They were joined by rising stars in the world of dance, Ryan Hammond and Lyndsey Muckle, who won through to the recent Got to Dance semi finals, and local dance troupe, Dance Alley, familiar to visitors to Medway's Fuse Festival (i.e. moi).
Linked by an easy going and jokey host for the evening, Katya and Pasha began with a lively samba, then a slow cha cha with shades of Argentine Tango, before being joined on stage by Ryan and Lyndsey for a tricky salsa. Then it was the first appearance for Dance Alley, who'd been challenged to choreograph two routines to two different music medleys and did brilliantly with a bunch of 80s disco tracks that most of them had probably never heard before.
Pasha and Katya were back on stage for a gorgeous American Smooth foxtrot to The Buble's I'm Your Man, with Katya in a beautiful minty fresh dress reminiscent of Camilla's foxtrot dress in Series 6 with Tom. A welcome break for them followed, in the shape of a Q&A with the audience. We found out that the costumes on Strictly get sold on, that Katya was asked to audition for Strictly and that dancing on live TV is stressful and nervewracking (Katya) but it's great to get a live audience reaction (Pasha). Katya told us that Pasha listens to classical music in the mornings - he asked: How do you know? She replied: Your girlfriend told me! They get nervous in front of the judges and before performing, but they're careful not to let their celebs see that - in case it freaks them out!
Pasha advised that dancing underwater is great, that neither of them (him and Chelsee) could talk but it was fun, although kind of weird with costumes and no shoes. He was inspired by Cuban club dancers, particularly a 90 year old woman who sizzled! She'd gotten too close to the barbecue apparently ... no, I jest ... but he's been looking for a more experienced woman ever since.
According to both of them, Craig is awesome and the sweetest man they know - all the judges embellish their characters but backstage and on tour he's always smiling and jokey.
Back to the dancing and Ryan and Lyndsey brought us an impeccable sophisticated rumba to Diamonds Are Forever, before Katya and Pasha reprised Pasha and Chelsee's quickstep to Sing Sing Sing. All four of them treated us to a traditional Argentine Tango to Roxanne, followed by Katya and Dan's Viennese Waltz reprised by both couples. Some huge and magnificent lifts followed, in a cha cha/rumba to a Michael Jackson medley, by Ryan and Lyndsey, before Katya and Pasha did similar to I Will Always Love You.
Dance Alley were back for their second performance to a modern medley and then for me, the best dance of the night, as both couples performed a stunning Paso Doble, with solo sections for each and, as had been the case throughout the evening, traditional music - which so adds to the overall effect. I want Katya's paso dress, it was amazing. And there was a cloak alert: Pasha knows how to work it. Go on my son, as Len would say.
Ryan and Lyndsey showcased their fantastic lifts again - they do the whole overhead thing, like you see on Dancing on Ice - but the routine is still predominantly dance, not freestyle. The dancers stopped for a breather again, teaching us to merengue* to Move Like Jagger, before "persuading" five couples up on stage for a cha cha lesson/competition. The winning girls, age 12 and 9, got a special dance with Pasha. *not to be confused with meringue, a gooier, stickier, more fruity version with added cream.
Rounding the evening off was a jive to Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy in Company B and Stuff Like That There. Pasha wore a uniform so I can't remember much of the specifics. There was jitterbuggin and stuff.
A hugely enjoyable evening with brilliant dancing and you went away feeling you knew the stars of Strictly just a little bit better than before. If you have the chance to see Katya and Pasha in a theatre near you - go!