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Thursday Thoughts – The Strictly Pro Line-Up 2017!

So for many weeks we have waited eagerly for the Strictly Pro announcement for 2017. Yesterday, when we least expected it, Strictly surprised us with the professional line-up 2017!

We already heard that Natalie would no longer be on Strictly, however there were some surprises as we heard that Joanne Clifton and Oksana Platero would not be returning to the floor. Jo will be pursuing a new adventure in the world of musical theatre (having watched her in Thoroughly Modern Millie, we’re pretty sure she’ll be spectacular wherever she goes.) Natalie will be going on a new tour called Rip It Up (which we are very excited about seeing.) and Oksana has chosen not to return to the Strictly dancefloor. My 7 year old is convinced she’s going to turn into a butterfly (following her Paso Doble with Judge Rinder Last Year!)

We heard there’ll be 3 new girlies joining the Strictly Professionals. The first is Dianne Buswell (currently touring on Giovanni’s Dance is Life Tour and a former Burn the Floor Alumni, as well as a former Dancing with the stars Australia professional.) Nadiya Bychkova who is a 2-time world and european Ballroom and 10-dance champion and Amy Dowden who is current British champion and one of the highest ranking UK dancers.

We were happy to read that all the other Strictly pros will be returning to the show and in our eyes Strictly 2017 is going to be truly epic. Although we are sad to see three of our favourite professionals bid farewell to the show, change is good and Strictly continues to evolve and amaze us each series with dances that get bigger, better and even more fab-u-lous than ever before.

Some things will stay the same. We are really thrilled to see that the two legends of Strictly – Anton and Brendan are returning to the show. We do however  have a couple of  big questions this year. The first is Will Kevin win the Glitterball? He is the only pro Ever to have reached 4 finals, but have been pipped to the post for the Glitterball *gives Kevin a consolatory hug.* Surely, if any pro deserves a glitterball for their hard work, it has to go to this man for his hard work and dedication to the Strictly cause.

The second is will all the professional dancers have a partner this year? We really hope so, but have a feeling there may be a couple of pros who are partnerless. After watching Chloe partner Gethin in the Christmas Special, we’d love to see her get a partner, and we really want to see Neil partner a celebrity this year too! 

What do you think? Tell us by tweeting @scd_support or commenting below, to let us know. We’d also like to hear what you think of this year’s pro line-up.  We’ll also be hosting a special Strictly Pros themed and 2017 themed Strictly Support Group Chat, this Saturday from 8pm. We hope to see you then.

In case you missed the news yesterday, here are the pros for this year’s series of Strictly


Strictly Couple Weeks – Claudia and AJ – Day 2

So, yesterday we launched Team Pocket Rocket week, sharing their light, bright and cheery quickstep.

Today things are getting a little sultry with their Argentine Tango.

This was a dance which was everything we expected from an Argentine Tango but it gave so much more, especially with that epic lift!

Once again, hair, make-up and costume pulled together to produce a wonderful look and the song was a song we’d never have imagined being used for an Argentine Tango. That being said, it worked, and worked really well.

Claudia performed the dance really well. It was technically precise and one of those dances where the passion left us mesmerised. We were shocked when there were no 10s.We weren’t alone in our shock, as Claudia (Winkleman) did ask the judges that week what Claudia had to do to achieve a 10. The next week all our dance dreams were answered when they achieved their first 10 of the competition with a truly roar-some Salsa!

Earlier we shared this stunning dance on our twitter and Facebook pages. If you didn’t see it earlier, here it is again for your eyes only:

We’d love to hear what you thought of this dance. Simply comment below or tweet us @scd_support to let us know. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Cassie 🙂

Strictly Couple Weeks – Claudia and AJ – Day 1

Last night we revealed the next couple to be in the spotlight as part of our Strictly Couple Weeks.

We were very excited to announce that the next couple in the spotlight are Team Pocket Rocket – aka Claudia and AJ.

We loved the energy that these two brought to the competition each week. They were young and whoever matched them together deserves a medal because you could tell with each dance their friendship grew and grew even stronger!

For day 1, we’ve chosen their light, bright and fab-u-lous quickstep. OK, it was the dance that saw them bow out of the competition before they’d performed what would have most definitely have been an acrobatic Showdance, but it just showed how far Claudia had come on her Strictly journey. Her confidence and performance skill had grown no-end and this dance was so fast, they flew across the floor faster than Len could pickle his walnuts!

We loved the whole feel and quality of the dance and in our eyes it deserved a perfect 40! The music was uplifting, as too was the choreography and Claudia’s dress gave us serious Christmas Party dress envy. In case you missed it earlier, here they are with their wonderful dance!

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

Cassie 🙂

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 Support Group – Strictly Couple Weeks – Team Derbeke (Katie and Anton) Day 1

So last night we revealed the next couple to be in the spotlight as part of our Strictly Couple Weeks. Yes, we’ve chosen quite possibly Anton’s best partner ever, and the partner who got him to the final in 2015.

Every day this week, we’ll share one of Katie and Anton’s fab-u-lous dances. At the end of the week, we’ll then put them against one another in a poll at the end of the week to decide the best Team Derbeke dance of all time.

For today’s dance, we’re taking a trip down 42nd Street, and reliving their wonderful Quickstep.

Katie always looked elegant and this dance was beautiful and packed full of ballroom content. Anton is the king of ballroom and he made sure this dance was challenging, but also a showstopper of a performance.

Ok, there was a minor wardrobe malfunction *eats her hat in protest* but overall we loved this dance and it had a real flavour of Broadway and the West End.

In case you missed it earlier, here are Katie and Anton with their wonderful Quickstep

We’d love to hear what you thought of this dance. Simply tweet @scd_support or comment below to let us know.

We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Cassie 🙂

Kevin and Karen Dance Tour – A Review by @Tufty1985 – Sasha

2017 is officially known in our house as The Year of The Tour. As the wonderful Remembering Fred tour has ended (for this year) another tour has started. 
Yes, Kevin and Karen have set off around the Country on their tour. It’s a show that is set to tell the story of a boy from Grimsby and a girl from Venezuela. We’re super excited, and although we won’t be seeing it for another few weeks (*starts a countdown eagerly in anticipation*) one of our wonderful followers Sasha, was lucky enough to see the show in Ipswich on Friday. Here are her thoughts on the tour.
 I Left my home town in the pouring rain and got to Ipswich. After a brief stop for dinner at Maccy D’s, I headed to the theatre.
I wanted to locate the stage door and who should I see but Jo ☺ she gave me a hug and we walked and chatted for a bit. She is amazing.
Then I headed into the theatre – purchased my programme and waited to go in. I had a brief wait but once I got in I had an amazing view.
Jo was also in the audience and before the show she was signing stuff n posing for pics – then the show started and the first act was amazing – charting their stories growing up in Venezuela and Grimsby. If you’re a Gorka the Corker fan, you’ll need a fan during the 3rd dance.
The singers and other dancers – Luba, Gorka, Patrick, Jasmine, Ashleigh and Jake are amazing as are the singers Andrew and Alison.
The highlights for me were seeing my faves and the emotion on Kevin’s face when we all gave them a standing ovation for their incredible Paso Doble
It was an emotional night and one I will never forget!
Thank you Sasha! If you’ve been to see Kevin and Karen’s tour, we’d love to hear what you thought of it. Simply tweet @scd_support or comment below to let us know.
We look forward to hearing from you.
Cassie 🙂

Strictly Support Group – Strictly Couple Weeks – Jeremy and Karen – Day 1! 

It’s half-term, so for one week only, I’m letting my little Strictly Superfan, takeover our Strictly Couple Weeks and showcase the dances of our one of our all-time favourite couples.

This week, she’s chosen Jeremy and Karen! In the world of Strictly, there are dancers who excel from week one and wow us with near perfect performances, there are couples who go on a bit of a journey and improve week by week on the show and there are those who capture our hearts and make us smile with their exuberance and enthusiasm. Jeremy and Karen fitted in the final of these categories.

From week one, when we first saw them dance we fell in love with not just Karen’s amazing choreography, but their partnership. They were supportive of one another and Jeremy always looked Ike he was having the time of his life. He tried his hardest week after week, and we voted, because we could see that he was genuinely doing his best.

For Day 1 of Jeremy and Karen week, little Bella has chosen their Jive. When this dance was performed, it created a splash and made us smile, even if one judge was mean and likened Jeremy to a stork being hit by lightning! It’ll definitely cheer you up if you’re feeling down today. Here are Jeremy and Karen with their Jive:

When I asked Bella earlier what she loved most about this dance, her answer was Jeremy looked like he was having fun and I wanted to dance this dance at home in the bath too! I like it when people look like they’re having fun on Strictly because it always makes me smile.

We hope you enjoyed watching that dance. We’d love to hear what you thought of it. Just tweet @scd_support or comment below to let us know. 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 – Strictly Couple Weeks – Georgia and Giovanni – Day 7 (Poll!)

Unless you’ve been hiding under a Sparkly Rock over the past few days, you’ll probably know we’ve put one Strictly couple in the spotlight, Team GG.

Yes, we’ve shared 7 of our favourite Team GG moments and this morning shared our final moment – Their Beautiful American Smooth (featuring Giovanni’s singing!)

Now you’ve seen all 7 magical moments, it’s time for your to vote for your favourite in our poll. All you need to do is watch the dances below, then vote in the poll. You can choose up to 3 dances. Voting will remain open until 8pm tonight when we’ll reveal the winning dance.

Keep voting and dancing people! We’ll be back later for the results. We hope to see you then.

Cassie 🙂

Strictly Support Group Does Eurovision!

Ever since we heard this on It Takes Two:

We’ve wondered what would happen if Strictly met Eurovision. Well tonight, we found out exactly what happened as we hosted a Strictly meets Eurovision chat.

We began our chat by asking this question:

Eurovision is all about breaking down barriers and bringing nations together through song! Who on Strictly did this best for you and with which dance? We had some brilliant suggestions. Here they all are just for you:

For bringing us contemporary dance (and also causing us to be entirely responsible for flash flooding due to the amount of tears cried)

For proving that you can Salsa to Gangnam Style:

For showing us the true origins of Samba:

For being fearless and fab-u-lous *still wonders how amazing their showdance could have been*

Those were just some of your suggestions. If you can think of others, just tweet @scd_support or comment below to let us know! We look forward to hearing from you.

For our second question of the evening we asked:

If you could ask one person from Strictly to represent us at the Eurovision Song Contest, who would it be? 

We had two very popular answers, in the form of these wonderful pros:

We agree that both these pros not only dance beautifully but have the voices of angels *demands a Joanne Anton partnership on next year’s Eurovision* 
For our third question of the evening we asked you this:

You’re asked to choose one Strictly dance to represent the UK at the Eurovision song (and dance) contest.  Which dance would you pick?

We had some brilliant answers. Here are our favourites of the night in playlist form:

If you can think of any others, please let us know and we’ll add them to the playlist just for you.

For our next question we asked you this question:

We know that getting one of these from this judge is about as rare as Unicorn poo! If Craig had to give Douze points to one dance on Strictly, which dance do you think he’d pick?

You gave us some wonderful answers. Here are some of our favourites:

For our final question of the night, we asked you this. Strictly is broadcast in many nations throughout Europe. We all know that our version is the best (obvs) but which other version has been uh-may-singly fab-u-lous in your opinion? Here are some of your suggestions:

For us, we’ll always love Stricty here in the Uk, but there’s another version of Strictly which has impressed us, just because of this dance. Yes, it’s Strictly from Norway:

That ended our chat. Thank you all for taking part. If you didn’t get the chance to take part, fear not! You can still join in by tweeting @scd_support or commenting below. We look forward to hearing from you.

We’ll be back tomorrow (Sunday) from 8pm to reveal the winning dance in our Team GG week. We’ll also be revealing a bit of the fun which will be taking place on Monday in honour of Strictly Day! Hope you can join us then.

Cassie 🙂