Category Archives: Thought For Thursday

Thought for Thursday – Why we always love a trier.

Sunday night saw the end of an era, as Ed Ball’s Strictly journey and fight for the glitterball came to an end after 10 weeks of sheer joy.

Before Strictly 2016 started, I was extremely excited to see Ed Balls take to the floor, and over the past 10 weeks, like many other people I have come to fall in love with him.

Many people felt that he should have left the competition weeks ago. I am not one of those people and will genuinely miss seeing Ed take to the floor for Musicals Week this Saturday. A few weeks ago I got drawn into a conversation with a colleague (and fellow Strictly fan) who told me that Ed’s time on Strictly was up. I was quick (quicker than he danced in his quickstep quick) to jump to his defence, saying that he truly deserved his space in the competition and embodied everything that we love about Strictly.

Ed may not have been the best dancer but in the Strictly awards he will most definitely win the award of most-improved in our eyes. He started the series as a non-dancer. Yes, he had good rhythm and musicality but had no prior dance training. His timing was impeccable and we were really impressed with his progress from week 1. Even Craig Revel Horwood told him he had improved (after watching his Quickstep!) We loved watching him develop as a dancer and transform from a former politician to a dancer.

His professional partner Katya, choreographed routines which not only challenged Ed, but also took risks. Who could forget the Gangnam Style Salsa, and those daring (and almost deadly lifts in his American Smooth? These risks would not have been possible had it not been for his effort. The hard work he put in helped him become a good, loyal friend who Katya could trust to pull off such choreography. 

One of our all-time favourite sayings is dance like nobody is watching. Ed did just this! We were watching in our many milllions, but the thing that we love about him is how he committed to a performance. Tried his best and performed with all he could. He was never embarrassed, hid his nerves well and most importantly was himself on the dancefloor. He did this at the same time as showing a new side to his personality.

Any contestant who embraces Strictly and turns themselves into a metaphorical (or literal) Human Glitterball, gets our vote. Ed embraced sequins from day one, and even had a full spray tan (a la Jeremy Vine) to get our vote.

Ed Truly embodied what Strictly is about. If Mr Men were to create a Mr Strictly, they would cast Ed Balls in the role. He tried his hardest, embraced Strictly and danced like nobody was watching (Ed, if you’re reading this, we were watching and loved all of your dances.

So we love a trier, and Ed, we loved you! Strictly certainly won’t be the same without you. Thank you for giving your all and showing us that anything is possible if you put your mind to it and if you believe!

Thought For Thursday – The Magic of Blackpool πŸ­πŸ–πŸ’ƒπŸ»

For many years Blackpool has been seen as the ballroom capital of the UK. The Tower Ballroom has become a magical place where dreams come true and has an even fairytale kingdom-like quality.

Over the past few years when Strictly has visited the tower ballroom we have seen many magical routines. There have been dances which have truly wowed and amazed us. Scores in Blackpool are on average a lot higher than in other weeks and the judges seem more generous dishing out their tens than in other weeks. So what makes Blackpool performances so magical?

Well, firstly the anticipation. The professionals have all danced at Blackpool and they all want to get to the Strictly Blackpool show to show their celebrities how amazing it is. The professionals put their all into their choreography week after week, but at Blackpool they really do push the boat out creating routines worthy of the world championships. At home we cannot wait to see the performances. We expect great things this year, and are sure the pros and celebrities will not disappoint.

Secondly, it has to be the audience. In the studio there is a much smaller audience, whereas at Blackpool the celebrities and professionals are performing to a much larger crowd. This in turn creates a more entertaining and enthralling atmosphere. In fact in 2013, after Susanna Reid and Kevin Clifton performed their legendary Paso Doble, the audience cheered so loudly it broke the record for the loudest applause ever on TV. Now that’s something.

With a larger ballroom floor, the celebrities and professionals can cover much more distance. This is particularly noticeable in the Ballroom routines where the celebrities and professionals cover the floor as much as they can. There is nothing more magical than watching a Quickstep, Foxtrot or a Viennese Waltz on the Blackpool floor. The couples use up the whole floor which impresses us and the judges and creates truly magical routines.

The judges always seem to be in a better mood in Blackpool. Perhaps it’s the sea air. It may also be because it is a little like a holiday. A change from the norm is as good as a rest and leaving the Studio to go to such a magical place as the Tower Ballroom would make even the grumpiest of people (yes Craig, that’s you) smile!

Finally, let’s not forget the band, singers, costume team, make-up, hair and behind the scenes team. Week after week they help produce a show which we all love from the comfort of our own sofas. In Blackpool they go the extra mile to really impress us. The costumes are always super sparkly, the music always sounds amazing and the hair and make-up (aka Glam Squad) make the looks super glitzy too. They really do go the extra mile to make Blackpool even more special.

So that’s what makes Blackpool even more magical for us. What makes Blackpool magical for you? Tell us by tweeting @scd_support or commenting below. We look forward to hearing from you.

Cassie πŸ™‚ 

Thought For Thursday – It’s all about being popular!

We are now at the half-way point of Strictly 2016 and for starters we can hardly believe how quickly this series has gone by already. This year’s class of Strictly celebrities have been the best yet for us, and we love every single one of them (even those who have gone home already!)


Despite our love for absolutely everyone, some couples have found themselves in the dreaded dance-off (some have been there more than once.) It got us thinking, what makes us vote for certain couples and what makes a partnership popular?

To begin with, it’s all about having chemistry with your partner and getting along! The Strictly matchmakers always do a brilliant job pairing the celebrities and pros together, and you see friendships which last much longer than their time on Strictly. We have even seen relationships and a wedding too! Of all the couples in this year’s line-up we can see that all the couples get on extremely well and we’re sure they will remain the best of friends long after the show finishes.

A crowd-pleasing routine will always get the public voting whether it’s perfect or not. All the professionals are superb choreographers and they create imaginative and original choreography for their celebrities week after week. I am going to single out one professional, who we are big fans of in our house, Kevin Clifton! He managed to survive a whole 2 series and 6 weeks of a 3rd series without being in the dance-off. In our book that has to be a strictly record. Yes, he is a likeable chap, as well as a brilliant and lovely teacher who knows how to choreograph to his celebrity’s strengths, but he also creates routines which get us wanting to join in at home (and more importantly vote!) 

The British Public also love an underdog. You don’t have to be the best dancer to go far on Strictly. If some of the judges are feeling exceptionally grumpy and give you low points for a routine where you have tried your best, the British Public will vote. Take for example the lovely Ed Balls. He may not be the best dancer, but he is giving his all and fully embracing the mad world of Strictly. We have fallen in love with him and really look forward to his performances week after week. He has created many a magic moment on the dancefloor which has left us beaming with delight (and voting for him like crazy people!)

We have seen many a report recently that your performance position can in turn affect your popularity and how people vote. People all want to be in the “pimp slot” – the last slot, as this will certainly make your performance more memorable to the viewing and voting public. Most of the time Strictly do “save the best till last” and we always are left ending the night on a high. We found an interesting graph that the clever people @keepdancingpod had made up earlier, which made for some very interesting analysis:

So that’s what we think helps you in the popularity stakes. We do cast votes equally for every one of our couples. What makes a Strictly pairing popular in your eyes? Tell us by tweeting @scd_support or commenting below. We look froward to hearing from you.

Cassie πŸ™‚ 

Thought for Thursday – A Themetastic Thought for the Week!

This Saturday we’ll see the Strictly 2016 cast take to the floor for what looks set to be a spooktacular Halloween special.

Yesterday we asked for your opinion as we asked this question..

It’d seem that the majority of you love them but there are some people who are undecided and not so keen on them.

We love nothing more than a good theme week. They showcase the immense ability and talent of all the strictly team from the Strictly Professional Dancers and their brilliant choreography, to the Hair, Costume and Make-up team who bring dances to life. We mustn’t also forget the brilliant Band, Singers and Backstage team as well as the celebrities who work hard to impress us and the judges week after week.

Theme weeks are always an opportunity to wow us and for Strictly to put on a show. This year we’ve already experienced a truly awesome Movie Week show, where although the celebrities and pros performed some impressive routines (deserving of 10s in our opinion) the judges failed to agree and didn’t give out a 10 throughout the night. 

Some may argue that every week Strictly puts on a show, but theme weeks always go the extra mile with the Strictly team. Many of the most memorable performances come from theme weeks. Take for example Jay and Aliona’s epic Jive last year, or Frankie and Kevin’s Wicked-inspired Halloween Tango!


Both these dances did score 10s but they weren’t just technically perfect but portrayed the theme perfectly. They will always be remembered for their brilliant storytelling and for us they were just as good as performances on a West End stage. Aliona and Kevin also managed to keep the feel for each dance without losing the style they were dancing which made them even more impressive. Yes, they did have a Pulp Fiction/Wicked flavour but they didn’t lose the technique or feel of the Tango/Jive.

Overall, we love theme weeks. We like how they add a different flavour to the dance. We don’t like it when a theme takes over a dance (which I’m sure many of you would agree with!) but do like the dances to entertain and wow us.

What do you think? Do you love theme weeks? Would you like to see a different type of theme week. Tell us by tweeting @scd_support or commenting below. We look forward to hearing from you.

Cassie πŸ™‚

Thought for Thursday – Saying Goodbye.

As I sit here and write this post, we have said goodbye to yet another member of the Strictly 2016 cast, Tameka. She was a contestant that truly embraced the sparkle and we will miss her joyfulness week after week. We have also said goodbye to Will who has decided to quit the show for personal reasons.  As a family we are also preparing to move house in the not-so-distant future. Saying goodbye is something we ourselves are getting used to.

Every year we hear that the Strictly cast feel like one big happy family, and they feel sad saying goodbye to their Strictly colleagues and friends week after week.

This year’s competition is closer than ever and each we we now know to expect shock bottom twos and dance-offs each week. As we love all the cast of Strictly 2016, saying goodbye has become somewhat emotional. Normally in our house Sundays are spent with the family and preparing my little girl for the impending Strictly results show. She is (most of the time) a very emotionally mature 6 year old, but this year’s shock exits have left her in tears. First there was Melvin, whose exit was surrounded by controversy, then there was Tameka, who we all thought had at least a few more weeks left on her Strictly journey. 

Our impending house move has prepared Bella. With it comes goodbyes to old friends, hello to a new school, new neighbours and a new house. Bella knows she’ll still keep in touch with her close friends, but knows it’ll be a new start for us all. Last Sunday, despite being upset that Tameka and Gorka had gone home she told me:

“Mummy, Tameka’s not left Planet Strictly. She’ll still stay sparkly and it’ll go with her wherever she goes.”

This got me thinking. Each week we see former Strictly alumni watching in the audience (we’ve spotted Tom Chambers and Daniel O’Donnell this year already.) You can take the person out of Strictly. But you can’t take the strictly out of the person. They will always have a little bit of Strictly sparkle left, even after they leave the show.

When a celebrity leaves the show, they remain friends with their professional dancer and always remember the fun experience they had on Strictly. In fact, it’s never a goodbye, more a see you later!

What do you think? Do you think you can ever say goodbye to Strictly? Tell us by tweeting @scd_support or commenting below. We look forward to hearing from you.

Cassie πŸ™‚ 

Strictly – Thought For Thursday

Whilst watching last Saturday’s live show, my little Strictly fan declared that Tameka and Karen were in fact the girls in the emoji! πŸ’ƒπŸ»πŸ’ƒπŸΎ

We β™₯️ emojis & regularly use them in everyday life. Like Strictly and dance, they express sentiments that we sometimes can’t put into words πŸ™Š

During Strictly shows, we go through many emotions from πŸ˜† to 😱 to 😒 week after week. We had a thought, wouldn’t it be great to have an emoji themed show? πŸ™Š

We want to hear which Strictly moments made you feel the following emotions most:

😱

πŸ˜†

😒

Tell us for a shoutout & we may even make a playlist to help you decide! You can tweet @scd_support or comment below. We look forward to hearing from you.

Cassie πŸ‘ΈπŸ»

Thought For Thursdays – πŸ’ƒπŸ»πŸ‘°πŸ» Time To Talk About Wedding Dances! πŸ‘°πŸ»πŸ’ƒπŸ»

Over the next few Thursdays we’re going to pause for a thought and invite a small discussion about things relating to dance that we have encountered over the last few weeks. This week we’re talking about Wedding Dances. 

So last week, we were treated to another wonderful video from Kevin and Karen on their YouTube Channel. We have missed their How-To-Dance videos and have to say this Wedding Dance Special was truly brilliant!

In case you missed it, here it is again:

I think you’ll agree it’s not just entertaining but all that a wedding dance should be and much more.

Last week, I was also treated to a sneak peek at my best friend’s first dance! She’s getting married in 2 months’ time and after a dress fitting (Bella is her bridesmaid) took me somewhere where I could see her first dance. 

First dances should always be romantic in my opinion. Part of the romance of seeing a couple take their first steps together as man and wife on the dance floor is magical. When she told me her wedding dance would be on rollerskates, I was curious but also a bit concerned 😱

The expression on my face when I heard about my friend’s wedding dance – a reconstruction!

Rollerskates always make me think of 1980s electro-pop and not a romantic slow dance. My friend admitted to me she’s not the most coordinated person, which set off alarm bells in my head. I needn’t have worried, as fortunately there were no injuries, but the whole experience really surprised me. 

It is choreographed to a slow romantic song and is really beautiful. I love strictly, and having been to many weddings over the last few years, I do love seeing a couple take their first steps as man and wife together on the dance floor. My and My husband’s first dance was a traditional slow number. I didn’t think I’d ever say this but I really enjoyed seeing them skate on the dancefloor together. Yes, it’s not traditional, but the whole idea of a wedding dance is seeing a couple dance together as man and wife for the first time and seeing the love between them as they start on their new life together. This dance did just that, and what’s more, it moved me to tears!

Dance connects with the soul and the important part of the first dance at a wedding is to add to the whole wedding experience. Whether it be traditional, original or unusual, it does not matter. It is something that allows you to remember what should and will no doubt be a magical day!

Here are some of our all-time favourite wedding dances:

Let us know your favourites & we’ll add them to the list ready for Wedding Season. 

We hope you enjoyed reading this post. We’ll be back next week for another Thought For Thursday Post!

Cassie πŸ™‚