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The Strictly weeks are flying by! So much so we are already on “Musicals Week”!

Our office manager Emma is such a keen Musicals fan that this week we have handed over to her to let us know which performances she thought were closest to the real deal!


Emma:

I’m so excited to share my thoughts on my favorite week of the Strictly calendar…Musicals week! Anyone that knows me knows I’m obsessed with musicals. I also grew up performing in amateur dramatics so I get really excited about this week every year!


⭐️My favourite performance of the night was Tilly and Nikita with their couples choice! I saw Matilda the musical live a couple of years ago and at the time I remember being absolutely blown away by the energy and performance of the Revolting Children number. Watching Tilly and Nikita, I felt that way all over again! Shirley mentioned that she couldn’t tell the difference between pro and celebrity and I completely agree! Tilly matched Nikita in energy, commitment and performance at every step!


⭐️ Second favourite for me was Tom and Amy, also with a couples choice. On My Own from Les Misérables is a heartbreaking number. I remember sitting in a crowded theatre in tears because of the empathy I felt for poor Éponine.

The level of acting, performance and expression demonstrated by Tom and Amy in this number almost made me forget I was watching a dance competition, and more like I was watching the show all over again!


⭐️ Finally, my third favourite was AJ and Kai with their beautiful Waltz to Edelweiss.

In the original musical The Sound of Music (yes I’ve seen this one live too ) this number serves to show the tender side of Baron Von Trapp. Kai has used this emotional piece of music and cleverly fused it with the outside night time love scene and dance number between Rolf and Liesl. The result is a beautiful love story performed wonderfully.

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A very exciting review for Week 8! This week we invite our resident seamstress and very own costume mistress to giver her thoughts on the costumes from the this weeks show, Judith Mayoh Khoudi.

With years of experience and a wealth of knowledge we hope you enjoy her run down of the fabulous costumes you see on the show! Over to Judith.....


I'm thrilled that Rosie has asked me to provide a few comments on the strictly costumes this week. With a degree in costumes & textiles and many years of Ballroom/Latin making and designing experience she knows I have a keen interest in the costumes we see on our TV screens each Saturday evening.

So here's a brief rundown of this weeks outfits:


Tilly & Nikita - Quickstep Tilly was dressed in a very pretty outfit which was quite simple. I could possibly see social dancers in this sort of attire - without the huge split. Dressy and affordable. Nikita had some lovely textured fafrics in his outfit. However, if he were competing the shirt/waitscoat combo spoiled his shaping a little.


AJ & Kai - Paso I saw this on Thursday on the "It takes two" programme and thought it looked rather brash! However, once under the studio lighting the colour was vibrant and beautiful. The tiered skirt is in chiffon and silk/satin and there is rather a lot of skirt for an inexperienced dancer to deal with in Paso. The beautiful top is encrusted in 2 shades of rhinestones, estimated at around 4000 stones. Kai in traditional Latin wear. Always a winner!


Dan & Nadya - American Smooth Very traditional in tail suit and Nadya in an elegant dress. What was there not to love? Dan is a tall slender guy and looked stunning tonight. The outfits enhanced his performance.


Rhys & Nancy- Charleston Traditional 20's styling. The use of the boater made it more complicated for Rhys. Shoes were in keeping with the style too. The suit, particularly the trousers looked as though they were cut in a fabric with stretch. This aids the dancer in their movement and particularly helpful in maintaining clean lines with the lifts. Nancy's dress looked as though it was repurposed from a high street dress. Strips of fabric made from the original skirt fabric, that is just my guess.


Sara & Aljaz - Argentine Tango Whilst this was not my favourite look it was a valient attempt at a Tango dress both in colour and style. The gentle trim of crystals on the velvet fabric was appropriate and not distracting. A traditionally coloured dress with those essential splits front and back for those kicks, flicks and long low legline moves.

John & Johannes - Samba So obviously it's a different look dressing 2 men dancing together, i really loved this combination. Both wore the same outfit but in different shades. This was such clever costuming in marking out the difference between leader and follower without any clash. Two in the yellow outfit of Johannes would have been too much and two in the blues of John probably too understated. Gorgeous well fitting trousers and really clever colour combinations. Loved it.


Tom & Amy - Viennese Waltz The beautiful Amy (or Kate Middleton as I call her) looked gorgeous in her grey 50's style dress with lots of light shaded tulle underneath. On closer examination this looked like a blinged up blouse and skirt with deep waistband a great effect. So Tom, a very simple street vibe with interesting black/white shoes, I’ve not ot a huge amount extra to say about this outfit really.


Rose & Giovanni - Couples Choice Contemporary dance and contemporary outfits with bare feet. Beautiful soft layers of chiffon part trouser part dress is my guess. Beautifully complimented by Gio's lose fitting shirt & trousers. When they danced I thought the outfit was a soft pastel blue but it was actually grey. The lighting on strictly really changes the look of some garments. Something that Vicky Gill regularly mentions on her Thursday evening slot on "It Takes Two"







Week 7 means we are already halfway through the competition!!


Things are really starting to get serious now and the hard work so far is starting to show as scores go up and we see some really impressive performances!


This week the leaderboard gave us some fantastic performances and the top 3 were all outstanding!


We asked our Pro’s to talk us through what made these performances so great and worthy of high scores.


🤩 AJ & Kai – Charleston


This dance was jam packed and didn’t stop from start to finish. You really got the whole Charleston package from AJ this week! It was loads of fun, lots of Charleston steps, tons of tricks and fantastic performance skills. She really leaned into the character that she was playing and didn’t shy away from the challenge of this dance being one that you really need to perform and commit to. She showed great understanding of this style of dance with wonderful swivel action, excellent timing and great energy. And those lifts, she made them look so easy! Overall I loved this dance and it’s easy to see why she was at the top of the leader board this week! Considering how stressed she said she was about it she really didn’t have anything to worry about! - Nic


🤩 Tom & Amy - Paso Doble


The characterisation and music selection I thought was very good. It is really refreshing to hear some authentic paso music being played. This particular track is well used within the British Dance Festival and I thought it was very appropriate the way it was incorporated with the choreography. The costume design was also great, amazing colours and very fitting style. I could have watched the dancing without sound and be fully immersed in the paso experience. Amy has always excelled at bringing out the best in her male partners and this is superbly reflected in the choice of choreography she used. Having the judges refer to this really shows her knowledge as a professional dancer. Tom seems to be improving every week, embracing every challenge of each new dance with the right amount of determinism and open mindedness which allows him to pull the best from his performances. I really look forward to see what they bring to the floor next week. - Ian


🤩 John & Johannes - Rumba


The Rumba has a reputation for being one of the hardest dances on the show. I feel that actually all the dances are equal in difficulty, with each having its own nuances that technically must be mastered in order to be danced in a convincing and authentic way. The Rumba however is probably the most exposing of all the dances given it’s slow tempo and raw emotional character. This is what trips up most celebrities who attempt it on the show! However not for John, his performance and commitment to the role was truly amazing to watch. I loved the story told by the couple. The tension and emotion was exactly what you’d expect to see in a Rumba and it felt authentic, rather than “over-acted”. Technically John also held his own next to Johannes. I’ve mentioned previously the difficulty in “side by side” work danced next to the pro which can expose weaknesses, a challenge John bravely and successfully takes on. A fantastic example was the Swivel into Aida and Cuban Rocks where they matched identically. One slight technical point for me was that John’s arms were slightly lacking in shape and resistance compared to Johannes, and occasionally looked slightly disconnected from his body. But I would still have given him that 10!! - Rosie



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