Tag Archives: Reviews

@CakeGenie reviews Arlene Phillips – The Glitz, The Glamour, The Gossip

Over the past few weeks, Arlene Phillips has been touring the country with a tour where she talks about her life and career in dance. Sadly it has now come to an end 😢, however the lovely @CakeGenie, Alison, was lucky enough to see the show at the Duchess Theatre, and agreed to review the show just for us. Here’s what she thought of the show:<<
lene Phillips – ‘The Glitz, The Glamour, The Gossip’

On Monday night, I saw this show which has Arlene, in conversation with Jacquie Storey, talking about her life & career in dance. I’m not normally a fan of this type of show, but I was held captivated all through – what an amazing life she has had !

From her childhood in Manchester, her family scraping to get her to dance classes, through her move to London & the formation of Hot Gossip, her film career and of course, Strictly, Arlene told frank & honest stories about herself, the stars she has worked with, and a few juicy snippets of Strictly gossip ! Tales of working with Diana Ross, Freddie Mercury & Elton John – including the video of ‘I’m Still Standing’, which featured Bruno Tonioli as a backing dancer ! This lady has had an amazing career in choreography, I’m sure she could have spent the whole day on that stage, and only covered a fraction of her experiences ! I hope that we get a ‘Part 2’, or even an autobiography.

There were quite a few Strictly stars in the audience – Shirley Ballas, Karen Clifton, Katya Jones & Judge Rinder – some of her Hot Gossip dancers, and others from the world of dance & TV, including The Ballroom Giant, Gary Edwards.

It really was an outstanding evening – a shame it was the last show, as I would urge everyone to see it, as Arlene truly is a living legend !

Thank you Alison. If you saw the show too, we’d love to hear what you thought of it. Comment down below, or tweet @scd_support to let us know. We look forward to hearing from you.

Cassie 🙂


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 – Alana Dancing Star – Viennese Waltz – A Tale By Arlene Phillips

If there’s one thing that my 7 year old, Bella, loves as much as Strictly (and unicorns) it’s reading! She is a little bookworm and as a mum, I’ve been searching for Strictlified and Dance-Themed books to keep her occupied during the Summer Holidays and during our Summer Adventures.

Whilst searching, I came across Arlene Phillips’s Alana Dancing Star series of books and could not resist buying one for Bella. They’re aimed at dance-mad kids aged 6-10 and were almost written for Bella. Here’s what she thought of one of the books (after reading it from cover to cover in one day!)

I love reading, almost as much as I love unicorns and Strictly. I really liked this book when I first saw it because Alana looked like Belle from Beauty and the Beast and it also has a dress-up Alana doll which you can cut-out which is great fun.

Mummy told me that Arlene used to be one of the judges on Strictly, before I was born so I knew I was going to love the book before I even started reading it.

In the story Alana wants to enter the Ballroom Bonanza and dance the Viennese Waltz but she has to stay at home to look after her baby sister and cannot practice dancing.

She gets really upset and visits Madame Coco who is a costume designer who makes fab-u-lous outfits and goes on an adventure to Vienna where she gets to dance the Viennese Waltz with princes and princesses.

When she comes back, her dance teacher lets her enter the competition and she wins with her partner Matthew.

It was the best book I’ve ever read and it reminded me lots of Strictly. I liked the bit where Alana went to Vienna in Austria to dance the Viennese Waltz best as it was magical. If it was a dance on Strictly it would get a 10 from Craig and the Glitterball. I’ve asked mummy to get me all the other books as they were so good.

Thank you Bella for reviewing this book! If you or your little ones are looking for a good Strictly-themed summer read, these books are on sale from most retailers, including Amazon where they are £4.99 each. 

If you’ve read one of these books we’d love to hear what you thought. Also, let us know if you have any suggestions for summer reads for young Strictly Fans. Tell us by tweeting @scd_support or commenting 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 🙂

Let’s Dance The Night Away – A Review by @SparkleyAlex

We love a good trip to the theatre, especially when it has something to do with our favourite show. When the lovely Alex told us she was going to see the opening night of Pasha’s sixth tour, we kindly asked her to review it (in our capacity as members of the Pasha appreciation society!) Here’s what she thought of the show:

I went with two fellow Pasha mad friends to Redhill to see the first night of Pashas sixth tour – we met up with Antony (Pasha and Oti’s agent) in a nearby restaurant where we had the first of two hugs and pics.

On entering the theatre the show started with a Q and A with Pasha and Mike Newman. This lasted for 20 minutes before the main show. It is the BEST show he’s done so far partly as it’s been entirely choreographed by Anya and tells the story of their departure from Russia and their life since then.

I promise not to spoil things but the show has a distinctly Russian feel to it AND pashas unique take on Gangnam style is a must see!

Thank you Alex. If you’ve seen or are off to see a Strictly themed show soon you can let us know by tweeting @scd_support. We may even let you review the show.

Cassie 🙂

Somewhere in Time – A Review by @SparkleyAlex

We all love a trip to the theatre to see some of our Strictly favourites. 2017 is being named #TheYearOfTheTour in our house, with several visits planned to see Janette and Aljaz, Karen and Kevin, Flavia and Vicent, Ian and Natalie and Pasha *realises she’s seeing a lot of Strictly stars this year* very soon.

Last Friday, the lovely Alex, went to the theatre to see Ian and Natalie’s new show, Somewhere in Time. Here’s a brief review of what she thought of the show:

After a horrid year healthwise last year I wanted to treat my mum. She is Ian Waite’s number 1 fan so I thought I would treat her to her first strictly experience because, as we all know you are never too old to learn to dance.

We arrived at the theatre and after mum parked the car and joined me in the auditorium in ROW B we made ourselves comfortable and the show started with a very very colourful Quickstep which got the show off to an energetic start.

What followed was I have to say my favourite moment of the show – following Ian’s admittance that his favourite dance of last yr and as you know my favourite dance – Yes that Salsa by ED balls he and Natalie performed a flawless version of Gangham Style.

Ian’s Favourite Dance (and ours too!) Ed and Katya’s Gangnam Style

I don’t want to spoil the show for those going to the rest of the tour but look out for a lot of audience participation and you have to be fit to take part as a fit steps routine is involved (not for the faint hearted.)

The show ends with a beautiful rumba and there is a meet and greet after.

Alex meeting Natalie 😍

Hope this is ok 


Thank you Alex for your review. If you’re going to see a Strictly show soon, let us know and we may even give you the chance to review it.

Cassie 🙂

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 🙂


Strictly Makes – Some Sparkly Creative Sets for us Strictly fans – Review!

One of our New Year’s resolutions is to wear something glittery every day of the year! My little girl took this quite literally when she discovered these fun packs whilst out shopping for some arts and crafts stuff last week:

Yesterday was a snow day here, so we spent a couple of hours arts and crafting at home and testing these products to see what they are like! Here’s what myself (as mum) and Bella thought of them!


I’ll put you in the picture. We were out shopping when Bella brought this to me and said “Mummy, please can I have this. It has the word sparkle in it!” The moment I saw sparkly jewellery I could not resist buying it for her. We love arts and crafts activities and although it said suitable for children aged 8+ we thought we’d try it to see what we thought. 

We bought the Sparkle Violet and Sparkle Light Pink Starter Kits which come complete with one tube of Gel, a plastic sheet, a nozzle for the gel tube, and the chance to make up to 20 designs. The kits we bought cost £6 each and were from The Entertainer (www.thetoyshop.com) Bella had already been given a set this Christmas from a family friend so we had some other colours to use too. You can either use the designs or freestyle and make your own gel designs. It can be used to make jewellery or to decorate bags, phone cases etc. Once dried you’ll be left with eye-catching designs. Designs like these:

What I thought (Mummy)

The instructions are easy to follow, and the templates guide you to help you make some eye-catching designs. Inevitably, as with most arts and crafts activities there is mess, so if you are using this product for the first time make sure you have a table covering which you won’t mind if it gets damaged. Also, we wore arts and crafts overalls which may be a good idea, as the product can get everywhere, if you’re not careful. The product states it is for ages 8+ and children younger than that may struggle as the gel tubes can be quite hard to control. With help and on her first attempt, Bella created these bracelets above and I think she did a brilliant job. It does take an hour to dry, so there is a lot of waiting involved, but the end result is worth the wait!

What Bella thought:

I thought this was a lot of fun. I like wearing sparkly bracelets and it reminded me of Loom Bands a bit. It is a lot of fun to make the bracelets and I made mummy and daddy some hearts too because I love them a lot! It was a bit boring having to wait for them to dry but mummy told me that all good things come to those who wait. I’d give them an 8/10

Jelly Stickers – Fashion Kit!

These have to be the sparkliest stickers we’ve ever seen. The idea is that children are given paints to decorate stickers. There are also sequin and glitter sprinkles! Nothing could stop my little glitter fairy from asking her mummy to purchase these! We also found these at The Entertainer and they cost £5.66! Here’s one we made earlier:

What I thought (Mummy)

For a sticker mad 6 year old these are perfect! The age guide is 5+ but it gave Bella a lot of enjoyment making some fun fashion stickers. Due to time constraints we only managed to make a few stickers, but the end result was very good and I dare say Bella will use them in her drawings and in cards too. She managed to make these with minimal help from mummy. The instructions are clear. Once again, we’d recommend covering the surface in a protective surface as it can get messy.

What Bella thought

I love these stickers and I can make them as sparkly as I want. I find some stickers you buy in shops boring because they don’t have as many sparkles as I’d like on them but this kit means I can make things really glittery. The stickers are good for girls and look really pretty. They are easy to decorate and when they’re finished they look really good! If they were on Strictly I’d give them a 10/10

So in Bella’s eyes the Jelly stickers were best. If you’ve used either of these products we’d love to hear what you thought of them! Tell us by tweeting @scd_support or send us pictures of your creations. We look forward to hearing from you.

Cassie 🙂 

Dance Dance Dance – It may not be Strictly, but we liked it (just a little!)

We love any show which even mentions Dance, so when we heard that ITV were launching a show in the New Year which was to quote the papers “set to rival Strictly” we could not resist watching. Nothing in our eyes beats Strictly, so tonight we sat down watching with our uber-critical Craig Revel-Horwood hats on to see whether it was more of a dance di-saaster or the start of something fab-u-lous! Here’s what we thought of the show.

The show gives a celebrity and their chosen partner the chance to perform iconic music video choreography together. After they have performed a dance together one person from each couple is invited to recreate another music video’s choreography. They are scored for each performance. Overall it’s a bit of a mix of So You Think You Can Dance, Let’s Dance for Comic/Sport Relief and ITV’s last attempt at a dance show Stepping Out. Strictly always wows us with original choreography week after week, and whilst this show will not do this, we have to admit it is great entertainment-wise to see some of our favourite music videos recreated on our TV screens each week (the teenager inside me was very excited to see the Back Street Boys tackled by one of the couples tonight.)

The show is hosted by Alesha Dixon (who tonight wore a dress that reminded my 6 year old of a glitterball and made her very happy) and Will Best. The pair of them do a good job and with judges including choreographer and Diversity’s Ashley Banjo, the show has picked people who know their stuff! The overall production is great and the technical side with graphics and virtual reality looked awesome. One thing we did feel was the continuity between each dance seemed a little flat, and it lacked the Claudia and Tess antics that we have come to love from Strictly. We loved the like that the couples get their scores immediately after performing and at the same time as the judges give their comments. 

Celebrities get to choose their partner of their choice (it could be their partner, wife or best friend.) We love watching the celebrities on Strictly becoming great friends with one another and their professional partner week after week and it’s part of what we love about the show, but the format and idea of Dance Dance Dance got us thinking that we’d love to see Strictly host a one-off special with former celebrities returning to the dancefloor with their husbands, wives, girlfriends or boyfriends or best friends come to think of it. We asked you what you thought and many of you agreed it’d be a good idea.

It may never be Strictly, with no live band or singers, no professional celebrity partnerships, and no original choreography but we quite enjoyed Dance Dance Dance (despite the ad breaks.) It is entertaining and good to see celebrities out of their comfort zone again. It is a completely different show to Strictly, and nothing will ever take Strictly’s place out of our hearts. Overall, it is a good concept and we give show one a sev-ern out of 10! 

If you watched the show too, we’d love to hear what you thought of it. You can tweet us @scd_support or comment below to let us know. We look forward to hearing from you.

Cassie 🙂

Reviews – Burn the Floor! 🔥💃🏻🔥

We’ve rarely been to see a show that we’ve loved it so much we went back to see it again. On Saturday, me and my little princess Bella did exactly that as we went to the Peacock theatre to see Burn the Floor for the second time! 

Before going to the show a week earlier, my little girl thought this was what would happen:

Having never been to see Burn the Floor before, I did not know what to expect either, but we were in for a treat!

The show combines many different dance styles from Charlestons to Quicksteps, Foxtrots to Sambas and even has some beautiful contemporary numbers thrown in too! There really was something in the show for everyone and we must commend the cast on their energy as well as their execution and performance which were all mindblowing!

It was quite possibly the best dance show we’ve ever seen and we must also give credit to the amazing singers and band who were truly awesome and helped bring the music to life.

For me, my favourite performance had to be the Paso/Flamenco number performed to Habanera from Carmen! It was filled with drama, precision and gave me goosebumps! My little girl loved every single performance (and even asked if she can go back to see it a third time!)

Burn the Floor is playing at the Peacock Theatre (www.sadlerswells.com) until the 5th November! The show is a must-see for any strictly or dance fan. It’ll fill you with joy and make you want to join in from your seat. The cast’s energy, the brilliant choreography and dancing make it unmissable! 

We give it 5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ review! It is incredible, awesome and simply brilliant.