t we go to Planet Strictly?

👩🏻 Mummy: Do you mean a Strictly Cruise?

👸🏻 Bella: No mummy, I mean actually going to the real Planet Strictly. We can go in a rocket, and will get to see all the pros because they’ll be rehearsing then.

👩🏻 Mummy: That sounds like a great idea sweetheart. When can we go?

👸🏻 Bella: I’m saving up my pocket money, but when I get a glittery coin we can go. Or if you can pay for it, we can go tomorrow. I’ll clear my diary! 

After all this, it got us thinking, what would Planet Strictly be like?

We can just imagine a world full of glitz, sparkle, where everyone danced in the street rather than walked. Everyone would be super smiley (no grumpy commuters.) Cars would run on glittery roads and would have massive Glitterballs on top!

The beach would be lined with glittery sands!

What would Planet Strictly be like for you? Tell us what it’d be like in your opinion and we’ll give yo us shoutout! 


Cassie 🙂 

Strictly Support Group – Kids Say The Funniest Things!

Here at the Strictly Support Group, we love to cure your post-strictly blues! I’m very lucky, that in my house I have a young Strictly Superfan (Bella – aged 6) who makes me smile and laugh with her words of wisdom. 

Yesterday afternoon I had some wonderful words of wisdom from my little girl Bella which I thought might make you smile! It all started on Sunday evening, when she told me this:

Then yesterday, as we get ready for our trip to the Strictly tour (17 sleeps today) I had this pearl of wisdom from my 6 year old:

Bella: Mummy, when I’m bigger, I’m going to get a job so I can go to every show of the Strictly tour. I think I’ll need to wait until I’m 12 because I need to save lots of money.

Me: But what about School?

Bella: That’s ok mummy. I’ll learn to dance and Strictly is educational!

Me: Can mummy come with you to all the shows?

Bella: Yes, you can mummy. I think you need to learn to dance properly!

🙈💃🏻🤔

I also got told she needed to make a checklist for her trip to the Strictly tour! When I went to get her ready for bed, I saw this note which not only made me a little teary-eyed, but also made me laugh out loud! 😢🤣


If you have a young or little Strictly fan, we’d love to hear the funniest things they’ve said about Strictly recently. Tell us by tweeting @scd_support or commenting below. We look forward to hearing from you.

Cassie 🙂