Tag Archives: dance

Strictly Support Group Reviews – Gala For Grenfell

Acts of kindness never fail to touch and move us. In the light of the Grenfell Tower Disaster when we heard that Arlene Phillips had organised a dance related fundraiser we were moved to tears. We’re currently in Italy (or as my 7 year old calls it Gioland) so were unable to attend the Gala For Grenfell on Sunday night. 

Alison, @cakegenie (who not only creates wonderful cakes but writes wonderful reviews too) was there and agreed to review the event for us. Here is a review in her own words:


On Sunday night, Arlene Phillips did something amazing, for a cause close to my heart.

She brought together, at the Adelphi Theatre, London, many of the biggest names from the dance world, including Sir Matthew Bourne & company, Drew McOnie, Ballet Rambert, & also Strictly’s own Anton, Giovanni, Luba, Katya, Neil, Oti, Judge Rinder & Champion Ore, to raise money for the victims of the Grenfell Tower disaster.

So many dance forms were included – Ballet, Contemporary, Tap, as well as Ballroom & Latin, from world renowned dancers & choreographers.

Giovanni & Luba opened the show, dancing to Un Giorno, a beautiful routine which set the evening up perfectly. Neil & Katya (just off the plane from Miami !) danced to ‘People Help The People’, an incredibly emotional performance, and Ore & Oti had the audience clapping along & left everyone smiling with a fantastic Jive to ‘Happy’. I’d like to say a big thank you to these guys for giving up their time to perform.

It really was a top-class night of dance, & Arlene & her team deserve a ‘10’ (really more like a 15 !) for organising this event.

My only complaint is – no routine from Anton ! If he was just missing a partner, I’d have stepped in for a cheeky little Foxtrot !

Thank you Alison. So that’s what Alison thought of what sounds like a wonderful and emotional show. If you were also there, we’d love to hear what you thought of the show. Tweet us @scd_support or comment below to let us know. We look forward to hearing from you.

Cassie 🙂 


Bella Reviews – Karen and Kevin Dance Live! 💃🏻🦄💃🏻

Those of you who follow the blog will know that my seven year-old, Bella, is one of Strictly’s smallest superfans and is also a huge fan of Team Clifton!

The tooth fairy was very kind to little Bella, and bought her tickets for not just one of their shows, but two! On Friday night, we went galavanting into Guildford and then yesterday evening we went wombling into Wimbledon! 

Here is what she thought of the show in her own words:

I love Kevin and Karen as much as I love unicorns and Strictly (note from mummy, that’s lots!) so I was really happy and excited to be seeing them this weekend. On Friday night, I went with my mummy, daddy and little sister Elodie and yesterday Mummy took me and my best friend from school and my grandma to see it.

Everyone needs to see this show, it is amazing, awesome, fab-u-lous, sparkly and magical and if you don’t go to see if you are missing out. If you have already seen the show, you need to see it again, because it just gets better and better.

It tells the story of Kevin and Karen and is a bit of a love story but also shows through dancing how they got into dance. My favourite bit had to be Kevin pretending to dance when he was little, it was really funny and I couldn’t stop laughing, but I also loved their Paso Doble. Mummy tells me the Paso Doble is from Spain, but I think she’s wrong; it’s from Grimsby. Kevin is the Paso King and Karen, the Paso Queen.

The costumes and music are beautiful and all the girls looked like princesses in their outfits!

If I were judging the show on Strictly, I’d give it 4 10s and a Glitterball because it is awesome! It made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside like a hot chocolate does and I think this show would make even a really grumpy person smile a lot! 

So there you have it, Bella’s review of Karen and Kevin Dance. I have to say it is one of the most well-choreographed, directed and danced shows we have ever seen. It’ll make you laugh so much your cheeks ache, there are moments which’ll make you cry and moments which just leave you mesmerised. If you’ve been to see the show too, 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 soon.

Cassie (and Bella)

DWTS Ireland – Week 5 – A review from our Irish Reporter @byrnesarahnow

It’s time for us to venture over to the Emerald Isle to see what happened on this week’s Dancing With The Stars – Ireland. Our lovely reporter Sarah Byrne has been busy writing a review for us. Here’s what happened in her own words:

Hi all, another fun packed Sunday night has come and gone which means we have lost another Star and we are sadly another Rumba walk closer to the end, but we are not there yet!!!
So the big news out of Sunday nights show was that judge Julian Benson was ill and needed his outrageous jacket filled, always ready to save the day up stepped none other than Darren Bennett. Thankfully for Darren, Julian had the key to his wardrobe tucked away so no jacket watch this week.
Ryan was also sick this week but managed to dance and if reports are to be believed the person giving him a bit of TLC is….Thalia Heffernan. Yip seems a romance is blooming. 

So with nine Stars left lets see how they got on.

Denise & Ryan – Samba – 27
Despite Ryan being sick & Denise trying to train on her own this was another great performance.

Des C. & Karen – Tango -18

Dancing Dessie decided to give the judges a dance with no messing about, & that is what he did. Full of intent & drive Des impressed the judges.

Teresa & John – Disco Salsa – 16

Teresa showed improvement with her Boogie Wonderland Salsa and a bit more confidence but still a good bit to go.

Dayl & Kzenia – Viennese Waltz – 26

Soft & romantic was the flavour of this dance & as in previous weeks Dayl didn’t disappoint. At this stage its a race between Denise & himself to see who gets the first 10.

Katherine & Kai – Foxtrot – 22

West Side Story – Leitrim Style. The ballroom dances allow Katherine to show off her feminine side & she is quietly working away & getting better each week.

Dr Eva & Sean – Cha Cha – 14

We will forget about the dance because honestly whilst she looked like she was having great craic making it up as she went along poor Sean was left thinking “It’s all over now”. Dr Eva looked A-maz-ing & you would hardly recognise her she was having such a great time.

Aoibhin & Vitali – Viennese Waltz – 24

Like last weeks Rumba Aoibhin took a difference approach to her Viennese Waltz with it being very dark & a touch aggressive at times. She was definitely out of her comfort zone stating she prefers the romance.

Des B. & Guilia _ Cha Cha – 24

Another strong performance from Des & like Katherine he is quietly working his way to the top however with such strong competitors ahead of him he may need a stand out dance to propel him there.

Aidan & Valeria – American Smooth – 21

They went for an A.S. Foxtrot and I think Aidan was back to what he likes best – in hold & covered up. He was good with the lifts but will be better with the next ones as he learns to trust himself.

Now a bit of a confession to make here on my behalf. Not only were Ryan & Julian sick but I think half the country was struck down with something similar to the dreaded “Man Flu” including yours truly. Add to this this I had visitors, I know, why were they not watching I hear you ask. All this meant that I had to PAUSE the telly so as not to miss any of the important bits but on the plus side I was able to fast forward all the ad breaks. Yeah!!

Anyway I missed voting as the lines had closed by the time I had caught up but I was in time for the results. With all the other couples saved we were down to the bottom three – 

Dr. Eva, Des B & Katherine

This week we say goodbye to Dr Eva & Sean and while she didn’t look surprised, she seemed very disappointed. 

This might also be the kick Des B & Katherine need to bring it for next weeks Valentines Special.   
Hopefully will be back to normal next week to enjoy the romance, until then let me know what you think as I love hearing others points of view by tweeting @byrnesarahnow or @scd_support
Take care 


Shape and Tone with FitSteps – A Review

We’re currently working hard training to run in this year’s London Marathon, and whilst long running and personal training sessions are on the agenda over the next few weeks, when we heard that there was a new FitSteps DVD, we quickly purchased it to ensure our weekly fitness sessions are super fab-u-lous!


In case you have been living under a sparkly rock for the past few years, FitSteps is the dance fitness craze brought to us by the lovely Ian Waite, Natalie Lowe and Mark Foster. It is a dance fitness programme where you get to learn steps from some of your favourite Strictly dances and is a lot of fun.

We already reviewed the previous FitSteps DVD a couple of years ago (click here to find out more and see our review.) and this DVD continues where the previous DVD left off. It features 3 30 minute dance workouts which are designed to get you fit, toned and feeling great – fast!

For Latin Lovers there is a Latin work out (with Ian) and for Ballroom fans there is a Ballroom work out (led by Natalie.) There is also a 4 x 4 workout. The workouts will really get you up, dancing and your heart pumping. The workouts are easy to follow and the workouts great fun, so if you struggle at the thought of jumping off the sofa to do any activity, this will definitely help!

Where the previous FitSteps DVD helped you learn the basics of Ballroom and Latin whilst getting a workout, this DVD gives you some more challenging steps which we’re sure will give you a thorough workout and leave you grinning like the cheshire cat. Dance really is good for the soul and always makes us smile! Rather than feeling exhausted (after a 30 minute workout) we felt refreshed, invigorated and had a spring in our step!

If you haven’t danced before or completed the previous FitSteps DVD you may find the steps a bit challenging, but with perseverance anything is possible! I even managed to get a 8/10 from my uber-critical 6 year old for my efforts!

If you’re looking for a fun dance workout that you can do from home, this is it! FitSteps – Shape and Tone is available from all good stockists (including amazon.co.uk) and is great value at £10!

If you’ve tried this DVD, let us know what you thought. You can do so by tweeting @scd_support or commenting below. We look forward to hearing from you.

Cassie 🙂

DWTS Ireland – Week 3 – A review by @byrnesarahnow

Those of you who follow our blog will know, every week we’re following Dancing With Stars Ireland and have our very own reporter, the lovely Sarah, who is bringing us the news week by week! Here’s what happened on Sunday’s show in her own words:

1st Elimination

Well folks, Week 3 arrived and brought with it a whole host of surprises. Julian’s jackets seem to be becoming more elaborate with each week and doesn’t seem to be calming down. May need to have a special section just for him.


As everyone was dancing tonight we were able to get stuck in to all and it seemed like some of the boys underperformed compared to their last outing and the girls got stronger.

Katherine & Kai – Cha Cha – 18

*was like an Irish Madonna seducing a younger man and she did it well*

Dayl & Kzenia – Tango – 19

*Dayl has been given 2 strikes against him from Brian for including Hip Hop in his dancing who seems to be getting into his stride and channelling Craig**

Aidan & Valeria – Quickstep – 16

*Seem to really lose his way this week & has since announced his retirement from County football – maybe to concentrate on dancing who knows.*

Dr Eva & Sean – Foxtrot – 18

* She seemed to take this dance serious and it showed as her scores improved*

Des B. & Giuila – Salsa – 21

*Des went to Club Tropicana as let it all go – he really looked like he was enjoying himself and his confidence is growing*

Hughie & Emily – Waltz – 17

*Hughie 2.0 took to the floor and looked like a completely different person and while the score wasn’t great it was still an improvement*

Teresa & John – Cha Cha – 15

*Teresa is a Breast Cancer warrior and danced to Stronger by Kelly Clarkson and it had more of a story than the dance delivered sadly. The dance wasn’t great but she did it for survivors everywhere so well done**

Thalia & Curtis – Rumba – 21

*Thalia was a bit upset by last weeks scores and set out to redeem herself and that’s what she did. Her long legs were made for the Rumba.*

++Is this the earliest we have seen a Rumba? I cant remember, please everyone let me know++

Denise & Ryan – Tango – 26

*Biggest surprise of the night. Described as a Master class  of a Tango, Ryan looked especially pleased with himself. This danced earned not 1 but 2 #9 paddles with Brian giving an 8*

Des C. & Karen – Paso – 18

*Well if Denise gave a Master class of a Tango, Des gave us a demonstration in not only dad dancing but determination and enjoyment. He gave it socks and received a standing ovation worthy of the final for his efforts*

Aoibhin & Vitali – Quickstep – 22

*Last out and showed no sign of nerves, she put in a really good performance**

So there you have it all 11 have danced, voting lines were opened and we had the customary ad breaks and chats to everyone. We were treated to a lovely light-hearted colourful Pro dance which centred around picture frames.

Next up it was the elimination  – panic stations – all couples were on the floor and I felt this bit was a bit rushed. All saved couples were announced and we were left with three.

Thalia, Dr Eva & Hughie – I though sure it would be Dr Eva (she wouldn’t be the most popular person) but huge surprise it was Hughie and no one was more surprised than he was, poor fella he looked devastated.


That’s all for this week, let me know what you thought.


Our Dancing Town – Skipton (A Review)

Those of you who follow our blog will know we’ve been following a new series on BBC Two, called Our Dancing Town.

If you’ve watched Gareth Malone’s The Choir, this follows a similar pattern and follows West End Actor and Choreographer Steve Elias travel around Yorkshire to help this county show its essence through dance.

Tuesday night’s show was the turn of Skipton to shimmy and show us what it was made of! Skipton is a beautiful traditional farming town and it was clear they had a huge dance community and a passion for dance!

Where as last week Steve had struggled to find people to take part from Barnsley, the people of Skipton were right behind him and came in their hundreds (and possibly thousands) to create a dance capturing their essence.

Along the way we met three people with phenomenal dance talent. We met Alice, a student who had studied ballet, modern and tap but had not danced for some time, Elizabeth, a trained ballet dancer who had to give up dance due to illness and Barbara who used to dance Jive but had not danced since her husband died.

Steve not only managed to create what was a brilliant dance tribute to Skipton, but he also reunited the farmers and market traders who had lost touch with one another.

It was great once again to see another community come together in dance and work together to produce what was a wonderful flashmob style production on the streets of Skipton!

If you watched the show, we’d love to hear what you thought of it. Tell us by tweeting @scd_support or commenting below. We look forward to hear from you. If you missed out, don’t fear, you can catch up on BBC iPlayer

Cassie 🙂


Our Dancing Town: Barnsley – A Review!

As Strictly Superfans, we search for Strictly signs everywhere. On Tuesday, we were pleasantly surprised when we switched on BBC Two to see a new programme called Our Dancing Town.

If you’ve ever seen Gareth Malone’s The Choir, this is the dance equivalent. It features choreographer and West End actor Steve Elias going on a tour of Yorkshire to create a flashmob style performance travelling through the streets of Yorkshire to embody the spirit of Yorkshire!

The first episode centred around the town of Barnsley and we saw Steve set out on his tour around Yorkshire trying to convince the locals to take part in his ambitious performance.

Barnsley has a strong history with the mining industry and glass factory and some of these industries were sceptical about performing a dance routine, but Steve soon turned them round to create something that captured the Barnsley fighting spirit perfectly.

The show introduced us to three remarkable people, Nick, Joan and Danny. Nick was Barnsley’s answer to Billy Elliott and had competed at Blackpool in dance competitions, studied ballet but ultimately chose to give it all up to work in his dad’s fish and chip shop. Joan had dreams of being one of the Bluebell Girls but sadly was unable to join them due to school work getting in the way and Danny who had a raw dance talent. It was lovely watching Nick and Joan whose love of dance shone through with every step they took. It just showed that you can stop dancing, but your love of dancing will never go away.

The whole show just made us feel all warm and fuzzy and made us remember how wonderful dance makes you feel! It also made us fall in love with the Barnsley-ites and their wonderful spirit and pride.

If you watched the show, we’d love to hear what you thought! If you missed the show, don’t fear, you can watch it on player using the following link!


Cassie 🙂

Strictly Support Group – A Thanks to Strictly Chat!

Over the past thirteen years, Strictly has taken a very important place in all our lives. It has taught us things, helped us forge friendships and more importantly brought sparkle to our lives each and every Saturday night.

Knowing how much we all missed Strictly on our tellyboxes tonight, we hosted a Thanks To Strictly chat! We began our chat by asking you this:

What’s the best thing to have happened to you Thanks To Strictly? Here are some of your fab-u-lous answers:

We thought these suggestions were truly fab-u-lous and could not agree with you more!

For our next question of the evening we asked you Strictly has helped forge many friendships. Whose friendship do you value the most thanks to Strictly?

We were genuinely touched by the next few answers and it all got a bit emosh so we reached out for our glittery box of tissues:


We genuinely wouldn’t be where we are without you and think you are all truly uh-may-zing!

Strictly has taught as a lot of things. For us, it’s also inspired us to go back to the classroom and learn to dance again. What dance would you most like to learn if you had a chance to? 


Strictly has also helped us achieve lots of things too! For us it has helped us gain strength through illness,  and has helped my little six year old become completely fearless as a dancer! For our next question we asked what’s been your greatest achievement thanks to Strictly? Here are some of your uh-may-zing answers:


We have said it before and will say it again, we have learnt an awful lot from Strictly! For our next question we asked you to tell us one interesting piece of trivia you have learnt from all your years and months of Strictly viewing. We had some great answers. Here are our favourites:


Our chat was coming to an end, but for our final question we asked you to tell us what you would say if you had to write a Thank you letter for Strictly! Here are some of your brilliant answers:

That ended our chat. Thank you all for taking part in our chat tonight. If you didn’t get a chance to take part, don’t fear! You can still get involved by tweeting your answers to @scd_support or commenting below.

We’ll be back on Wednesday on twitter from 8pm for our weekly quiz. We hope you can join us then!

Cassie 🙂 

Strictly 2016 – All aboard the bus to Blackpool!

This weekend we’ll see the magnificent sev-errn couples who remain in the competition take the Blackpool Tower Ballroom for one night!

Blackpool is always a truly magical and spectacular night where dances come to life! Yesterday we asked you to tell us the dances you thought were the greatest Blackpool performances ever. We were given some brilliant choices, which were so good we had to make a special playlist for you:

Blackpool is the home to many ballroom and latin championships. It got us thinking, if there was a Strictly Blackpool Championship, which routine would win?

Here at the Strictly Support Group we know the only way to decide this once and for all is by playing Rock, Paper, Scissors with a poll! Once you’ve watched the dances in the playlist above, choose your top three from the poll below. We’ll then reveal the winner after 8pm on Friday!

Get Voting people! 

Cassie 🙂 

100 Sparkly Days of Strictly – Day 51

We’ve passed the half-way mark in our 100 sparkly days of strictly & today we’re in need of something to relieve our hump day blues.

What shall we do, we hear you cry? Well, it’s easy! Just look at our favourite show for inspiration. There are many dances that cheer us up when we feel blue, but the one that does the job quickest is this one:

We love Pasha and think his quicksteps are something of Strictly legend. They always make us smile and make us want to jump up on the floor. His choreography is traditional yet imaginative and original. We also loved this dance because not only did it feature Pasha but it featured Pasha in a fetching pair of pink(ish) trousers and there was a lovely teddybear too! 😍 All these things added together made us have the biggest smile on our face this morning 😄

Which dance makes  you smile no matter what?

Tell us by tweeting @scd_support or commenting below. We look forward to hearing from you.

Cassie 🙂