Sunday, 27 February 2011

Dancing on Ice Live Blog, Week Seven: Going Global!

Oh, hello, where's Holly, it's not that time already surely? No, just a bit under the weather and Coleen's been drafted in.

T&D impress mightily with an Argentine Tango to Dance With Me, very intense and brilliant working with the non skating dancers.

Colaurin out first, with an all American Charleston to Upside Down, with input from Strictly regular Ryan Francois. It's Fab-U-Lous! Totally character driven, very together, nailed the feel of the dance, smooth transitions, gorgeous float spin and lots of fun. Brilliant. Score: 24.5 Robin said she maintained character, it was cohesive, jovial and bouncy; Emma said it had the persona and the vibe and wasn't too cheesy; Jason said it was a great fun start but sometimes lacked the bounce. He tried to make a joke about gay abandonment. No-one laughed. In fact, had the camera cut to the ice you'd have seen snow covered tumbleweed ...

Jeffabelle with a Viennese Waltz to When I Need You and crikey, that's a lift and a half, he made it look effortless and he basically benchpressed Isabelle. Soft and romantic, good speed over the ice, good partnering, terrific skating, beautiful lifts. Score: 22.5 Emma praised the connection and partnering; Robin said it was skated like a pro, controlled and classy; Jason said he had the elegant and refined rotation, line and quality improving; Karen agreed!

Mattise samba to Let's Get Loud and it could all go horribly wrong with that wig. A shame she couldn't transfer the rhythm of the dance floor to the ice but she had a good go. Score: 14.5 ooh, Jason might want to borrow the wig, quips Denise. He retaliates by telling her she looked like she needed an MRI Scan and that she was off the beat and messy; Emma liked that she smiled throughout; Robin praised the commitment but technically it didn't happen. Karen's glad she's enjoying herself.

Katilla are dancing Flamenco - to Justin Timberlake's Like I Love You? What can I say, I was bored, because there was no Paso feel for me, the music was so so wrong. I don't blame Katilla, but that was sadly lacking direction and everything I was expecting - when you think back to the paso inspired routines that both Jessica and Ray did to contemporary songs you'll know what I mean. Score: 21.5 Robin liked that he saw a different side which was commanding and in control; Jason reckons he got the balance right between him and the flavour of the dance, apart from occasional space invader arms; Emma said it was manly and sexy and melted her.

Samianne upstage Colaurin, with a River-ting Riverdance - nailed the synchronisation, the feel of the dance, the lifts - everything stunning, a total performance of Riverdance on Ice. Score: 27 Top score for the series so far. Emma said Wow x 3; Robin said they created wonderful choreography and stayed with it; Jason said they're back on form, footwork and nuances incredible.

Michloe to Kiss Kiss, Bollywood style and helllloooo Michael. Now, if they can just put him back in the leather trousers without the top ... Nailed the big lift but always going to be compared to Jai Ho and didn't have the same impact but a very good performance, assured skating. Score: 24.5 Robin praised the transitions and loved it; Emma said it was much tighter, it's all coming together and Jason was distracted by Michael. Not even Karen can argue with that!

Johnseyne Tango to She Drives Me Crazy and I love that he kept the intensity all through, good lifts and maintained character, good job! Score 14.5 Jason didn't get the sexual tension (that could explain a lot) Emma applauded that he's trying something different and Robin said he's going in the right direction. Karen and the rest felt he should have got higher marks.

Back at 9.30pm! Recap and safe: Michloe; Jeffabelle; Johnseyne; Mattise; Samianne! Colaurin versus Katilla in the skate off - not surprised at Katilla, and unfortuantely, going first probably did for Laura, having some great performances later. Colaurin's Charleston as good, if not better, than before; Katilla with all to do - but the judges have confussled us before so who knows *shrugs* Katilla better than before also! Robin saves Colaurin; Emma also with Colaurin - it's farewell Katilla - Jason makes it three for Laura. But what a lovely touch from Vanilla there, handing his flowers over to a little girl in the audience. Down to the last six next week!

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Dancing on Ice, Week 7: Ultimate Skills

And to kick us off, a T&D special, accompanying Rumer, singing What The World Needs Now, effortless performances both.

Michloe, to Little Bird, seemed a little stiff tonight and didn't engage me much, although another overall good performance. Robin thought her spin the strongest element, with good speed on the footwork and the skills fitted well in the overall performance. Emma loved that she didn't shy away from difficulty and Jason praised her overall but felt she wasn't committing to the nuances in the choreography (her birds arms were "grotesque". Karen didn't look impressed at that!) Score 18.5

Johnseyne skate to She Will Be Loved and another sweet performance, a big lift, ultimate skills present and correct-ish, more speed too. Looks after Jodeyne. Jason applauded them for the lift and thought the skills "fair"; Robin said the steps were simple but nice; Emma said he (and we) are a lot more comfortable now. Score: 14.5

Colaurin and Stop - a gorgeous beginning with spin, emotive, all the skills there, lovely performance, goosebumps, flowing and elegant. Robin gave 5.5 out of 6 for the skills and said she stepped it up tonight; Emma the same, but did feel the nerves tonight and Jason gave full marks for the skills, for flowing through the routine and the musicality. Score: 25.5

Jeffabelle skate to Forget You and it's a shame he faltered on the skills as this could have been a terrific performance had it all come together. I just missed him in the skate off, where it all apparently did come together, going by Robin's comments after that, so well done them. Emma felt the performance was lacking before he had to concentrate, but still sees him as a dark horse. Jason said he has to marry the skills and the performance and Robin agreed with Jason, saying Jeff had one of the most difficult jump combos of the night. Score: 16

Mattise and True Colours, lift a bit clunky but everything else was very nice, calm and smooth performance. Robin said it had a real, natural calmness about it; Jason said it had a really lovely quality and he was proud of her; Emma Said keeping it simple for her was key. Which I'm sure she didn't mean as an insult. Score: 16.5

Samianne to She Said - edge of seat time, The Headbanger Cometh! As ultimate skills go, wow. Timing out more obviously this week but come on, with everything they're asking him to do, including that headbanger, I'll forgive him for focussing! Jason saw his thought processes but almost top scored for skills; Robin did the same, took .5 off for synchronicity issues but Emma top scored him as she can't believe he's not a pro and he still gave the performance. Score: 24.5

Kerriel to Hush Hush and I only saw the skate off performance, which was pretty dire and she clearly had to go, bearing in mind the improvement in all the others. Jason said her skating skills were extinct; Robin said it's been a struggle and Emma thought she'd have come out fighting after last week, but no. Score: 9

Katilla wind up proceedings, skating to Ice Ice Baby - and as expected, Vanilla is in his element, great spins and jumps, excellent job overall. Robin said it was the best overall performance of the night; Emma's a big fan all over again and Jason said he proved he can ice ice skater. Score: 22.5

Apologies for the lack of live blogging this week - even DOI can't compete against the call of a curry!

'The Box' Crowned Glasgow Champs!

Young dance troupe The Box has been crowned Barclays Live Glasgow Dance Champions following a hotly-contested online public vote.
Made up of 12 students from Dance Point Musical Theatre, The Box picked up over 50,000 votes on their journey to the crown, beating off intense competition from top acts across Glasgow.

Having overcome stiff opposition from acts such as Britain's Got Talent semi-finalist The Fusion and Storm to become Barclays Live Glasgow champs, the act will be dancing all the way to their nearest Barclays branch with a bumper £1,000 cheque.
Speaking afterwards, Robert Hamilton, choreographer for the Box, said: "The kids are absolutely ecstatic as it was such a great honour to take part in Barclays Live, let alone win it! We are all extremely grateful to everyone that voted as it means so much to the kids to win in their own hometown. We're going to spend the money on some much needed new equipment for the studio. The kids have been sharing gymnastic mats, but now they are all going to get their own one!"

The Barclays Live competition celebrates continued investment in branches across the country and will pull up at a host of regions in 2011. In addition to the events sweeping the nation, Barclays Live has also teamed up with StreetDance 3D star Brooke Milliner to create Your Name in Dance, an interactive dance tool showing a users name in choreographed dance form. Check it out at http://barclayslive.co.uk/interactive.php

For all the latest news and upcoming events 'like' Barclays Live on Facebook www.facebook.com/BarclaysLive and follow @BarclaysLive on Twitter

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Let's Dance for Comic Relief!

It's back, the happiest dance show on the telly, with the nicest panel and the brilliant Brian Blessed as voice over guy, the suave Mr. Jones (seems to have lopped a bit of hair off the top of his head and smeared it round his chops) who's joined by the lovely Ms Alex Jones (no relation ... that I'm aware of) cos Claudia's too bloomin' busy!

Tonight's highly distinguished panel: Graham Norton, dance credentials - Father Ted; Frank Skinner, dance credentials: Fancy footie footwork; Greg Davis, dance credentials - size 14 feet.

Interior designer Colin and Justin, to Zanadu - Justin makes a fantastic Agnetha from Abba, forget Olivia. Colin looks like Cliffe Richard, is that intentional - wasn't there a 'thing' about Cliff and Olivia? That was Colin and Justin's most funnest night in ages, a "Tsunami of Glamour"! Graham was worried it'd be Xanadu-du and thought Camilla rather than Agnetha; Frank said it was reminiscent of clubbing with Richard and Judy and Greg was reminded of Pan's People.

Russell Kane is the now synonymous-with-the-show comic-in-drag-doing-a-great-job but it's a lot to live up to, although he has help from the family business, Banana Studios ... is it me, or does he look a little bit like Christian Bale? Do Not Adjust Your Set, tonight, Russell Kane is Beyonce, dancing to Crazy in Love! Loving the attitude, he's got some front. Seriously, that's great padding work going on there. Graham says he'll relive that again on his deathbed *my eyes!* Frank worryingly didn't look at the girls and Greg summed it up perfectly, saying it occupied a space between most disgusting and most erotic!

Rebecca Front dressed to impress, or not be missed by traffic, as Bjork, for It's Oh So Quiet and here's a future Strictly Come Dancing contestant if ever there was one, timing and presentation - far too good to win this! Charming. Graham thought brilliant and loved the dancing post box; Frank said it was 'mum's gone to Iceland in a good way' and Greg felt it had British dignity and it was entirely correct and normal to be dancing with a postbox.

Waterloo Road, in the form of Peter and Rebecca, say It's Like That (Run DMC) and they're brilliant, I mean, there are proper breakdancers but Philip was superb and stole the performance! Graham called it the Karate Kid of dance; Frank was educated and on the edge of his seat; Greg called Rebecca brilliant and said Philip single handedly claimed back Hip Hop for the middle aged!

Ed Byrne - whose genius idea to cast Gloria Hunniford as his mum? I Love To Boogie, from Billy Elliott, joined by the one and only Arlene Phillips - good effort! Graham disses Ed's legs, but says it's his fave so far; Frank said it was much more enjoyable than Black Swan, and there was a hint of River Dance; Greg said it was brilliant, especially as Arlene wasn't actually invited!

Katie Price does Freddie Mercury in I Want To Break Free, complete with under arm hair - and for all you read and think about her, she's happy to send herself up. Not sure whether she needed padding or not. Yes, apparently - Frank, like name, like nature, asked her! Graham said she's as good at dancing as she is at everything else but he loves her; Frank said she looks great with a moustache and Greg is awestruck by the underarm hair, he thought she'd perfected her look already.

Voting time! Sir Patrick Moore reads the small print, I'm thinking I liked four there, Russell, Ed, Rebecca and Waterloo Road - but no-one standing out like the last two years - Russell for the obvious reason, the funniest yet good. For fun rehearsal footage, visit the BBC website.

Results are in and straight out go Ed, Rebecca and Colin & Justin.

Straight through: Russell!

Waterloo Road versus Katie Price - and the panel go for Katie; I'd have preferred to see Waterloo Road again, just because it contained more energy but there you go. Russell dances us out - what is it with us and comedians diva dancing?

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Dancing On Ice Live Blog, Week 6: Pure theatrics!

Musicals night tonight, and an unassisted jump to master, with both feet off the ice!

Jeffabelle out first to All I Ask of You - that was completely lovely! He's so elegant, made the jumps too, gorgeous flowing routine, I actually felt involved, which hasn't happened much this series. Good, confident lifts too. Score: 22 - Robin with an 8 and he said it was a fantastic start, such control over blades and lifts and taking care of partner. Jason said he's definitely improving and has nice upper body control but didn't feel the romance. Said he looked like he's waiting for a bus. Emma liked that he skates with power.

Mattise have Roxy from Chicago, loving the silhouette start, got the big lift, transitions a but stuttery in the trio of jumps and generally, more character led than skating. Score: 13 Jason complimented her bum but said her arms were like windscreen wipers; Robin said she did herself proud with the jumps and Emma missed the cheekiness.

Samianne to Flash Bang Wallop and wow, how fast and complicated was that? Cracking skate, I though they were together more than not, full of fun and character, didn't need big lifts, the skates did all the talking. Excellent jumps. Score: 25.5 Robin basically said what I did, Emma loved it loved it loved it and Jason said it was full of character and energy, charismatic but synchronicity issues. Karen called it a pure entertaining whole performance and says there's more to give.

A Wicked performance of Defying Gravity by Rachel Tucker, accompanied with a very appropriate routine by Lukasz & Alexandra(amazing, high spinning lift) and Jodene & Sean.

Kerriel skating to No Business Like Showbusiness. Timing out, bit manic with the facial features, not very elegant, not much of a jump, a decent spin at the end. Score: 12 Jason said Daniel's still carrying her around, not up to scratch; Emma said this kind of routine suits her; Robin said she's playing catch up and Karen said the back to basics helped.

Michloe have the most emotional song of the night, On My Own from Les Mis. Amazing spinning lift, but a couple of wobbles, not much of a jump and I didn't get the goosebumps I should have. Score: 22 Robin said it was a great performance as she was with Michael every step of the way, which we the audience wouldn't have registered, didn't have the emotion but she is A Skater; Jason agreed she struggled to maintain the emotion and longing and there wasn't enough light and shade; Emma reckons it would have been world class had the sparkles not been missing.

Johnseyne skating to Always Look On The Bright Side of Life and I was smiling all the way through that, so was Phil. Good jump, nice fluid skating. Score: 15 Jason said it showed promise but he lost the character as it went on; Robin loved enjoying him enjoy it; Emma said it was faster and funnier and loved that he's pushing himself.

Katilla to Born To Hand Jive, good jumps, including the risky one, good lifts, confident, musical, not as wild as before. Score: 21 Robin saw a figure skater in character; Emma said his posture is better but less free spirited and Jason it was sometimes electrifying and sometime tentative.

Fravitty skating to Aquarius, he embraced the feel of it and visibly relaxed after the jumps. Bit staid though. Score: 12.5 Emma said thank god for the hair and the costume cos she's missing comedy Dave; Jason said it lacked contraction and release. (No, me neither.) Robin said the jumps flowed on exit but we can see it's hard work. Karen agrees but says there's heart and soul with the hard work.

Colaurin and You Can't Stop The Beat and it's kooky and quirky, she totally gets the performance aspect, great jumps, great lifts, nailed the back flip, she rocks! Score: 25.5 Jason was entertained, fun and goofy, so Disney, exploded with personality; Robin praises the exuberance and attack and it was Emma's favourite of the night, exciting and energetic, pure theatre. It was mine too and I'm going to vote, because it would be a real shame if she went.

Back at 9.30pm! Here we go - safe: Katilla; Colaurin, woo! Jeffabelle, yay! Samianne, whoop! Michloe - Emma gets her wish, top five through; Johnseyne also safe, along with Mattise. It's Kerriel versus Fravitty and frankly, as Emma said earlier, the public need to be voting for the skaters, so this is a no brainer because Kerry is the absolute worst and Dave landed two great jumps again in the skate off and improved his performance. So naturally, Emma then votes Kerry through, as does Jason. ?????? is the only thing I can say. Robin voted for Dave, but then, he's the only proper ice skating judge on the panel. When they've been banging on since the start of the series about voting for the best skaters, I can only say again: ??????????? And another thing - she had her head in her hands at the end there, when she realised what she'd done. *rolls eyes*

Friday, 11 February 2011

Snippets: Strictly Come Dancing

An interview with Bruno Tonioli, and news that former Strictly champion Darren Gough will be campaigning on behalf of the Conservatives at the Barnsley by election - but had he not been busy, may have been the candidate himself! Perhaps it was Widdy who won him over!

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Snippets: Strictly Come Dancing, Black Swan, Comic Relief, Dancing on Ice, Got To Dance, Dancing With The Stars

Rachel Stevens will be covering the BAFTAs from the red carpet for Orange and dressed accordingly to announce the fact - as Natalie Portman in Black Swan!

Last season's Strictly Come Dancing champion Kara Tointon and Xmas Special participant Ronni Ancona will be joining almost Dancing on Ice contestant, Nadia Sawalha, X-Factor's Olly Murs and Dermot O'Leary, and singer Craig David, amogst others, trekking through the desert to raise money for Comic Relief.

We can but live in hope ...

Got To Dance Live that should have opened at Excel London has been postponed until later in the year. And Turbo and Dance Dynamix have made it through to the final of Sky's Got To Dance.

Dancing With The Stars Louis Van Amstel has put together what looks to be a stunning show - Ballroom With A Twist, featuring dancers from DWTS and So You Think You Can Dance and singers from American Idol.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Dancing On Ice Live Blog, Week Five: If looks could skill ...

Las Vegas week and the start of the Skills Set but first - T&D and the pro skaters do Copacabana, with some stunning tricks on show. Chris reiterates that they want to be left with the best skaters at the end of the skills set. Hayley Tamaddon, Ray Quinn and Chris Fountain will show how it's done.

This week, shadow steps sequence with a 360 degree one footed turn.

Jennibonbon out first to If I Could Turn Back Time and there's loads of skating alone, coped very well, a couple of sticky transitions, big lift, good turn, well done! Jason praised the synchronicity, timing and skating but she' holding out on for performance; Robin agreed and thought it a little tense; Emma got what she wanted last week and said no, she didn't mean that - she wants her to own her skating!?

Jeffabelle next to It's Not Unusual - it's smooth, good skating but needed to look like he enjoyed it more, good partnering, timing out a little at times, nice roll up, best skating from him so far! Score: 20 Robin saw quality basic skills used in the right place at the right time; Emma reckons he was smouldering, strong and confident; Jason noticed an improvement but he needs to control his upper body.

Colaurin with It's All Coming Back To Me Now - an emotional performance, big smile when she nailed the big lift, a little moment in the steps but overall fantastic. Score: 24 Jason really enjoyed it, said she was expressive, that she felt and surrendered to it; Emma loved that she took everything on board and never lost the mood; Robin said she's done to yet another level. Karen and the other contestants with a standation!

Mattise to S'wonderful - a good start, she's quickstepping - and there they are, the steps sequence, check! Nice big lift, loved the shuffles and great presentation. Score: 13.5 Emma called it a cute routine; Jason said confident, sweet and fun; Robin said she allowed herself to go with the flow.

Fravitty with Please Release Me - nicely played with the attitude, lost Frankie accidentally at one point and there was a bit of improv on Frankie's part, the steps were there though! Score: 11 Robin said he had ok steps but a coat hanger in his shoulders; Emma called him a wooden soldier; Jason thinks it's time he went and called him a clog mime artist with rigor mortis. I'm guessing they didn't enjoy ...

Katilla next with Blue Suede ... Skates, got a little too excited and had a couple of moments in both steps sequences, but big fun and huge throw at the end! Score: 16 Emma said it was fast and furious but posture a problem; Robiin liked the energy and attack and partnering but likened him to an ice hockey skater; Jason wants him to stop miming and criticised the lack of finesse. Karen called him unique and charismatic, deserved higher marks.

Johnseyne with Piano Man, nailed the step sequence, very nice skating, always where Jodeyne needed him to be. Score: 12 Jason said he's been on a slight journey but he's not seeing enough - Karen says it's been an incredible journey, a massive achievement - Jason says "If your opionion mattered you'd be on the panel! *ooh - handbags* Karen's up and over there "Outside, NOW!" She tells him he's offensive! Hit him go on, on behalf of all of us! I love Karen! Robin says there is improvement but we need to see more. Strewth, says Phil.

Samianne have I Get A Kick Out Of You - he can sing too - speedy, musical, smashing sequences, very Fred and Ginger, smooth and confident, big lift, float spin. Score:25.5 Emma called him a perfect partner, attentive and strong, brilliant; Jason gets a big kick out of him, stunning synchronicity; Robin said he's fantastically committed.

Kerriel to Woman in Love and the steps are stuttery but nice arms and good lift. Score: 10 Robin said she's not strong enough, believe T&D when they say you can do it; Emma wished that she'd do well; Jason could see her concern, and tells her to work harder.

Michloe skating to In The Mood, T&D's 1980 routine music, oh dear, Michael as a sailor might get a vote again. Good skate but had to think too much about it, so transitions a little sticky,not as flowing. Score: 22 Jason's a big fan but thought it too technically advanced which compromised performance and finish; Emma said that was a bit messy but she loves watching her; Robin said it was incredible choreography "props to you, girly"!

Back at 9.30pm then! Forget Skate Off, we've a Square Up, as Jason apologises to Karen ... and then tells her she should listen! "You're a nasty nasty man," she says. Hear Hear! If it's all set up, Karen should be jetting off to Hollywood for an award some time soon!

Safe: Samianne; Jeffabelle; Kerriel; Colaurin; Fravitty; Michloe; Mattise; Johnseyne. Ooh - Katilla versus Jennibonbon, two of the judges/legends favourites to skate off! Glad to see the public are rebelling and sticking it to "we want only the best skaters" brigade. No, Chris - we're listening and we don't like being told. You invite people on the show, you treat them fairly - you don't have favourites, that's our job.

Thought Jennibonbon were more confident that time, just a wobble on the lift. Sylvin puts it in perspective before any more hysteria: "It's the game!" Katilla also better than before, also pragmatic. It's a clean sweep for Katilla; Jennibonbon are gonegone.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Snippets: Tom & Summer; Kara & Artem

Top Hat, starring Series 6 Strictly Come Dancing winner Tom Chambers and Summer Strallen, will begin rehearsals in July, with the tour to follow in August - and, I'm so excited - it's coming to Canterbury!

Top Hat isn't a biography of Fred and Ginger though, it's a reworking of their film, with a few extra, iconic songs thrown in! Here are some more details, courtesy of an interview with Summer.

And last series Strictly winner, Kara Tointon, who will be guest starring in new supernatural drama, Bedlam, has revelead she's eating like an elephant (is that more or less than a horse?) since touring with Artem: “It's fantastic. We’ve been doing the Strictly tour together and I’ll be devastated if I stop dancing, because it’s a great way to stay in shape and I can eat anything I want!”

On changing her eating habits, Kara added: “My sister [The Inbetweeners star] Hannah noticed I’ve been eating more and said: ‘You know you don’t have to eat everything Artem eats?’ I heard that a whole night of intense dancing can burn 10,000 calories, so I’ve been eating like an elephant.”

Isn't it marvellous to hear a 'starlet' enthusing about food! No size zero any time soon for Kara, what a terrific role model *applauds*. Thanks to www.twitter.com/TheSun_Buzz for that little snippet :-)

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Got To Dance, First Semi Final

Alleviate and Chris & Wes were the first acts voted through to the final by the public, catch all the videos here on Sky's Youtube account.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Dancing With The Stars, Local Legends!

Derek Hough is taking Season 12 off from Dancing With The Stars to make a film, where he plays a streetdancer, but will return for Season 13. At least it'll give the other pros the chance of winning!

And as you may know, I'm the community publisher of a local website, Rochester People, where we're currently running a campaign to find our local legend - and as yet, there are no dancing related nominees - so if you're reading this from the Medway area and you know of someone who deserves a bit of recognition for services to dance (or anything else for that matter) then do head on over and nominate! Here's a flavour of what we're looking for:

Glasgow Dance Stars Raise the Roof

Ten local dance acts brought St. Enoch’s Centre in Glasgow to a halt last weekend as Barclays Live came roaring into town. Competing for a place in the final, dancers went head to head in front of a celebrity judging panel that included Strictly Come Dancing legend Karen Hardy and Clyde 1’s Diane Knox.

With acts ranging from HipHop to Irish Dancing, the contest was well poised as the totals were tallied, with judges finally sending The Box (Scotstoun), The Fusion (Scotstoun), Levon (Barlanark), Storm (Barrhead) and Bobbies Girls (Scotstoun) through to the final.

Videos of the five shortlisted acts are now live on the Barclays Live website http://www.barclayslive.com/ where a public vote will decide the winner. Voting will run until February 21st and all votes are free of charge.

Karen Hardy says: “Glasgow has talent! We saw some fantastic performances from street dance troupes to gymnasts and the standard was really high. After deliberations we’ve chosen our top five and now it’s up to you to pick a winner so make sure you log onto the Barclays Live site and do your bit!”

The Barclays Live competition celebrates continued investment in branches across the country and will pull up at a host of regions in 2011. In addition to the events sweeping the nation, Barclays Live has also teamed up with StreetDance 3D star Brooke Milliner to create Your Name in Dance, an interactive dance tool showing a users name in choreographed dance form. Check it out at http://barclayslive.co.uk/interactive.php

For all the latest news and upcoming events ‘like’ Barclays Live on Facebook www.facebook.com/BarclaysLive and follow @BarclaysLive on Twitter.

Karen Hardy began dancing at the age of 5 and soon dominated the amateur dance scene by picking up a host of titles in the UK and the USA before turning professional. In 2005, she was approached by the BBC to take part in Strictly Come Dancing and has since partnered with a host of celebrities, including England cricketer Mark Ramprakash with whom she won the fourth series of the contest in 2006. The photo above is Karen with contestants The Box.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Dancing on Ice, Week Four: The Ice Pick (in case you didn't know!)

No live blog this week - I was out having my own scary moment, not as scary as Domandra's, but here's the gallery of photos from a Ghost Walk! Jeffabelle were saved and Domandra voted off by their peers, I've managed an abbreviated rundown ...

Michloe to I Hate Rock'n'Roll, another risky lift, a neck spin, little bit scrappy in places but full of energy and attitude, really well done. Had I been in, Michael's leather trousers may have got a vote. But I wasn't, so they didn't - but they were well worth it, weren't they? *coughs* Score: 19.5 Robin loved the attack; Emma called her brave and entertaining; Jason praised her versatility and assurance but would like hairography - she does it, we miss it. I do hope they're not going to ask everyone about The Ice Pick ... *yawns*

Johnseyne to One Love, a session with the Ballet Boyz, can only be good. A couple of lifts and a death spiral, nice enough, not a lot they can do with this song, just amble along. Score: 13 Jason liked the relaxed style but lost interest; Emma missing the connection but he's got rhythm, baby; Robin complimented his solid skating.

Jeffabelle and Better Together - the song that Matt Di Angelo had his foxtrot meltdown to on Strictly Come Dancing ... and, oops, look at that, there he goes! Nice big lift though and overall good skating. Score: 12.5 Emma felt for him and praised the smooth skating; Jason liked the recovery and composure and called it lyrical; Robin said his basic skating quality is at another level.

Kerriel to Disturbia - unusual lift to begin, bit slow over the ice but more unusual moves, needs more attack. Score: 10 Jason says she's still too reliant on Daniel and that stag move looked like she was about to have an internal examination. So charming, isn't he? Mums have left the room before the kids could ask ... Karen puts him in his place; Robin agrees she needs more enthusiasm. Kerry, not Karen.

Katilla to Always, huge drape lift, still posture work needed, still singing along, good speed, nice skating. Score: 16 Robin said it's a terrific job, very nice; Emma said it was tentative but he did everything asked of him; Jason said the fall worked in his favour and he complimented his considerate partnering.

Domandra to I Can See For Miles And Miles - a visit from Freddie and the public didn't save him *outrageous* I can see why though, there wasn't much to the programme, I thought he was capable of more. Score: 11 Jason liked it when it was over, not improving; Robin applauded the strong skating but says he needs to deliver performance.

Colaurin to Whenever, Wherever, ooh, nice timing with the fan, first routine that really grabbed me, good big lift, just about landed the wrist ripper, good recovery, loved the Latino feel, great performance. Score: 20 Nasty bruising! Jason loved the dynamic, fully charged influences; Emma praised the character and said she has something special; Robin gave some technical advice and praised the gusto.

Jennibonbon to Anyone Who Had A Heart, it's dynamic, lovely skating, terrific lifts and lunges. Score: 18.5 Emma loves their wonderful connection but they need to sell it more; Jason said it lacked emotion in the interpretation; Robin called it sweet and natural, praised her coping with the speed.

Mattise to Slow, still a little stilted but a nice partnership, needs to relax, there's more to come if she does let go. Score: 10 Jason said she's marginally improved, but clunky; Robin pointed out a few wobbles but she had an emotional edge; Emma liked her elegant and softer.

Samianne and Crazy Little Thing Called Love, great timing, musicality, speed, nailed the big lift, flowed over the ice. The only one really bringing it all together. Just one sticky bit on the flip lift but stayed on beat. Score: 25 Robin said fantastic attacking, cohesive skating, choreography and musicality; Jason called him skating viagra, everything rises *note to ITV: family show alert; family show alert! Jeez ... I'm lucky my kid doesn't watch it, I don't have to answer the questions. Emma says he makes it look easy, wonderful.

Fravitty to Achey Breakey Heart and he's loosened up lot, what's happened? Full of character, much better skating, dancing and performance. Score: 11 Robin said it's smoke and mirrors, more is needed; Jason is torn: he's committed but average, enjoyable but not very good. Karen said it's his best so far and Emma said that worryingly, it suited him.

Unless I'm invited out by some charismatic, enigmatic stranger (or a mate wants to go to the pub) next week, we should be back to normal ...