Tag Archives: Janette Manrara

The People’s Strictly – Show 2 Recap

Earlier this evening we sat down, girded our loins and prepared ourselves to watch the wonderful programme that is the People’s Strictly. Following last week’s show, we ensured we had enough glittery tissues for ourselves and you lovely people along with Strictly Snacks to share out.

On tonight’s show we saw the inspirational Anna Kennedy, Trishna Bharadia and Phil Barnett get the surprise of their lives as they found out they were on The People’s Strictly and take their first steps in the Ballroom.

Once again, we found the stories truly touching and became emotional blubbering messes only 5 minutes into the show. We think our mascara may have run, just a little bit:

Artist’s impression of how we looked (We’re not that fluffy, honest!)

The show didn’t disappoint and showed us how truly amazing and selfless the 6 contestants of the People’s Strictly are. They are all well-deserving of their place on the show and in our eyes are all winners.

So, what did we learn tonight?

1. We learnt that the Strictly ballroom is the place where dreams come true and to never to be too trusting of any friends or family who invite you to go to watch the Strictly live show show. As Anna Kennedy found out the Strictly Ballroom truly is a place where dreams can come true and where you can have the shock and surprise of your life.

2. Never trust Brian the Zumba instructor. When you’re invited to a Zumba DVD recording, always be suspicious, especially if you’re surrounded by dancing couples. Be even more suspicious if some of our professional dancers appear. Poor Trishna looked like she needed a hug dancing all alone in the zumba studio, but to make up for it, she was lucky enough to get to have a boogie with Louis Smith 😍

3. Singing children are adorable and will move you to tears (need more mascara 🐼.) ABBA’s Thank You for the Music also works surprisingly well as a Samba Track. 

4. You should embrace and run towards the sequins and anyone associated with the world of Strictly. This is exactly what Phil Barnett did and he looked fab-u-lous running towards Lisa Riley and Kevin Clifton.

5. To quote Anna, we also learnt that Robin Windsor looks even better in the flesh than he does on TV! We also saw that Anna is a natural performer and picked up dancing the Charleston in seconds. Wow!

6. We learnt that housework can be fab-u-lous! We will now mop our floors in style, just like Aljaz Skoranjec did. We may need the “banana band” to help. We saw that Trishna and Aljaz take their first Jive steps. Their energy looks great and together they look an amazing and very strong couple.

7. Phil also showed just what a joy it is to dance and to be on Strictly. His joy at learning he was paired with Janette was priceless and their American Smooth looks set to be super suave, smiley and sophisticated. In fact, all our couples showed enthusiasm, passion and sheer sparkly joy.

8. When dancing wear shoes that make you look fab-u-lous. Don’t worry if you fall out of them, as you will look gaw-jus dahling!

9. Swing Patrol looks fun, as did Trishna’s 50s style evening. *nudges husband to take her out* It gave both Anna and Trishna a taste of what Strictly is like and has encouraged us to take a trip back to the 1950s and try Rock and Roll and Swing dancing.

On a more serious note, we saw another wonderful and inspiring programme. It has made us realise that all 6 contestants are truly deserving of their place on the show and are all winners in our eyes. They are true everyday heroes who deserve to be treated to a little bit of sparkle. We know they will all be fab-u-lous and cannot wait to see their performances.

We’d love to hear what you thought of tonight’s show. Tweet @scd_support or comment below. We look forward to hearing from you.

We’ll be back tomorrow night from 9pm as our super six get more treats and surprises from the world of Strictly. Follow us @scd_support on twitter to join in our chat.

Cassie 🙂


Samba Saturday – How The ‘Enders Cast Like To Wind Down!

If, like us, your reaction on hearing who killed Lucy Beale, looked something like this:

we’re pretty sure you’ll find today’s Samba Saturday light relief. In fact, we’re pretty sure, this dance is how the Eastenders cast will be chilling out after this week’s revelations. Yes! We’re pretty sure they do the Macarena in their spare time.

We’re watching Jake and Janette’s superb, zany, wonderful Samba. We loved this dance, especially the costumes, outfits, snake hips, twerking and music. We even managed to teach a 4 yr old at home how to macarena in time to the music.

It was one of those moments of Strictly pure joy which made us smile. We hope you enjoy it too. Here are Jake and Janette (aka Team Snakey Jan Jakey) performing their fab-u-lous Samba. We dare you to dance along at home. Go on, you know you want to!

*Stops dancing the Macarena!* We’d love to hear what you thought of that dance. Tweet @scd_support or comment in the box below. We look forward to hearing from you.

Cassie 🙂

Smooth Sunday – We’re feeling good just watching this dance!

It’s Sunday which means 3 things:
1) We get a well-deserved lay-in which makes us feel good.
2) We have a chance to spend time with our loved ones, which also makes us feel good.
3) It’s time for us to show you another American Smooth which’ll make you feel good, guaranteed!

Today we’re watching Jake and Janette’s wonderful feel-good dance performed at the Blackpool Ballroom. It was a dance where everything seemed to fit into place to make a perfect performance.

We loved Janette’s dress (it gave us serious dress envy,) the music (we love a spot of Michael Buble, especially when it’s on Strictly), the mood and atmosphere as well as the choreography. It was an edgy American Smooth which was full of style. The split lift and throw had us on the edge of our seats, it added drama and style to the whole routine and in our opinion the whole routine deserved 4 10’s!

This dance made us feel good all over and we hope it does the same to you too. Here are Jake and Janette with their wonderful American Smooth:

We’d love to hear what you thought of this dance. Tweet @scd_support or comment in the box below. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Cassie 🙂

Monday Memory – Roll up! Roll up! We’re off to the Circus!

Now we’ve got your attention, we know a lot of you have been feeling a little emosh after last night’s dance off where Jake and Janette went home, so felt that you needed a trip to the circus dance fix to make you smile. Here are your golden tickets to watch this special Strictly fix.

Today we’re watching Jake and Janette’s Charleston. This was a dance that was just sheer joy to watch and left us grinning like the Cheshire Cat. Janette’s choreography was brilliant, the concept would make anyone (even if they were clown-phobic) smile, the music made us want to start juggling (and give our families head protection incase of any accidents.) It was hilarious to watch and sheer unadulterated joy.

For us it’s the perfect dance to watch if you are suffering from a spot of the Monday Morning blues.

We loved this dance and hope you enjoy watching it too. Here are Jake and Janette with their amazing Charleston:

We hope you enjoyed watching that dance. Let us know what you thought of it. You can tweet us @scd_support, comment below or on our facebook page “strictly support group.” We look forward to hearing from you.

The Strictly Support Group

So Long Team Snakey Jan Jakey!

Earlier tonight, The lovely Team Snakey Jan Jakey fell at the final hurdle when they were voted off in a tense dance off with Team Markarena!

For us, Jake and Janette have symbolised everything Strictly is about. Jake has been the surprise and dark horse of the competition. His snakehips along with his week 1 tango, Salsa and Charleston will go down in history as some of the best performances Strictly has ever seen.

Janette’s choreography this year has been phenomenal and creative. It has complimented Jake’s strengths and in their dances there have been moments that have made us smile, moments that have made us feel a tad emosh, moments that have made us get up and dance and moments that have been just amazing.

We’ve loved all their dances and are sad to see their showdance won’t feature in next week’s show. At this stage in the competition, it’s hard for anyone to go, and as the competition was so open, we’d hoped everyone would go through to the final.

Janette was proud of her student and thanked him for making #strictly2014 such an enjoyable experience. Jake was grateful to have got this far without being in the dance off and to have learnt how to dance.

Jake and Janette, thank you for all the amazing dances you’ve performed over the last 12 weeks. We will miss you, here are your best bits:


We’d like this post to become a tribute to Jake and Janette. Comment below with your messages of support for them. We’d also like you to let us know your favourite of their dances. Vote in the poll below and we’ll reveal the result on Wednesday as our Wednesday Warm-Up

Cassie 🙂

Wednesday Warm-Up – Let this be a lesson to you all!

With snow predicted to land in northern parts soon, this post comes with a warning. Ladies, let this be a lesson to you. If you’re building a snowman, don’t let a man come in and fiddle about with him, it almost always ends up in upset! Gentlemen, don’t snowboard near a lady’s snowman, you won’t end up in her good books. This is photographic evidence:


Right, now we’ve got the warnings out of the way it’s time for us to introduce today’s festive Wednesday warm-up. With only 15 more sleeps until Santa comes, we’re watching Janette & Fatboy Ricky Norwood’s Christmas Quickstep.

We loved this dance for several reasons:
1) Janette’s choreography & the story behind the dance really made us smile, after we’d tucked into our Christmas dinner.
2) The music. We love a bit of Shakin’ Stevens especially at Christmas.
3) The costumes. The Christmas Jumpers, Sequins and Janette’s outfit just symbolise everything there is about Christmas.
4) The dancing – Given they’d only trained for a few days, this quickstep was really good.

We really enjoyed this dance, it filled us with festive joy more than a mince pie. We hope you will too. Here are Janette and Ricky with their amazing Quickstep:

We’d love to hear what you thought of that dance. Tweet us @scd_support, or comment in the box below. We look forward to hearing from you.

Cassie 🙂

Strictly 2014 – It Takes Two Recap – 27/10

Tonight we came back with a bang and watched It Takes Two. It was a great show featuring Craig’s Revel-ations, Jake and Janette and Thom and Iveta who all joined Zoe in her hub!

We learnt that:

1) Sunetra dreams of glitter and wakes up covered in glitter, then realises she’s doing Strictly.
2) Steve wants big bushy eyebrows
3) Jake is really cool, calm and collected before her performs on the show.
4) He is really a Latin Boy, but Janette thinks he’s just as good at Ballroom.
5) People are calling him Jake and not Max! #hisnameisjake!
6) Craig and our judges are being super tough this year!
7) Craig felt that Alison needed to be more dramatic and Sunetra can push herself further.
8) He was surprised by how good Steve and Mark were and was shocked to see Thom go home, especially as he was going to do a Paso Doble dressed as a (topless) vampire (a la Ben Cohen from last year’s show!)
9) Craig loved seeing Judy relax and thinks Caroline is loose (in dance terms!)
10) We finally learnt what the word mellifluous means – flowing and sweet like honey! Thanks Craig.
11) He is very much looking forward to see Pixie and Frankie go head to head in the halloween battle of the Tangos!
12) We learnt that Thom loved his time on the show and really enjoyed learning to dance.
13) We learnt that Iveta thought Thom was just starting on a very long j-word
14) Watch out pub goers in London, Thom may be going to dance the Paso, if Zoe’s coaxing worked.
15) Zoe played matchmaker and thinks Thom and Iveta should go on a date! Awww!
16) Thom wants Jake and Janette to win the show.

and that ended tonight’s show! We’ll be back tomorrow evening with another It Takes Two recap.

Cassie 🙂

The Dance You Are Most Looking Forward to this week

So earlier on this week, we launched a poll to find out which dance you are most looking forward to see this week on the show! The results are in and we can reveal that:

In joint 3rd place, you are most looking forward to see Mark and Karen’s Samba and Alison and Aljaz’s Tango. We’re pretty sure they’ll be amazing!

In 2nd place you are looking forward to see Frankie and Kevin’s Foxtrot! We do love the Foxtrot, partly because it has the word Fox in it, but are sure these two will pull off a fierce performance once again!

and in 1st place, you lovely lot are most looking forward to see Caroline and Pasha’s Pasha Paso Doble and Jake and Janette’s Quickstep! 

We cannot wait until tonight’s show and are prepping our Strictly Snacks as we speak! We’ll be on twitter from 6pm, so join us then to take part in the fun!

Have a great afternoon.

Cassie 🙂

Salsa Saturday – A little bit of everything you will love about Strictly!

Last weekend we watched in awe (and jumped out of our seats in excitement) watching Janette and Jake (Team JanJakey) dance their salsa! For us it has taken the place of Mark Ramprakash and Karen Hardy’s Salsa in the books as our favourite ever Salsa on Strictly.

There were several reasons we loved this dance. Being Cuban, Janette knows just how to choreograph and teach the Salsa, so it was pure perfection. It had a little bit of everything we loved about Strictly in it! Here are our reasons why we loved the dance:

1) Janette’s imaginative and daring choreography! For week 2, trusting a celebrity to do those drops and be so original in her choreography deserves a medal. It was unexpected. We knew Jake did a great tango, but didn’t know how he’d perform with a Salsa. Her risk truly paid off and the nation saw what an amazing partner Jake is.
2) Jake’s snakehips. We’re nicknaming him Snakey Jakey from now on.
3) The costumes and props. We were truly transported to Cuba! The whole dance was (to quote Mr Revel Horwood) A-May-Zing.
4) The character of the dance. The dance was laid back but expertly performed and choreographed. Jake and Janette were in perfect synchronicity, ever so flexible and given how fast the music was, this was impressive.
5) The music. Once again, the band performed a great song which had a true relaxed carnival vibe we loved.

Overall, we loved this dance and hope you do too. Here are Jake and Janette with their amazing Salsa.

We’d love to hear what you thought of this dance. Tweet us @scd_support or comment in the box below. We look forward to hearing from you.

Cassie 🙂

Kevin and Karen From Grimsby – A Review by @chachadilton

We were a little gutted hearing that the phenomenal Flashmob tour had been cancelled, however when we heard Kevin and Karen from Grimsby were doing a one-off show in Grimsby it made us smile! Although we were unable to go, the lovely @chachadilton was there and agreed to review the show for us. Here are his thoughts:

An Evening with Karen and Kevin from Grimsby
12 July 2014
Grimsby Auditorium

After the excellent Flashmob run at the Peacock Theatre in London, it was a huge disappointment to receive the news of the cancellation of many of the UK tour dates.

This has enabled a spectacular one off show of talent to raise from its ashes. It has taken a fortnight to deliver a show of incredible quality with the very hard working Keith and Judy Clifton (Kevin’s parents) behind the scenes. An amazing feat may thought impossible with the challenging timescale.

The show started with a very funny exchange of words between Kevin and Karen before the curtain was raised. Pure genius as it had the audience engaged right from the start.

The stars of the show open with a very rhythmic samba, Karen’s yellow samba dress accentuating the fabulous movement characterised in this Brazilian dance. This was followed by an expertly performed Irish dance fusion from Brosena. Tom and Erin are always a delight to watch.

Strictly 2013 winning professional dancer Aljaz and his partner Janette performed a modern paso doble. This was a masterful performance and Janette danced in a spectacular dress (one of her mother’s creations). Following this was the first dance from contemporary dancers Alleviate. A fantastic story of role reversal to the song ‘If I was a boy’.

Now for something very different. A troupe of young freestyle dancers perform several routines during the show. They demonstrate admirably the high tempo dance style. Very impressive and as they are local had a fabulous amount of support from the audience.

Kevin and Karen do an incredible hip rotating smouldering cha cha cha routine, followed by Alleviate performing a very touching routine. Aljaz and Janette then demonstrate their mastery of the rumba, Janette’s favourite style.

One of the highlights of the show, Kevin dancing with his sister Joanne Clifton (new strictly pro dancer and world champion ballroom dancer) dancing a highly amusing quickstep. We are in for a spectacular Strictly 2014, Joanne was rather good at ballroom. This was followed by another special moment, Aljaz and Janette dancing an American Smooth to ‘Forever Young’, their first dance together on Strictly.

Another fabulous demonstration of freestyle was followed by my joint favourite choreography in the show, Smooth Criminal. Kevin starts the piece solo, soon to be joined by the sizzling Karen in a stunning green dress. This was one dance every Strictly fan needs to see, it was exceptional. Brosena follow with an Irish and classical fusion dance, very well performed.

Kevin wanders on stage adorned head to foot in that incredible matador outfit and announces the star guest, Susanna Reid. This was a huge surprise. They perform a very impressive Paso Doble straight from Strictly Blackpool. This deserved the standing ovation from the receptive Grimsby audience.

Interval, chance to grab a glass of bubbly.

Aljjaz and Janette start the second half with a sensational cha cha cha. This was my favourite performance from them. Top class.

A large focus of this show was Grimsby and given then chance to perform with Kevin, Joanne and Karen are Helen, Steve and Mark. These lucky people are winners from a local newspaper competition and all three perform the most fantastic routines for a couple hours of rehearsal. Susanna comperes this section of the show and judges Aljaz and Janette are very good, watch out Len! With a mix of judges scores and audience cheers Joanne and Steve from Grimsby are awarded the glitter fish. This presentation was incredibly funny but Steve and Joanne we seriously good in their tango.

Alleviate perform their excellent routine with a very touching story following a tragic death. Must admit it brings a tear to my eye. This was followed by Karen and Kevin’s Paso Doble. Now, this was my other joint favourite routine. Incredible routine performed to Roxanne. The best exhibition of this style I have witnessed. Outstanding.

Aljaz and Janette return for a stunning tango, followed by Karen and Kevin’s contemporary rumba. Another tear jerker. Brosena demonstrate another fabulous routine and then all dancers come back on stage for a very well deserved standing ovation. Very moving to see this talent being fully appreciated.

One very lovely touch was the opportunity to meet the stars, have a programme signed and photos taken with them. A great finish to a phenomenal show. This one off was a great concept and very well received. Kevin and Karen’s witty and emotive personalities shine throughout the show. It will be remembered for a very long time.


Sounds like an unforgettable evening, just like Flashmob! It’s got us extremely excited about Strictly 2014. Thank you @chachadilton for reviewing the show!

Serene 😊