Sunday, 29 May 2011

So You Think You Can Dance: Quarter Final Week

First of all though, I’m gutted I missed last week (bloomin’ holidays) and my fave girl, Katrina, went out! And I was too late for I-Player and I can’t even find videos for the whole show on Youtube! So, from what I can make out on the BBC highlights video, Katrina and Tom had a salsa and jazz numbers, Israel and Bethany with contemporary and Charleston, Matt and Charlotte, a disco and contemporary, Kirsty and Lee, Broadway and Hip Hop with Katie and Luke having a jazz and a Viennese Waltz.

BBC Youtube – why can’t you put all of them on there? Plus my internet is a complete pain in the aris, so the four vids I have found have taken me an hour to watch! *grumble grumble*
Matt and Charlotte’s contemporary was stunning. Hauntingly effective, beautifully delivered gorgeous choreography; Bethany and Israel’s contemporary was in fact a lyrical hip hop, which, whilst emotive and well danced, didn’t have the musicality and energy for me I expect from hip hop; Katie and Luke are a lovely partnership, well suited to the VW, fantastic movement, fluid and a gorgeous routine from current Strictly Come Dancing champ, Artem Chingvintsev; Kirsty and Lee grapple manfully with a Hip Hop, a fine effort, although neither of them ‘lived it’ as Sisco would say. And so I don’t even get to see what Katrina did or didn’t do so well that sees her out of the competition!

Moving on then, back to normal this week except we’re voting for individuals from now on in! They’ve been split into brand new partnerships, plus there are solos and group dances.

Katie and Israel with a Tyce Diorio Broadway to Roxy from Chicago and I’m lovin’ their attitude and timing, great partnership, very stylish routine.
Nigel said: I loved the style ...really proud of Israel’s growth in the competition and Katie is every inch a star.
Sisco said: Israel, you looked like a jazz dancer, you morphed into character.

Solos: Bethany Rose – bit frantic, lots of hairography; Luke – strong, powerful, fluid.

Charlotte and Lee and a Mandy Moore Contemporary – there’s a lot of trust evident, timing out a little, emotionally together. Charlotte did overdo the face a bit and it didn't grab me as much as it should have.
Louise said: Lee, you danced your way through each and every performance.
Arlene said: Lee B, stands for better and better!
Nigel said: I didn’t believe in it.

Solos: Kirsty, a bubbly number, well suited to her; Matt – tap dancing to Stevie Wonder? Works for me! “Tap makes me happy” Inspired by little penguins.

Bethany Rose and Luke and a Simeon Oysea Hip Hop which has great attitude but the timing is out, Luke awesome but Bethany struggled.

Sisco said: Luke, phenomenal, a great example of a professional dancer, convincing. Bethany, so thrown away, less complaining next time.
Louise said: I loved the energy, the buzz, Luke spot on, Bethany at times not fast enough.
Arlene said: Luke – Olympic; Bethany - popcorn exploding.

Solos: Katie – accomplished, sharp, falls really well; Israel – the timing and energy of hip hop gets me every time.

Kirsty and Matt – Rumba?! Oh, crikey ... Jaci and Chris on hand ... and oh, crikey – not only can he tap, Matt’s also got Hips and knows how to use them! Aye Carumba, sexy , sway, emotive – they nailed everything!
Nigel said: Sensual, terrific, hips, sway (and pervs after Kirsty.)
Arlene said: Kirsty – loved the technique.
Sisco said: Extremely sexual, both stunning, Matt every choreographers dream.

Solos: Charlotte, fast and fun, spinning like a mad spinney thing; Lee – B for bendy, very watchable.

Girls Group dance, a Sean Cheesman Jazz – they all blurred a bit for me there, apart from Katie who seemed more composed, although, according to Louise, the standouts were Kirsty and Bethany, feeling the sexiness.

Mandy Moore choreographs a Jazz for the boys and it’s brilliant – and all four are brilliant, with a very Michael Jackson inspired routine, strong, sharp, fantastic movement and blending together. Nigel said every single one was excellent, his fave routine in both series so far!

The Results!
Group dance by Katrin Wall to Rolling in the Deep and it’s amazing how they all let themselves go when there’s safety in numbers, fantastically styled, all very smooth and confident.

Matt, Kirsty, Luke and Katie all safe.

Girls in the danger zone – Bethany Rose’s solo is much the same and Charlotte is impassioned but I think it’ll be Charlotte going unless the judges feel that Bethany isn’t connecting with the public, second week at the bottom.

Boys in the danger zone – Israel still does hip hop but slower and it’s fab; Lee didn’t capture me as much but I think his overall performances may take it from Israel.

The Black Eyed Peas tell us not to stop the party while the judges deliberate.

Over to Nigel: Bethany, for some reason you’re not connecting ... you were best in the girls routine tonight. Charlotte – the vote was split tonight and I choose you to leave, you just need to grow in technique.

A real shame for Charlotte, because her routines with Matt have been the best throughout this series.

Back to Nigel: Israel, the entire panel agreed on you having the greatest journey, amazed at your development – but we’re unanimous that’s it’s your turn to leave us.

Semi Final next week! Matt versus Luke versus Lee; Katie versus Kirsty versus Bethany Rose!

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Swarovski Elements Dancesport Competition

Swarovski Elements teamed up with USA Dance, Inc. to sponsor and bedazzle ten couples at April’s USA Dance 2011 National DanceSport Championships in Baltimore.

The ten couples, including Valentin Chmerkovskiy & Daria Chesnokova and Patryk Ploszaj & Anna Kaczmarski, were dressed in costumes and accessories made with Swarovski Elements to interpret the latest trends in ballroom fashion.

Swarovski Elements wants to know what their fans think of these amazing costumes and is hosting a voting platform on their Facebook page. Anyone can view the videos and vote for their favourite couple and costume!

Click on this link to find out a little more about each couple and to vote.

Salsa dancers win Barclays Live in Croydon

London may be famed for its thriving street dance scene, but salsa duo dancers Marosh and Kristina have emerged victorious after picking up over 40,000 online votes in the nationwide dance competition.

Ten local acts took to the stage at Barclays Live Croydon on 16 April outside the Whitgift Centre where a large crowd packed the street to see the hottest dance acts in town battle it out for the chance to win £1,000. Five finalists were then selected by the judges, which included Strictly Come Dancing’s Brendan Cole, to go through to an online vote at

Croydon champions Marosh and Kristina have been dancing together for nearly seven years and are aiming to become UK Salsa Champions. The duo will use the prize money to invest in costumes for themselves and the students they teach.

Speaking after hearing they’d won, Marosh said: “We feel very lucky to have taken part in Barclays Live as it was a great day, so winning feels absolutely unbelievable. Thank you to everybody who voted for us and liked our performance.”

Strictly Come Dancing star and Barclays Live judge Brendan Cole said, “Picking the finalists was incredibly difficult as Croydon is bursting at the seams with dance talent. Marosh and Kristina were really special as they captivated the audience and the judges with their colourful performance.”

The Barclays Live competition celebrates continued investment in Barclays 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 or visit

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

UCA to award honorary degree to Pineapple's Debbie Moore OBE

The University for the Creative Arts (UCA) will present the founder of Pineapple Dance Studios, Debbie Moore OBE, with an honorary Master of Arts at their graduation ceremony on 13 July at Rochester Cathedral.

In 1979 former model Debbie turned the old pineapple warehouse in Covent Garden into a dance studio with the aim of making dance accessible to everyone. Shortly afterwards she launched Pineapple Dancewear in response to the increased demand for fashionable dance clothing.

The company was a huge success, and in 1982 Debbie became the first woman to float her company on the London Stock Exchange.

Pineapple Dance Studios was recently chosen for a fly-on-the-wall documentary for Sky One, attracting high viewing figures and making a star out of flamboyant tutor Louie Spence. It also allowed viewers to have an insight into Debbie’s life and her work at Pineapple.

Professor Elaine Thomas, Vice-Chancellor at the University, said: “This award recognises Debbie’s contribution to the fashion industry. She based her company on her passion and created an internationally recognised brand. She is a true inspiration to our students.”

The University for the Creative Arts has 7,000 students, studying at campuses in Canterbury, Epsom, Farnham, Maidstone and Rochester. This year it will also be offering honorary degrees to menswear designer Ozwald Boateng, graphic designer Vaughan Oliver, animator Darren Walsh, fine artist Paula Rego, art director Jeff Potter and marketing specialist Kate Robertson.

Picture courtesy of UCA. Find out more about Debbie and Pineapple on their website.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Ubisoft to launch a Strictly Come Dancing game!

According to games website MCV, Ubisoft are going to launch a Strictly Come Dancing title in November! It'll be available to play on the Wii, the Xbox360 and PS3 and if it's half as much fun as their Just Dance Wii game, then that's my Xmas pressie sorted already!

Sunday, 15 May 2011

So You Think You Can Dance: Four the love of dance ...

Sisco appears to be embracing Eurovision tonight's Livage, darling.

Charlotte and Matt draw Lindy Hop, and I have to say, they're being jolly lucky I think, this will also suit them both, although oh-oh, hello Ryan Francois, love of frantic big lifts ... no need to worry, it's another WOW! They nail it again, the feel, the technique, these two really get it, full of energy and pizazz, so quick, so on it.

Nigel said: I'm exhausted just watching you, showed your passion and love of dance. Will be measuring everyone by you tonight.

Arlene said: It's just a short lindy hop to Hollywood.

Danielle and Luke have Lyrical Hip Hop by Kenrick, it's looking good in rehearsals, an excellent job I thought, coping well, full of emotion. Well done.

Sisco said: I loved the commitment of the characters; dramatic and sincere.

Arlene said: Luke, you are in it to win it, best I've seen you.

Israel and Bethany Rose, with a Sean Cheesman Commercial and it's by far the best Commercial, Bethany is fantastic - as the character of Black Widow with Israel her prey, he didn't stand a chance! And he totally showed why he made it through into the top 20, easily his best showing to date, superstrong performances from both.

Arlene said: Israel, you found your technique and expression.

Nigel said: You completely changed my mind about spiders ... on a par with the first couple.

Rithy and Shane teamed with Tyce Diorio for a Contemporary, which was beautifully executed but sadly didn't excite me, bit too much posiness. Bit gutted for them, they needed something bright and catchy.

Nigel said: Nicely danced but ... not sure.

Sisco said: A stripped performance, showed what you can do. Rithy, every week you show a different dimension.

Katie and Lee C, a Karen Bruce Broadway, and Katie is right back in it for me, personality and enjoyable routine. Lee more of a foil, not as sharp as he could be but great fun overall.

Arlene said: The worst I've seen Katie, have you lost your spirit?

Nigel said: A bit bland, Lee holding Katie back.

I think the judges were a little harsh, Katie and Lee are a good team but do need the split for Katie to grow.

Katrina and Tom draw Hip Hop again! Supple choreographs and it's a good try and enjoyable, full of energy considering Tom hadn't been able to train till Thursday. Not as sharp maybe, but Katrina is excellent.

Louise said: Katrina, you even had the head move going there *demonstrates*

Sisco said: Good and bad ... brave choreography.

Nigel said: Can we stop with the armography though, it's getting on my nerves.

Kirsty and Lee B pull a blinder with the Argentine Tango by Leonardo ... surname too long and disappeared too quickly! Thought it could suit with their connection and boy, does it. Oh, yes. Perfect music, passionate and intense.

Louise said: Lee, you bored into her soul.

Arlene said: Epic, edge of the seat action.

Nigel said: I felt it.

I thought they were going to split the voting to individuals, but they didn't. We could end up with a shock bottom six here.

The Results Show: The group dance brings an art gallery to life, courtesy of Tyce and Born This Way. A good showing from all there, the pressure off.

First group and in the danger zone - Rithy & Shane; Katie & Lee C. Bethany & Israel and Matt & Charlotte both safely through.

Second group and in the danger zone - Danielle & Luke. Katrina & Tom and Kirsty & Lee B both safely through.

Ok, well, phew - my faves through anyhow. Gut feeling before solos? Katie and Luke to be saved. Can't see the judges saving Rithy and Shane, clearly not enough support; Lee has not impressed them enough and only an incredible solo will give the nod to Danielle over Katie's past performances.

Rithy a lot more dynamic and fightability - is it enough to save her? Shane not the same intent as last week. Katie also doesn't wow me, does seem to be lacking the desire - opens the door for Danielle? Lee C with my favourite solo, energy, attitude but it won't be enough, the judges have clearly marked him as the weakest. Danielle does a bit too much prancing, hands it back to Katie. Luke completely does enough to oust Shane.

We watch Jessie J while the judges deliberate (don't think it'll take much) Ok, now what would we call this look? Liberace meets Aguilera? Cher Lloyd must be gutted that Jessie chose to breakthrough right after X-Factor. Is she sponsored by Timex?

Here we go, says Cat...

Nigel: Rithy, a lot of energy in the solo but third time at the bottom means you are the first girl to go. Danielle, terrific technique but we're searching for the passion; Katie, we believe you've been held back but the solo not outstanding. Danielle, you're the second girl to leave us.

We're unanimous in our decisions tonight: Shane, as with Rithy, third time at the bottom means you're the first guy to go. Lee, great stuff in the solo but it's not translating to other routines; Luke, you're the only guy who danced for his life tonight so Lee, you're our second guy leaving.

So there we have it, our Top Ten:
Katie; Charlotte; Katrina; Kirsty and Bethany Rose are your girls.
Matt; Luke; Lee B; Tom and Israel are your guys. And they'll all be shaken up next week!

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Barclays Live in Croydon Results

London sought to establish itself as the UK’s dance capital once more as ten up-and-coming local acts battled it out for the Barclays Live title and brought Croydon to a standstill recently.

Competing for a place in the final and a £1,000 prize, dancers went head to head in front of a massive Croydon crowd and an expert dance panel that included Strictly Come Dancing’s Brendan Cole and streetdancer Jordan Breakspear.

Breakspear shot to dance fame as one half of streetdance duo, Steadiflux, who were crowned the first Barclays Live UK Dance Champions last year having received over 100,000 votes. Breakspear got the audience on their feet by showing off clips of last year’s winning performance and setting a high standard for the rest of the day’s dance action. They were followed by fellow warm act the Glee Club who entertained the crowd with hits from the popular TV series.

As the contest got underway, the judges quickly discovered that they had their work cut out as acts ranging from street dance to roller disco won the support of a jubilant crowd. Following tense deliberations the judges decided to send Theo, Marosh and Kristina, Myself, Steph and Anthony and Evan Norman through to the final.

Brendan Cole took to the stage himself and gave a dance masterclass (see above) as the crowd followed his every move. One of his fans even seized the opportunity to jump up onto the stage to dance alongside him.

Videos of the five finalists have been uploaded onto the Barclays Live website and they now face a public vote to decide the winner -but you only have until tomorrrow!

Brendan Cole says: “Barclays Live has taken us all over the country, but the dancers in Croydon were particularly special as this town is clearly brimming with talent. All the judges were struck by the phenomenal amount of energy that was invested into each performance so it’s going to be gripping seeing who comes out with the most votes.”

Find Barclays Live on Facebook and follow Barclays Live on Twitter @barclayslive

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

So You Think You Can Dance: Upside Down

Bright and bouncy opener to You Can't Stop The Beat, courtesy of Karen Bruce - Matt the tapper a standout with some floor work; he must be due some hip hop soon!

Danielle and Luke reap the benefit of a Karen Hardy Paso Doble, who totally gave herself carte blanche in the creative stakes! An impressive start, intense, Luke especially strong, best I've seen him - terrific Spanish lines. Danielle a little soft in the arms - a crazy headbanger move! Music was rubbish though, so didn't engage me as much as I'd have liked, but the routine itself was stunning.

Arlene said: We have lift off ... at last, you're connecting.

Nigel said: Fiery, pasionate, choreography fabulous.

Bethany Rose and Israel have Contemporary, with some brilliant spins into Israel's arms, he's much more confident, a moving and believable routine, their best yet.

Nigel said: Courage you find in each other is obvious; simply stunning.

Sisco said: Bethany, fearless, honest, technically amazing. (Not so complimentary about Israel, whose mum yells: He's come so far!)

Alice and Charlie with a Kenrick Hip Hop in a secret agent assault course. Again with not so catchy unmemorable music, will cost. Alice great but Charlie, it pains me to say it, seemed to flag a little at the end, I was expecting more.

Sisco said: Alice, you killed it!

Arlene said: Mr Chalk and Mrs Cheese, one ahead and one behind the music meant no synchronisation.

Katie and Lee C, a Jazz number by Sean Cheesman. A real allsorts mix, some I lliked, some I didn't. Katie sometimes sassy, sometimes ungainly. Lee not so noticeable.

Louise said: Slick and professional Katie; Lee struggled.

Arlene said: My love affair with Katie Love continues.

Katrina and Tom have a Karen Hardy Quickstep to Let Me Entertain You, brilliant choreography again by Karen, utilising their ballet and tap skills to great effect. Footwork, rhythm, personality and fun all the way!

Nigel said: I didn't like the genres being mixed.

Arlene said: Katrina, you rise to every challenge, best top line I've seen, so fleet of foot.

Louise said: If I was watching at home, I'd be happy and smiling watching you.

Kirsty and Lee B and a Simeon Oysea Lyrical Hip Hop. A damn good effort, although her outfit is awful and very distracting. A little out of time in places, Kirsty struggled up from the floor work, but enjoyable.

Sisco said: Commitment and honest chemistry.

Arlene said: Dull, dull, triple dull.

Rithy and Shane, Commercial by Sean Cheesman. Both so fluid, no doubting the techniques, awesome drape lift, very stylised - maybe too much for primetime?

Arlene said: Rithy could dance the telephone directory. No, I know, it makes sense when you're talking about singing, not so much with the dancing ...

Charlotte and Matt and Dance of The Night and quite possibly the series. If the judges were scoring, this would be the first 10! Broadway, right up their 42nd Streets, a Bill Deamer routine to Sing Sing Sing - can't ever fail with that - it's fast, classy, it's got style, beautifully executed, fun, just awesome all round! Charlote reminds me of Vera Ellen; Matt of Gene Kelly. They should go out On The Town. Now. Before the magic dust wears off.

Nigel says: The embodiment of all those wonderful couples.

Arlene said: Speed of footwork, dynamic, control and rhythm.

A strange upside down night, as the title says: My fave dancers didn't impress so much, apart from Matt and Katrina, and the routines by my least faves were delivered with panache. I fear for Charlie and Rithy.

The Results: 1st group - Katie and Lee; Danielle and Luke; Bethany and Israel, all safe, leaving Charlie and Alice in danger. 2nd group - Kirsty and Lee B; Katrina and Tom; Matt and Charlotte, all safe - it is Rithy and Shane again. It's the kiss of death but I want to keep Rithy and Charlie.

Solos - Rithy with the same attitude, same solo as before - may count against her. Shane is awesome, this will be really tough for the judges. Alice, contemporary, much as expected. Charlie the only one truly exciting me. The judges deliberate while we watch The Wanted. Is it compulsoiry that they all have to have coathangers in their jumpers? Or is it my widescreen telly? *taps toes; sings along*

Nigel speaks: Ladies, it's tough but Alice you don'se seem to be making a mark and Rithy, you need to get yourself adopted to up your voting numbers. We say farewell to Alice.

Gents - Shane, you're not connecting with the audience, fabulous technique, incredible dancer. Charlie, incredible personality, chamring little scamp, wish we could mix you both together. But Charlie, you're not growing as quickly as we'd like and it is a dancing competition, so we have to let you go with our best wishes. *Sobs - my second favourite boy* Gutted.

And ooooh, shock announcement: FOUR will leave next week. I may have to restrict myself to just Matt and Katrina from now on, it'll be far too close.

Advice to them all: Sleep - eat well - rehearse - LIVE!

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

So You Think You Can Dance: Round Two

A Mandy Moore opener to River Deep, Mountain High with, surprise, surprise – a wedding theme! Louise appears to have raided Sisco’s wardrobe ...

Same partnerships as last week, with the exception of Stephanie and Gianluca, who lost their original partners and are now paired together.

Matt and Charlotte start us off with a Jazz number by Mandy Moore; it’s all about the cane, which they don’t drop! Dancing to Relax – power, attitude, sharp, completely different to last week – brilliant! Especially since Charlotte had taken a nasty bump to the head and had to check herself out of hospital! #heroine

Nigel said: Everything you could wish for to kick the show off.

Lee and Katie with a Contemporary piece by new-to-the-show, Katrin Hall. It’s passionate and fluid. Katie quietly powerful; Lee more raw and effective, an excellent match.

Louise said: Fluid, smooth. Lee sizzled, a perfect partnership.

Sisco said: Lee, you lived, so fearless. Katie, beautiful, organic dancer.

Kirsty and Lee B and a Bollywood number, with Move Like Michael Jackson finalist Ash Mukherjee choreographing. There’s plenty of action going on, a fun number without the emotional depth of last week, not as effective but well done.

Arlene said: Kirsty, the temptress from the temple; Lee needs to get in it.

Bethany Rose and Israel, a Simeon Oysea Hip Hop, with skateboards. Good effort by Bethany but Israel didn’t make the impact he should have in his own genre. Simeon’s choreography usually excites but it wasn’t translated as well as it should have been.

Arlene said: More fun queuing for petrol.

Stephanie and Gianluca with a Cha Cha by Katya Virshilas, a lot more dynamic for them this week, connection and energy, good performance. Just wish they’d use music I know though, would help to engage more.

Arlene said: Gianluca didn’t have a clue about the cha cha but brought the Latin spirit, phwoar!

Nigel said: Stephanie brought everything she needed to.

Katrina and Tom and a Karen Bruce Broadway to Footloose and it’s all go, Katrina’s flying again. Tom full of personality, handled the fantastic lifts well.

Arlene said: Tom has the personality of a pumpkin! (I must like pumpkins!)

Nigel said: Katrina had so much energy. Tom much improved.

Alice and Charlie with an American Smooth waltz by Katya, to Three Times A Lady. Fast becoming one of the best partnerships, so together, so endearing, so engaging, a little bit stiff but Charlie’s posture is excellent.

Nigel said: I hope William and Kate’s waltz was as beautiful as that.

Arlene said: It was all shades of wrong but oh so right.

Rithy and Shane, Hip Hop by Supple - to Mozart! With a Charlie Chaplin/Policeman theme, very creative, very inventive, I loved it. Full of fun, tight, just one little slip, quickly recovered.

Sisco said: Not enough funk but commitment to the characters.

Arlene said: Rithy a star storyteller.

Danielle and Luke with a Commercial by Sean Cheeseman, which just didn’t appeal I’m afraid. Not musical enough and it’s a dance show, if there’s no musicality they lose me. A lot of posturing, though a good dynamic between them, gelled better this week.

Arlene: I wanted a sexy show and I got it!

Nigel: Not knocked out; felt a little fake.

Nine couples danced, five were voted for (again!) Onwards to the results ... first four, assuming one couple in danger but, ooh, naughy Cat – sends them all safely through: Katie and Lee; Charlotte and Matt; Katrina and Tom; Israel and Bethany! Three out of my five!

In the next group, Danielle and Luke and Kirsty and Lee B are called safely – not good, means one of my fave couples are in the danger zone. Alice and Charlie are safe – it’s Rithy and Shane in the bottom two with Gianluca and Stephanie. A little bit shocked, thought it would be Israel and Bethany. I’m not so fussed out of the two boys, but I don’t want to see Rithy leave.

Stephanie leads off the solos with a jumpin’ jive to Proud Mary; Gianluca another strong contemporary piece; Rithy, full of attitude – should take it, going by overall comments so far; Shane, altogether more dynamic than Gianluca – and he got his shirt off.

Blue sing their Eurovision song *keeps an open mind* ... but the usual Eurovision affliction of No Hummable Memorable Chorus or Tune, just all backing track with words over the top of it. There’s always next year ... again.

Decision time for Nigel: We didn’t feel as though three of you danced for your lives ... split 2-2 over the girls, production choose Rithy, citing Stephanie’s lack of connection with the public. Unanimous for the boys, though neither deserves to be bottom two. Again, Gianluca didn’t connect, whereas Shane danced for his life.

Stephanie and Gianluca leave us tonight.

Am I the only one hoping they do away with the Commercial genre? Really not getting it ...