Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Yvonne School of Dance Win Barclays Live Norwich

Nine tap dancers from Yvonne School of Dance have been crowned Norwich dance champions after picking up over 40,000 votes in an intense public vote online.

Nationwide dance competition Barclays Live took place in Norwich on 26 February at the Forum. Despite the wet weather, a large crowd gathered to watch the ten local acts chosen to battle it out for the title and £1,000 prize. Yvonne School of Dance, based in Hethersett, bucked the trend of street dance acts that have so far dominated the competition by delivering a retro tap dance performance that beat off tough competition in the form of street dance troupe Dem Bratz and the current world junior ballroom dance champions Luke and Hanna.

Speaking after hearing that they’d won, Yvonne Cutting, owner of Yvonne School of Dance, said: “The girls were thrilled to make it through to the final of Barclays Live so this win has put them over the moon. We’d like to thank everyone who voted for us as the prize money will go a long way to boosting our fundraising for the year. The girls will now have even better costumes in their upcoming shows as they continue to improve their dancing and raise as much money for charity at the same time.”

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 For all the latest news and upcoming events, ‘like’ Barclays Live on Facebook and follow @BarclaysLive on Twitter

Also in Tap News: An interview with Charlie Baker, winner of Let's Dance for Comic Relief - there is some bad language, you have been warned!

And a pretty stunning alternative jive from Mark Ballas and partner Chelsea Kane on Dancing With The Stars. Personally, I think it's terrific and certainly enough jive content for me! But the judges didn't like ...

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Dancing on Ice Live Blog: The Grand Final!

And what a start we have - the divine David Garrett, violinist, with a passionate Bolero, as the pro skaters shadow T&D's iconic moves, complete with mass descent into the volcano at the end. Stunning! Samianne; Colaurin; Michloe - all been top of the leaderboard, all been in the skate off - it's all up to us! Samiane with their showcase - Footloose and it's a WOW! That could just win it for him - full of energy, musical, personality, huge moves, plenty of action, awesome! Score: 29.5, Jason being picky. Robin says charismatic Sam showed up in abundance, very much the leader of a great ensemble; Emma called it amazing, showcased the fun and expressive performer; Jason liked the clever choreography and feisty opening. Colaurin - Express Yourself - recreating Madonna with topless male pro skaters, that won't hurt. Topless male pro skaters doing press ups secures a vote. Shallow? Moi? Laura's loving it. Tony, these days, we can have both chocolate and topless men, we don't have to choose! Emma found it hard to concentrate; Jason and Robin weren't as engaged as usual. It will be tougher than having an iconic musical number though, considering Michloe have Dirty Dancing! Michloe - Time of My Life - the theme/moves are there already, let's be honest. Liking the long dip lifts, her lines not so good though, not elegant in the lifts. Score: 25.5 Jason said it was ok but the table top lift looked like a collapsible table; Robin said Baby wasn't where she needed to be in the lifts; Emma said she still lit up the ice although a little finesse missing. Second round: And Samianne choose Riverdance, yay! Whoop - love love love that, brilliant, brilliant routine. Got to be a full score surely - oh, apparently I missed a couple of stutters, too busy enjoying the music. Score: 28.5 Robin said it was much stronger than before; Jason called it amazing; Emma said we're so lucky to have him. Colaurin and I'm So Excited - another stunner - the hands lifted off in the helicopter lift - altogether elegant, fast, it's party time. Score: 30 She's done it, shouts Tony and Jason takes his hat off to her; Robin applauds the speed and power, Colin delivered at his level. Oh, that's what £20k looks like, quips Phil, ref Jason's hair! Michloe - Kiss Kiss - a good performance but lacking the speed to make it spectacular, but it nets their highest score - 28.5 . Emma said it was much tighter and stronger; Robin praised the transitions. Is Karen off to appear in Joseph and His Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat later? She looks like she's raided my old school's drama wardrobe. Scoreboard: Samianne 58; Colaurin 56; Michloe 54. We say hello again to all the contestants, all of whom I'd listed in order then tried to publish, only to lose the whole damn post. Aaaaaarrrrgggghhhhhhh *searches for notes* Here We Go Moment #1: Through to skate Bolero - Samianne, whoop; Colaurin, Yay! We say farewell to Michloe. Well, it's all up to you folk now, I'm a happy bunny with the two finalists, happy, that is, apart from losing the whole post! Samianne perform first - loving the Spanish influences in that, super skating, perfect timing, strong, controlled, pitched it perfectly, neat tricks but didn't over do it. He's all emotional cos it's his nanny and grandad's 40th anniversary, aw. Colaurin have a damn fine attempt, Laura so strong, so much finesse in what she does but it's lacking the timing and musicality of Samianne, which is put down to Colin's inexperience. They are universally praised for their contribution to the show though, brilliant throughout, says Jason; The step up lift brilliant, says Robin ; Beautifully executed, says Emma. Final Here We Go Moment: It's Samianne! They did just edge it tonight but Colaurin kept them honest! And that's it for another year, well done Sam and Brianne!

So You Think You Can Dance: Auditions 1

The hunt is on again for Britain’s Favourite Dancer, as Season Two of SYTYCD gets under way – the intro clips are amazing, how tough will this be? The competitors are after £50k in cash and the chance to dance in Hollywood. More importantly, they’re after hearing the phrase “Come get your Golden Ticket” from the panel – the Not-so-nasty Nigel; Able Arlene; Lovely Louise and the Sardonic-yet-sanguine Sisco.

And first up is fantastic Matt the tapper – tapping to R’n’B – liking this already ... hat work, rhythm, style, cheekiness, athletic, creative ... liking him A Lot! Oh. Yeah. Baby. Diggin’ the sliiiiide. Arlene calls him a feast – Golden Ticket numero uno, come get it while it’s hot!

He’s followed to choreography by Samba sizzler Stephanie “hot to trot” says Louise; Contemporary Bruce; Street Daniel. Another contemporary tapper, Lee, is On Fire, according to Arlene! Lyrical and stylised Katie also straight through “a real delicacy with strength and power” says Arlene, along with the seriously musical hip hopper Rithy.

Club dancer (as in club singer, but dancer – get my drift?) Shanelle and mum Cordelle, the carnival mother and daughter – it was never going to happen, no finesse, uncontrolled and I can’t see either making it through. I’m surprised Shanelle gets the Call Back - she won’t nail a routine in the time they have - she doesn’t, mum’s not having it but they’re shown the door. Self taught Tomasz wants Cat’s job, he’s got the personality but while having the judges dancing in their seats, isn’t called back. Neither is Paulo, even with a poem for Arlene. Hannah and Andres, salsa – how fast are their feet? But not enough movement elsewhere. Hannah out; Andres called back but doesn’t make it through to choreography.

A plethora of hip hop, with Golden Tickets following the call backs for Spinning Charlotte, she’ll need to bring more though; partially deaf Kirsty, she of the fantastic energy but very traditional, club dancing – a challenge in more ways than one to make the top 20; contemporary dancer Paige, agile, emotive, a little unsteady at times but enormous potential!

My faves from this lot: Matt; Rithy; Lee. Welcome back, SYTYCD!

Thursday, 24 March 2011

So You Think You Can Dance Series 2

The first of two audition shows starts this Saturday on BBC1 - they've now updated the website after initially telling us April!

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Extreme Heavy Metal to Mellow ElectroTango ... in six-ish short-ish, staccato steps!

Let me introduce you to Sean A. McGee, musician. As a composer he has worked for independent film & TV projects and, until a short time ago, was also the long haired 'Extreme Metal' lead guitarist with successful British band, 'Thirteenth Sign'.

Then one Saturday evening a few years ago, he decided to switch on the BBC's 'Strictly Come Dancing' show. It just happened to be the one that featured an Argentine Tango demonstration by Vincent Simone & Flavia Cacace. And Sean was transfixed. Mesmerised. The dancers! The music!So excited was he by the sheer “heart to heart and depth of soul connection” that this Tango could bring, it brought into question his whole involvement and reason for working within the heavy metal scene.

“There was a real honesty and beauty in the music and dance that I didn't have playing heavy metal every week. And as I'd already worked with film I understood how the music and emotion connection worked perfectly well. Dance was a new and exciting world to me and to be completely honest, I wanted 'in'.”
So he quit the band!!!!! And managed to track down a local Argentine Tango class for himself and fiancée Linzi where, from the very first bar, they found themselves hooked!

“Being musical I've obviously found something really exciting in the music we've been dancing to, especially that of the ElectroTango of bands such as Gotan Project, BajaFondo and Tanghetto.We've since continued regular classes and milongas and are now taking IDTA medals.”

Then last February, Sean booked tickets to see his idols, Vincent & Flavia, in a local show at St Ives, Cambridgeshire and was fortunate enough to chat with them afterwards, asking if anyone had ever written bespoke music for them before. He’d had a vague idea of writing fresh new music alongside new choreography for quite a while and wanted to gauge their interest in such an idea.To his pleasure and surprise they loved it but were so tied up with 'Strictly Come Dancing' that they couldn’t do anything at that moment, but advised him to stay in touch – they’d been looking for someone to offer such a service three years earlier without success!

“It was this specific comment and my slightly 'blue' reaction to it that led me to write my very first ElectroTango track! 'Three Years Too Late?' was to be the first of many!”
Sean took the tune to his Argentine Dance class and the reaction from the both instructors and participants, demanding an album, gave him the courage to sell the heavy metal band equipment and invest in the equipment needed to make the best ElectroTango album possible. Four months later, by the summer of 2010, the album was complete.

'NEBULOSA' was born!
“It was whilst finalising all the artwork that I decided I'd like Vincent & Flavia to hear the album, as If it hadn't been for the conversation we'd all had back in the February, this project would not exist. I was hoping they might be able to give me a brief testimonial as to the quality of my work. Several weeks passed and I continued with the artwork. Then, the Thursday before I was to send the album off for pressing I got THE email that has changed my life! Vincent & Flavia absolutely LOVED the album!! In fact, they loved it so much that they wanted to join forces with me and to appear on the cover, sell on their website and market/merchandise the CD in the media as a whole!! MY IDOLS LOVED AND BELIEVED IN ME!!!!!”
After many excited emails flew back and forth, the album was released in September and by Christmas had covered all the production costs, selling well in the UK as well as to the USA & Australia.
An equally proud moment for Sean was Flavia naming the first completed track, 'Pensiero' (Italian for 'thought'). With features in local BBC and independent radio stations, national press and the BBC website, and an open invitation to play the RiverTango festival in London, Sean is now concentrating on writing his second album, with the Tango passion still coursing through his veins!

“I'm looking to find a record company to work with this time and the plan for this year is to complete the new album and put together a line up of top musicians to take the 'UK ElectroTango' on the road.”

Sean A McGee: Dancer. Musician (transformed!) Check out a sample of his music here.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Dancing on Ice Live Blog: Semi Final - Solo can you go?

Oh, gawd - two headbangers, yikes!! What are they trying to do to us? Holly's gone all Greek and the solo spot will be scored so they can total up to 60 tonight - but the leaderboard will still effectively be 4-3-2-1!

Michloe to start, with Firework and the knee slide's a bit scrappy and it seems a bit slow? Didn't extend on the big lift, bit nervy and it's another series of disjointed tricks again, uninspiring - oh, not to mention the Big Fall! Score: 21 Robin talks her up and about the speed?? Jason thinks nerves took over, arm and leg lines not as clean; Emma thinks performance was lost because of the level of content.

Johnseyne to - I dunno the song and hearing it makes me none the wiser. This is the trouble when the show is on at tea time and our recordable dvd player doesn't work, I'm having to decipher above chatter and keep dodging from side to side, it's really not good! Another nice routine, very smooth and fluid, nice lifts. Score: 18.5 Emma loves seeing his confidence and smile; Jason called it boring, it didn't go anywhere, no pizazz; Robin said the focus on the tricks compromised performance.

Colaurin to The Last Dance - no, no, no - you just don't choose songs like that *eek* Woah - that headbanger looked closer than anything I've ever seen before! Absolutely superb, every move nailed, totally fluid, fantastic performance. Score: 28 well deserved, brilliant. But I was holding my head! Jason called it courageous, pushing the boundaries, a semi final performance; Robin disagrees - it was a final-worthy performance, transitions seamless, complete control, fantastic; it gave Emma goosebumps, it was clever and full of character.

Torvill and dance skate to Yellow, while a sand artist works, with it being projected onto the ice. Good job it's not a snow artist, that could've been quite "eeeuuww". Can you see what it is yet? It's beautiful, whatever it is, perfectly complimenting T&D's routine!

Samianne to Don't Stop the Music, Jamie Cullum style - nice moonwalk, ooooh, sexy Sam tonight and oh, what a lift - flying stag lift, amazing. Lovely lines, headbanger not quite so heart in mouth but still close and overall a great performance. Score: 28 but please don't crawl to Jason again Sam, or there'll be no vote for you. Jason told him he was back and that finally, the connection was there, beautiful control and finesse and incredible stag lift; Emma said his sparkle was back and told him not to let it slip; Robin said it was a joy to watch.

First solo is Chloe to That's Not My Name, cheerleader persona, nice basic skating, a spin, lots of jumping on the spot, not finishing with her arms though and a bit slow. Score: 20 Robin called it terrific, a great attempt with speed and attack, a little more control needed; Emma liked the attitude; Jason found it a little awkward an tentative in places but applauded the attempt. Karen called it a really big achievement, even when she went wrong she covered it up! Yes, none of us knew that Karen??!

Johnson to Don't Worry Be Harry! Ha, love it, will suit him. I'm smiling, there's a jump and twizzles, it's a little tentative but he's happy. Score: 15.5 Jason said he was worried and not happy, it was very exposed, awkward and unsteady; Emma said her baby kicked all through, so something was right! Robin would've liked a bit more but a good skate. Jodeyne is proud - he inspires her, six years ago he couldn't walk!

Laura with These Boots Are Made For Walking. She looks fab, flirty attitude, another moonwalk, lots of steps, jumps, great spin, cartwheel to finish, full of personality again. Great stuff. Score: 26.5! Emma said she's upping her game, such a confident performer; Jason is blown away, wasn't expecting to be amazed; Robin said she commanded their attention from the off and maintained it, fantastic. A standation from Colin!

Ok, I admit I'm now quite interested in seeing who Jo, the girl with the perfect smile, will choose. I'm still using Colgate though ...

Sam is being stitched up again with a move he can't master but daren't question. Superstition the song and very cleverly, they choreopgraphed some on the ice breakdancing if the hydroplane doesn't work, which it does, as it happens, so *phew* great dancing, fab movement and speed across the ice, excellent skating, effortless. Score: 27.5 puts him on top of the board. Robin called it clean and controlled with great speed. Emma was glad he had the chance to show off what he can do and Jason called it a great routine, an excellent solo skate.

So the leaderboard stands thus: Samianne 55.5; Colaurin 54.5; Michloe 41 and Johnseyne 34. Back at 9.30pm!

So here we go! Safely through - Samianne! And ... Colaurin, whoop whoop! That's my two through, no more headbanging tonight! It's a shoe in that it'll be Michloe going through, isn't it? Much as I like Johnseyne, even if Michloe fall again - which they don't, flawless that time, much better than before. I doubt even a very emotional performance like that can save them but Johnseyne have been an absolute pleasure. Jodeyne is particularly affected. I'm actually quite choked and we haven't had the decision yet. There it is, three votes for Michloe. Johnson's still happy and had the time of his life. He's just gone solo and headed towards Jason ... his arms are outstretched ... he's going for the throat ... aw, no, Jason got his hands there just in time and made it look like a handshake ...

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Let's Dance for Comic Relief Grand Final

And this year, it really is anybody's title - Rufus and Robert previously were total shoe-ins but I can't decide who I like best out of this bunch!

We've a Disco Inferno entrance and a panel of experts: Rufus Hound, last year's champion; Strictly Come Dancing nut Miranda Hart and the barmy yet brilliant Louie Spence.

Katie Price plugs her 'Vac-u-cleaner' before a better 'I Want To Break Free' performance than before, with Rufus claiming slight 'tache envy, Miranda asking for her skirt back and Louie admitting he often does the hoovering dressed like that!

James and Charlie bring a smile to my face again with Putting On The Ritz, specially Charlie, there's such joy in his dancing - they've got my vote so far. Rufus calls it tremendous, Miranda says they're lovely, they return the compliment and she's meeting them in the bar later; Louie calls it fluid and beautiful with great rhythm.

Noel has adopted the twin Kate Bush-a-likes and is rescued this time by Heathcliffe, sweeping him/her off his/her feet and away! Rufus says Bhoosh (you see, it's a ... oh, you know) Miranda was moved and Louie complimented the beautiful extensions and says it was deeply emotional.

The 80s Supergroup with Greased Lightning and yes, I was once again up on my feet and slinging a vote their way, it was full of zesty fun! That's the way it should be, say the panel, or rather: You ramalamalama'd my ding dong (Rufus) You're shipdipdipdipdowopdididiwip (Miranda) and bangabangabangadowahdiwahdiwah (Louie).

Ade and the Dying Swan dies in a much more spectacular fashion this time, with Rik dropping a one ton weight on him. Rufus states he made us all ask qustions none of us had the answers for. Miranda reminisces about their time at the Royal Ballet together and insists he's still got it; Louie says it was a pure form of dance, executed of the highest standard - a wonderful, beautiful swan.

Russell Kane and Crazy in Love is probably the favourite but he's a lot to live up to - even better than before though! Rufus is digusted that he took a pop icon and well, you wouldn't catch him doing that! He loved it of course! Miranda called it Fab-u-licous; Louis gives it some "Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh ..." etc and I still wouldn't put money on who's going to win!

Results in, first out: The 80s Supergroup!! Aw, what! Katie Price; Ade Edmondson and Noel Fielding! It's Russell versus James & Charlie. And the winner(s) is/are: James and Charlie!

Kudos again to whoever wrote the VTs and well done also to Alex for stepping in so well that I didn't miss Claudia (still love ya, Clauds!) and to Steve for being pretty hot as usual. And well done to everyone who contributed to raising over ONE MILLION POUNDS! Whoop!

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Dancing on Ice Live Blog, Week Nine: Prop Sensations

Live music this week and Jayne and Chris accompany The Undertones to Why Do Fools Fall In Love, with a wonderfully fun rock'n'roll number, full of their customary timing and musicality!

Props and scenery to contend with this week, and Holly just nicked my heading - Top of the Props, damn her!

Samianne out first to Beggin - hat, mike stand and bar stool! Refusing to play it safe cos of what Jason said? Oh, pfffft to that Sam, don't listen to him! Hasn't Sam got a hairy chest? Perhaps that's why Jason's being such a bitch - jealous much, Jason? Loved the attitude, smooth steady skating, just one miss with the hat but nailed the exceedingly difficult and incredible lift combo. Score: 24.5 Robin said the skating was great but he dropped the hat; Emma called it effortless, suave and swaggering; Jason I'm ignoring and going straight for Phil "Hats can cause all sorts of problems, eh, Jason?" You see, Jason, now that's WIT!

Colaurin with a chair, a cane and a dressing table to Rolling in the Deep and it's Fierce! Full of fiery attitude, kept the props under control, awesome deep roll lift. Score: 25.5 They're happy and relived after that. Emma admired the control and the depth of performance; Jason was expecting more and called the butterfly jumps sad but acknowledged the great characterisation; Robin said the butterflies were more like moths but she maintained the balance in her performance. Karen made everyone aware of the blisters ...

Johnseyne with a hat, a brolly and a house front to Goodnight Sweetheart. Excellent prop work and a big lift with both of them in place. Another very sweet performance with great control. Score: 19.5 Jason reckoned the props were handled with finesse and panache, although the opening reminded him of a ridculous silent movie star, but did say it was charming; Emma called it a romantic routine and loved how he now connects with the audience. Robin said it was nice and smooth; Karen agreed it was one of his best.

Jeffabelle have two chairs and a table! We Can Work It Out and there are some WOW moves there, loving the under the table slide and the HUGE lift, toes curling as the float spin looks a bit close to the table, had to improvise with the chairs being a little tricky, but did well to keep it going! Score: 21.5 reflecting the mistakes. Robin confirmed that for every brilliant move there was something basically wrong; Jason said they were like toddlers and it was too inconsistent; Emma loved it!

Michloe have a skipping rope and hula hoop and a dance bar/mirror, skating to Only Girl in the World and maybe that this live version doesn't have the energy of the original as I found the routine a bit disjointed, nothing went wrong and there were some nice moves in there but for me it didn't really get started. Score 27. Robin said they deliver week and week. Emma thought they had the most difficult props and she hopes we all vote for them. I disagree with that about the props - apart from the hoop at the end, either Chloe or Michael were holding them all the time, there was no unpredictability like with the chairs or the hat, nowhere they could slide away from them on the ice. Jason is incredibly proud of her and said she worked the props beautifully.

Voting open - back at 9.30pm. And here we go again and even Karen's having a pop at Sam now! Anyways, safe: Johnseyne! Michloe; great, one of my faves is going tonight. Colaurin, safe, whoop! A chance for Samianne and Jeffabelle to redeem their earlier performances. And this time, both of them storm the ice, flawless performances both and on balance I'd like to keep Sam - but there doesn't appear to be the love for him in the last two weeks ... she says, as he is swept with a 3-0 result into the semi-final. Thanks for the entertainment though Jeff, it'sbeen fun!

Saturday, 12 March 2011

So You Think You Can Dance Series 2

The second series of So You Think You Can Dance will begin on Saturday 16th April.

Returning are Cat Deeley presenting, with head judge Nigel Lythgoe once again accompanied by pop singer turned presenter Louise Redknapp, the ever-youthful Arlene Phillips and choreographer/dancer Sisco Gomez.

Nigel hasn't changed the format of the British series like he did with the American one and there will once again be 10 boys and 10 girls, with two voted off each week. The public vote decides who goes through; the judges confer and decide who goes home. No deadlock nonsense or controversial-for-the-sake-of-it decisions in this show!

If you'd like to be in the audience you can apply for tickets online at the BBC website from now until March 17th.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Strictly Come Dancing Snippets, Comic Relief Glee Club

Strictly Come Dancing won the Best Reality Show title at the TRIC awards (Television and Radio Industry Club) with ex-contestant Ballroom Bill Turnbull also picking up an award for Best Newscaster/Reporter.

Series 8 winner Kara Tointon has won the role of Eliza Doolittle in the new West End production of Pygmalion - I actually can't think of a more perfect choice, the ex-Eastender turning into a princess, am I wrong??

Tess Daly wants Bruce to put in a word with his mate Sean Connery, and have him sign for the next series. No arguments from me on that one either!

Strictly judge Alesha Dixon will join Denise Van Outen and Melanie C as judges on the Comic Relief Does Glee Club, which begins at 5.15pm on CBBC on Monday 14th. David and Carrie Grant and Sisco Gomez will also be on hand to mentor the acts.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Move It 2011 Showcases New Dance Moves!

The Move It Exhibition comes to Olympia on March 10th to 13th, showcasing the latest fitness dance trends to get you moving to the groove! Among those being featured are:

Indie Ballet: This shock new ballet style is all about the music - classic ballet pirouettes, pique and twirls blended with rocky indie tunes to make a totally unique style of dance, movement and entertainment. Professional dancers and public alike will be merging jaw-dropping splits to music from the likes of Razorlight, The Futureheads, Franz Ferdinand, and Gomez.

Waacking: Originating from the US, the Waacking phenomenon will be sweeping our nation due to its cool new funk style. Inspired by Madonna’s ‘Vogueing’, this underground street dance movement is much faster and packs even more attitude, style and passion.
Heyday Dance: Rewind the clock - 1920’s, 30’s, 40’s, 50’s – the choice is yours. End of war celebrations were the heydays, now this retro dance style is destined to be the top trend for next year. Heavily Influenced by vintage fashion, think old skool dance halls, flappers, tea dances and Fred Astaire, it’s a classic with a twist for 2011.
Iconic 1980s: The Flashdance era is back! Big hair, loud clothes, leg warmers and dramatic movements form the basis of this iconic 80’s dance movement.

Cheerleading: Give me a M, O, V, E I, T !! Cheerleading? Bring It On! With Glee hitting our screens to mass popularity and recent visits from the amazing NFL and NBA dance troupes, American cheering will be infiltrating dance studios across the country.

Creative Director, George Harper commented “The top trends this year really reflect the fact that people want to have fun and inject their workout with a new twist. If it is ballet, add a new soundtrack. Aerobics? Add an 80’s dance twist. Also people love dressing up so the vintage styles like Charleston and Lindy Hop really allow you to work a look while you workout. Cheerleading is my biggest tip – this is already a massive scene in the UK that few people know about. It will be THE craze in 2011 and it’s not just for girls – boys are getting in on the action too!”

Check out MOVE IT to see some of these new dance crazes in action – you can even test out your own skills at their taster session classes. With live performances, dance classes, top exhibitors, freestyle stages, competitions, masterclasses, auditions and interviews there’s something for everyone at this year’s show. Whether it’s ballroom, ballet, hip hop or cha cha – MOVE IT offers you the chance to create your ideal day of dance. Perfect for beginners or professionals, students, fitness enthusiasts or just simply for an awe inspiring day out, MOVE IT is the only show for all things dance!

To purchase tickets, book classes or for more information, visit

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Dancing on Ice, Week Eight: Team Challenge!

So we have an individual performance and then a group skate in two teams to turn the leaderboard on its head, with the winners points doubled! They all look totally unimpressed when T&D tell them. Sam and Laura are made Captain's and get to choose their team mates. Laura takes Jeff and Denise; Sam happy with Chloe and Johnson.

Mattise solo first to Alone. It's serene, great timing in the big lift, one little catch of her toe but otherwise a lovely performance, well done Denise! The nice lift I particularly liked is known as the Frog in the Wheelbarrow! Score: 15 Robin said she looked comfortable, the edges flowed and she had a great upper body in the lift; Emma said it was controlled and calm; Jason said there was marked improvement but that it was like two people playing Twister - at which point Tim Healy appeared at his side and told him: "She's 52 and got 4 jobs!" Everyone is chanting "Hit him, hit him!"

Jeffabelle and Hit The Road Jack, I was holding my breath but he nailed the lift, great interpretation of the song, really acted it out, his usual confident and smooth skating considering the earlier fall. Score: 22.5 Emma saw another side of him, strong, passionate and rhythmic; Jason liked that it played to his strengths but felt he needed more groove in his moves, solid lifts and spins; Robin commented on the difficult material in an all round, really good performance; Karen said that all the weeks came together.

Samiane going for a big lift and skating to You Raise Me Up? Did we want cheese with our lift? Oh, hang on, no - my ears - it's Crazy Love and a gorgeous routine, very tender, Sam working very hard - the Milk Tray lift I like - was there some snogging? I thought they weren't, it was all a ... ah, well, whatever. Score: 25.5 Jayne expresses surprise that they left something out and Jason picks up on it and tries to do a Sharron Davies with Sam - Karen puts him right, the choreography evolves throughout the week. He did say it had lovely tender moments yet Sam retained his masculinity. I say Jayne and Chris really need to stop believing their lap dogs. Controversial? They need to stop taking it so personally when their choreography is changed - what's the point of Samianne coming out and screwing up their entire routine with an attempt to do something they can't? Robin said the quality is brilliant, the bells and whistles aren't needed. Emma jumped on the 'how dare he change something' bandwagon and said she wasn't feeling it tonight. Karen saw the connection, as did I - and so did Jason!

Michloe skate to Empire State of Mind, stunning move to begin, nice steps, little stuttery, striking handstand, lovely end lift, her most complete performance to date. Score: 26.5 Robin reckons that was the most choreographically difficult routine for any female in the any series and it came together brilliantly; Jason agreed with me re the opening sequence and said she's on her best form; Emma said she's nearing perfection, extraordinary.

Johnseyne to You Are So Beautiful, and it is, very emotional, especially when he got the lift, I welled up and so did the audience - reminded me of that moment in ET, when his bicycle took off and bore them away to safety - the whole audience in the cinema leapt to its feet, cheering. He can only now feel his left leg? He's been in it all this time unable to feel his leg? Amazing! Score: 17.5 Robin never expected to see an overhead lift, called it a terrific performance, relaxed and comfortable; Emma can see his pushing every week and he's confident; Jason called it quite beautiful, applauded the lift and said it was very smooth.

Colaurin out last to I'm So Excited and wow, what a powerhouse routine, fantastic skating and lifts, full of personality and tricks. Score: 28.5 Highest of the series so far! Jason called it unbelievable, speed, attack with no compromise on performance or technique; Robin praised the detail we wouldn't register, transitions, hand holds, twists; Emma said we need her, brilliant.

The leaderboard so far then: Colaurin 28.5; Michloe 26.5; Samianne 25.5; Jeffabelle 22.5; Johnseyne 17.5; Mattise 15. But here come the team skates, Team Sam first, to Don't Feel Like Dancing (which doesn't have a good record in reality shows; I'm just sayin') nice synchro lifts, nice train, good balance of moves for each, some timing issues. The standing stuff is a bit naff.

Team Laura to Rocking All Over The World and Oh, Yes! They're my winners, more energy, more personality, more togetherness, much more punchy and involving. Throughly enjoyed that.

Over to the judges: Jason thought the beginning and end of Sam's a bit naff - no argument from me, but the middle was fantastic, the energy of Laura's takes his vote though; Robin went for the technically delivered skate - Team Sam. Oh, God, they've left it up to Emma - her comments are drowned out by the crowd - it's Team Laura and it's all change on the leaderboard, which now shows: Colaurin 57; Jeffabelle 45; Mattise 30; Michloe 26.5; Sam 25.5; Johnseyne 17.5. Over to the voters!

Results are in and safe - Colaurin, yay! Jeffabelle; Michloe; Samianne - the audience has finally bowed the will of the experts. It's Mattise versus Johnseyne and Denise is a little nervous, doesn't nail the lift. Johnson delivers another emotional, steady performance and it's a clean sweep for him.

Props week next week!

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Let's Dance for Comic Relief ... 3

On the panel tonight ... John Bishop, Jo Brand and Felix Dexter.

Comedian Marcus Brigstocke is ... the Grasscutter in the Wind Beneath - it's Kung Fu Fighting and he's surprisingly good and a visual spectacle! John reckons he's given the sale of silk pyjamas a massive boost; Jo points out it was elegant, exciting and exhausting - no argument there from Marcus; Felix liked the contrast of the aggressive nature of kung fu made feminine!

Joe Swash and Caroline Flack and the Black Eyed Peas dance My Humps - Caroline's excellent, we knew that from Dancing on Wheels, Joe outshone but great performance. John's loving the polo neck and said they're a cross between Torvill and Dean and Big Fat Gypsy Weddings; Jo said: "It was just like proper dancing ... Caroline." Felix loved Joe's doorag and applauded the use of the table without innuendo!

Ade Edmondson is The Dying Swan, really captured the feel and the passion of the moment I felt, wonderful movement around the stage and a poignant death, right up until Rik Mayall started bashing him round the head with a fying pan while looking like Sir Les Patterson's scruffy younger brother. John said he made Natalie Portman look like Ann Widdecombe; Jo was nearly turned into a real woman and Felix said he had ballet in his locker.

Lee Nelson and Omelette do Club Tropicana and well, I'm just ruined now for any other man ... or possibly scarred for life. John is staggered and thinks it's a before and after picture in Slimming World; Jo tells Omelette he's fit and Lee is scrawny, and Felix has never seen such a fine cleavage on a man.

Iain Lee is Getting Jiggy With It, he really is and a smooth transition from the shell suit to the Pharaoh, with some nifty moves. John approved of the show of solidarity with the struggle for democracy in Egypt; Jo reckons he was pleased to get the duvet off and Felix felt he took the stereotypical perception that white men have no rhythm and kicked it out the park!

The 80s Supergroup - Toyah Wilcox; Clare Grogan, Chesney Hawkes and Limahl take on Greased Lightning. I was dancing around the room, I just couldn't help myself ...woooooooaaaaaahhh Greased Lightning *outstretched arms* John was a 16 year old transported to the best party; Jo would've like to see the boys laying over the bonnet and Felix said the energy was fantastic for a combined age of 200!

Results in and out go: Iain; Lee and Omelette; Marcus!

Straight through: Ade!

Judges decision - John goes for Clare, sorry, the 80s group; Jo goes for Joe & Caroline and Felix goes for Clare, sorry, the 80s group. Final next week!

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Let's Dance for Comic Relief ... 2

Tonight's resident dance experts *cough* Lee Mack; Mr. Cuteness personified, Jack Whitehall - what is it about him? And Keith Lemon/Leigh Francis, I'm not quite sure which is the real one or if they're both fake ...

Penny Smith goes Toxic and sexy but shoulda given it a bit more welly, as Len would say, and she may well have won this - just for the Britney body double VT alone! At least she got to dance with Lemar, who you'd think would be concentrating on his music career, but hey, they all like to do their bit for charity. Lee is happy to go to the bar now; Jack liked the bit with the frilly pants and Keith can't tell us what he was thinking.

Lulu - how fantastic does she still look? Even so, she's re-inventing herself, according to the VT ... with dentures, a stanna stair lift and crochet blanket! Then Cranks That Soldier for a spot of Hip Hop and is fantastic, lovin' that! Lee is happy to go to the bar now; Jack called her fierce and told her she brought the crank, whatever that is; Keith becomes Johnny Mathis and croons All I Need To Know.

Noel Fielding as Kate Bush, doing Wuthering Heights and we're getting into the world of the strange now, oddly captivating, couldn't tear my eyes away! Lee said that if Angelina Jolie and Ricky Hatton ever had a love child ... Jack found him beguiling, beautiful, elegant and he's now worrying about personal issues - if he's ever with a woman and closes his eyes, he'll see Noel as Kate; Keith was reminded of Blossom and said he had wonderful arm lines!

Andi Osho is healing a family rift - whoever wrote these intro VTs is/are (a) genius(es) because they're brilliant. Jacksonitis? Bad is the song and Andi is brilliant - wish I wasn't watching an incredibly bad picture on I-Player - best natural dancer, that was too good! Lee was disappointed she didn't set fire to her head but said she was brilliant; Jack, missing the King, is now at peace cos she nailed it; Keith said "Ow! He's come back alive!"

James Thompson and Charlie Baker, neither of whom I know, give us Fight Club, sorry, no, Tap Club: The first rule is - don't forget your tap shoes, otherwise it'll just be Shoe Club, lol. Putting on the Ritz, and they do! Simple, classy, musical and elegant. Put a smile on my face, it's like a proper musical. Lee, having ascertained it wasn't sound effects, now loves tap dancing; Jack said Charlie looked like a 16 year old boy who'd found porn in the woods (Steve apologised a few minutes later!) Keith said it were just like proper tap dancing!

Jared Christmas with Hung Up by Madonna, which would have been the next Rufus if he was as good a dancer, he thinks he got away with it; he did, for the most part! Lee said he was a combo of his three favourite women - Madonna, Deirdre Barlow and Dawn French; Jack told him Keith's hairdresser did a fantastic job and Keith reckons Madonna is going to hate him - it was disgustingly brilliant.

McFly and Cee Lo Green are in but so are the results and out go: Penny; Jared and Andi. Straight through are James and Charlie, the panel have to choose: Lulu or Noel? Lee opts for Noel; Jack evens it up with Lulu and admits he's leaving it up to Keith, who is genuinely troubled: "Can't we go to deadlock?" No - you've got 15 seconds - he chooses Noel!

Four through, one more semi to go!

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Snippets: Strictly Come Dancing on Ice; Matthew Bourne

Dancing on Ice are fiddling about again - apparently, the remaining six couples will be split into two groups this week and the couples in the winning group will have their points doubled. Interesting - they could put the best skaters in one group to bump up their scores - or maybe they'll split their favoured two to ensure the judges don't have to choose between them? Either way, it's a lot of faffing about for what is a light entertainment show ...

Strictly's Flavia and Vincent enjoy a Black Swan moment!

An interview and info about a new Matthew Bourne production with a difference.