Tag Archives: joanne clifton

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 🙂 


The Ultimate Strictly Challenge -💃🏻🏆💃🏻 Let Jives and Tangos Battle it out!

So last week, we launched the Ultimate Strictly Challenge to help us decide the best Perfect Scoring dance in the history of Strictly!

Week one’s categories were The Waltz and the Cha Cha Cha. It saw Lisa and Brendan and Caroline and Pasha battle it out for the crown of Cha Cha Cha Champion and Matt and Flavia and Abbey and Aljaz battle it out for the crown of Waltz winners.

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Thank you all for your votes. They have been checked, counted and verified and we can now reveal that the couples winning their places in the Ultimate Strictly Challenge final are *drumroll and does a samba to create suspense*  are Lisa and Brendan Representing the Cha Cha Cha and Abbey and Aljaz representing the waltz. Well done to both couples. We’ll see you in the final.

Now we can move onto decide week two’s categories! This week we have chosen to let Tangos and Jives battle it out against one another! All you need to do is watch these four videos then vote for your favourite from each dance style in the polls below! You can vote in each poll once a day up until next Sunday at 6pm when the vote will be frozen once again.

Keep voting and Keep dancing people! All your favourites need your votes.

Cassie 🙂


Strictly 2016 – Who we think will lift the Glitterball this weekend!


This Saturday Danny and Oti, Louise and Kevin and Ore and Joanne will take to the floor to be crowned the Strictly Come Dancing Champion 2016!

This series has been truly phenomenal and all three couples have impressed us on the dance floor! Here are our verdicts on each of the couples and their chances of winning the Glitterball!

Danny and Oti

Danny has been Mr Consistent. Week after week he has impressed us with his ability. From the start of the competition he looked like a professional and it has become increasingly difficult to tell him apart from the professional dancers in group routines as the show has progressed.

Otis choreography this year has really excited us and having such a talented partner as Danny she has been able to give us some truly magical moments! He has moved with style, flair and panache and week after week he has looked just like Fred Astaire!

We have loved watching him perform on the show and think that he is a deserving winner of the glitter ball for his ability, hard work and the magic he has produced on the dance floor with Oti!

Louise and Kevin

From the start, we knew that Louise would go far as she was in the very safe hands of Kevin! This will be his fourth final in a row, surely that in itself is deserving of a glitter ball?

Louise’s musicality has been amazing. Yes, she is a musician and a singer but learning a new skill cannot be easy.

On another note, Louise has transformed as a performer. From a shy performer in the first group dance to a dancer capable of performing that incredible quickstep in the musicals week special. The growth in her confidence and her development as a performer has been truly incredible. It’s testament to Kevin’s wonderful teaching and being such an encouraging professional.

For growth as a performer and musicality, we think Louise could lift the Glitterball!

Ore and Joanne

Unlike the other two finalists, Ore has never had any dance training. He has proven his ability as a dancer through his ability to connect with the style of the dance and produce a convincing performance week after week.

His friendship with Joanne has shown through in every performance and it even led them to get a brilliant tribute from Gene Kelly’s wife after their American Smooth. We have loved watching Ore develop as a dancer and week after week he has surprised and amazed us!

For natural performance ability Ore could lift the Glitterball!

So, who do we think will lift the Glitterball? Well, we would love to see Danny and Oti lift the Glitterball as they have been the frontrunners for us from the very beginning. All we can say is whoever wins or lifts the glitter ball on Saturday they will truly deserve it and we’d be happy with the glitter ball making its way to Grimsby too!

Who would you like to see lift the Glitterball? Just vote in this poll below to tell us. We look forward to hearing from you:

Cassie 🙂

Strictly News at Ten(ish) – Let the sparkly madness begin! 🎉

There are now only 10 more days until Strictly Sambas back onto our screens. To say we’re excited would be the understatement of the year!

Today our celebrities, professionals and hosts met up for the very first time this year. It was the first day at Strictly School. There was much excitement all around and we learnt that the boys know how to shake what their mamma gave them:

It’d seem it was a very fun day! We also had some exciting news that Strictly will launch on our screens on Sparkle-day – Saturday 5th September 2015 at 7pm on BBC One! We cannot wait!

There was also some fab-u-lous It Takes Two News. Zoe, Ian and Karen will be back and Zoe will have two sidekicks. Robin Windsor and Joanne “from Grimsby” Clifton will be joining the It Takes Two team. This does mean that Joanne won’t be competing on the show, but will be presenting, becoming a dance expert and taking part in the pro dances. It Takes Two will also be on for an hour every Friday, which will make us even more excited for the weekend, and there’ll be a live audience too! (OMG – Oh My Glitterballs!) Congratulations to these two on their new roles. Their excitement makes us sure they’ll be fab-u-lous:

Onto our final news tonight. Tinkerbell has officially joined the Strictly Ballroom. Yes, actress Helen George was revealed as the 13th Contestant on Strictly 2015. Having seen her dancing on Call The Midwife we think she’ll be fab-u-lous, and can’t wait to see who she’s paired with. The final two celebrities will be revealed tomorrow night from 7pm on The One Show. Who do you think Helen will be paired with and who else would you like to see fill the final two places on Strictly 2015? Comment below or tweet @scd_support to let us know.

All this talk has got us super excited and we can now officially say Let the Sparkly Madness Begin! Strictly is nearly here.

We’re back tomorrow night from 7pm to reveal the winners of our back to school giveaway as well as the reveal of the final 2 members of the cast of Strictly 2015.

Cassie 🙂 

Samba Saturday – A Strictly Fix Chosen by @sparkleyalex

Over the last 3 weeks, one of you, our fab-u-lous followers has won our quizzes! The lovely @sparkleyalex has shown us that she well and truly is an expert on all things Strictly.

As a prize, we agreed to let her choose today’s Samba Saturday. She chose 3 superb Sambas. Her first Samba Saturday fix came from Ali Bastian and Brian Fortuna.

Watching this Samba back it was easy to see why she chose it. It was to quote Alex “unique and gentle.” It had an understated spirit of carnival which really made us smile.

Her second Samba Saturday fix came from Mark and Iveta with their Roarsome Samba. To quote Alex “it was full of character and had great music!” We loved the cheeky character and it really made us smile.

Her final Samba is Scott and Joanne’s Crab-u-lous Samba. This routine will go down in Strictly History as one of our favourites.

Here are all 3 of Alex’s Sambas. We hope you enjoy watching them:

We’d love to hear what you thought of those three dances. Tweet us @scd_support or comment below to let us know your views.

Thank you to Alex for choosing our Samba Saturdays this week. We’ll be here from 7pm tonight for our weekly Strictly Support Group! We hope you can join us then.

Cassie 🙂

30 Day Challenge –  Bella’s Favourit(est) Moments from the Magical Kingdom!

It’s almost the end of my 30 day challenge! 30 days feels like a long time when you’re only 5. Today, I’ve decided to show you some of my favourite ever Strictly moments. I love Disney and love every dance that has been disney -themed.

My favouritest  *corrected by mummy* most favourite Disney-Themed Routine is Scott and Ariel Joanne’s Little Mermaid Themed Samba from Movies Week 2014. It got them their highest ever score and a 7 from the nice American Guest Judge man! I also liked the costumes a lot. If I were dancing on Strictly, I’d want to be able to wear a crab costume too! It looked like lots of fun to dance and it got me dancing lots at home! I even taught the real Ariel in Disneyland how to do the crab! Crabulous!

I also really liked Mark and Iveta’s Lion King themed Samba from Musicals Week 2013. I loved the costumes and the music. They also got to wear crowns which made them Lion King and Queen of Strictly. It was the sort of dance that got you dancing along at home. Mummy says I was dancing along the whole way through, but I don’t remember, it was a very very very long time ago! I loved this dance and it was roarsome!

My other favourite routine is the Professionals Let it Go routine. It was magical and they even danced backwards (I’m not sure how they did that!) *spins around practicising in her Princess Elsa costume*

These three are my favourites, but there are lots of other routines I loved just as much. Just watch this playlist below to see them:

What are your favourite ever Strictly moments? Let me know by tweeting @scd_support or commenting below. Speak to you tomorrow for my last post. I won’t cry, because I’m a big girl!

Bella 👸

30 Day Challenge – Bella’s A to Z of Strictly. S is for Scott Mills

There are lots of things beginning with the letter S on Strictly. Sequins, Sparkles, Strictly, Salsa, Shoes, Samba… *scratches head.* A famous Samba was performed by another S who became a crab on Strictly 2014. Today’s Strictly fix is brought to you by Scott Mills and Ariel from Grimsby Joanne Clifton.

As it’s Friday, mummy said I need to choose a Foxtrot so I’ve chosen his spooky halloween foxtrot. I liked this dance for several reasons:

1) I liked Joanne’s outfit because she looked like my Monster High Doll. She can bend her back more than my dolly too, she must be magical!

2) Scott looked like Len. I think that scared Craig so he didn’t give them a 10.

3) They tried and had fun and I thought it looked really good. I gave them a 10! I don’t know why the judges didn’t like it, I think they need to practice spinning on the floor because it’s lots of fun.

4) I liked the music. I can’t click my fingers yet, mummy is teaching me how to click your fingers now.

I really liked Scott because he dressed up as a crab because he tried his hardest and him and Joanne from Grimsby Ariel from Grimsby looked like they were great friends! I wasn’t happy that they went home, because I voted lots and lots of times for them and think Craig should have let Scott and Joanne dance one more dance.

Here are Scott and Joanne with their spooky and frightening *thinks, they’re not scary at all* Foxtrot. Have a lovely afternoon and enjoy watching it:

I’d love to hear what you thought of that dance. Tweet me @scd_support or comment below. I look forward to hearing from you.

Bella 👸

*clicks fingers then jumps up and down excitedly realising she can now click her fingers*

🍀 Your St. Patrick’s Day Strictly Fixes! 🍀

Today is St. Patrick’s Day, so we wish all our Irish followers a great day and hope you enjoy celebrating. Now, we wouldn’t be the Strictly Support Group if we didn’t treat you to a daily dose of something strictlified! Today, we’re treating you lovely folk to two dances, both with an Irish flavour.

Our First Strictly fix was our Tango Tuesday fix, from Nicky Byrne and Karen Hauer. We watched their phenomenal Argentine Tango. When we first saw it, it sent shivers up our spine and gave us goosebumps. It was so good and in our eyes deserved 4 10s!


St. Patrick’s Day wouldn’t be complete without some good old-fashioned Irish Dancing, so for a second (yes we showed you two dances) Strictly Fix, we showed you this fab-u-lous routine from our Strictly Pros and the wonderful Riverdance crew. It was truly amazing, not only because Tristan was in it, and has to be watched. 


We hope you enjoyed watching both our Strictly Fixes today. We’d love to hear what you thought of them. Tweet us @scd_support or comment in the box below. We look forward to hearing from you.

Don’t forget! Lucky the Leprechaun will be on twitter from 7.30pm tonight for our St Patrick’s Day chat. We hope you can join us then!

Cassie 🙂

Foxtrot Friday – *Clicks Fingers* A Creepy, Kooky, Mysterious and Spooky Strictly Fix Chosen By Bella (aged 4)

We give you all a round of applause if you’ve managed to read this blog post’s title without quaking in your boots, you’re a lot braver than we are.

Today’s Foxtrot Friday has been chosen by my 4 yr old, Bella who had an a-may-zing time last night at the Strictly tour. It went on a little too late for her, as she fell asleep (*reminds self to let her have a nap on Saturday afternoon*) but she had a fantastic time and loved seeing her favourites live and also voting for one couple (Scott and Joanne) lots!

She’s chosen Scott and Joanne’s Foxtrot which she loved on the Live Shows, but loved seeing it even more on the tour! I decided to ask her why she liked this dance so much and here were her answers:

1) I liked Joanne’s outfit because she looked like my Monster High Doll. She can bend her back more than my dolly too, she must be magical!
2) Scott looked like Len. I think that scared Craig so he didn’t give them a 10.
3) They tried and had fun and I thought it looked really good. I gave them a 10! I don’t know why the judges didn’t like it, I think they need to practice spinning on the floor because it’s lots of fun.
4) I liked the music. I can’t click my fingers yet, mummy can do it better than me though.

I think it’s safe to say Bella loved this dance, and she hopes you’ll love watching it too. Here are Scott and Joanne with their creepy, kooky, mysterious and spooky Foxtrot:

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 🙂

Strictly 2014 – It’s Goodbye to Team Radio JoJo

Last night, Scott and Joanne became the latest of our couples to wave goodbye to the ballroom. Scott and Joanne (or Ariel from Grimsby as she’s known in our house) have entertained us over the last 6 weeks. Jo has taught Scott so much, he tried so hard week after week and he really improved! They have truly made us smile, laugh and weep tears of joy every week!

As my lovely lovely (and wise beyond her years!) 4 year old said “It’s not like they lost or came last mummy. They should be happy because they had lots of fun, danced and are going to be friends for ever and ever!”

We will miss seeing these two and it’s obvious they’ll remain friends for life! We’d like this to be a tribute to them. Leave your comments below and we’ll make sure they see it:


Cassie 🙂