• rosie

Only 2 weeks left in the competition after this weekend. The stakes are getting higher but also it is now becoming harder and harder to choose between the excellent standard being delivered by the couples in these later stages!

The really exciting part about the competition this year is the change in the leaderboard every week! No front runner has yet emerged, which makes it even more exciting watching the couples jostle every week for the top spot.

The judges clearly have a very important job in shaping the outcome of the competition as well as influencing the public vote. How much did our pro's at RISE agree with the judges this week? Over to Rosie to find out.

Rhys & Nancy - Argentine Tango

Another Argentine tango at the top of the leaderboard! This style seems to be incredibly popular with the public but also I think the couples. It is a very enjoyable style to dance and perform and I think this helps bring out the best in the couples.

Rhys and Nancy's performance really impressed me this week. Actually I think it is my favourite performance from the series so far. I loved whole concept, from the staging and lighting, costumes, music and how the choreography and conviction to the dance brought all of these elements together. I always feel that danced well this style should bring a feeling of tension and bring the audience to the edge of their seats and I felt they did this!

I thought technically the dance was impeccably delivered with some wonderful lifts, with fantastic transitions. But for me I loved the musicality and the sharp accented movements which matched perfectly with the percussion highlights in the music. Cleverly choreographed and perfectly danced, and not easy to do with a live orchestra!

Amazing work from Rhys and Nancy!!

Rose & Giovanni - American Smooth

A lovely, sweet, feel good routine from Rose & Giovanni. Fantastic to see that they incorporated so much content into the Foxtrot element of the choreography, with plenty of time in hold rather than relying on gimmicks. I feel this should always be rewarded as it requires a lot of hard work to produce a routine as they did that looks clean, polished and well rehearsed. You can see the work ethic in this couple which I love.

I thought Roses' frame and position in hold was great, well maintained and she showed some lovely body lines through quite difficult choreography. I would say occasionally she ends up slightly backweighted, especially in the pivots. Though these are a very tough figure to execute and credit needs to be given for attempting these well! If Rose can accentuate her headline more through her poise this will only serve to further show her grace and elegance on the floor!

John & Johannes - Salsa

I was slightly disappointed by this performance tonight. Perhaps because we have come to expect such a high standard from them or more likely the dance just didn't suit them as a team.

I've mentioned in earlier weeks how they look best in side by side performance based choreography, however the salsa requires more time in hold and is a more intricate style. I feel they struggled to deliver this as well. I also think this dance showed one of John's main weaknesses which is the stiffness and lack of fluidity of movement in his torso and back. The Salsa requires a constant fluid movement that blends from one step into the next, tonight John looked out of his depth compared to Johannes and I think that is a shame for them.

Nevertheless they still always give 100% in energy and commitment and are always entertaining to watch. I particularly loved how Johannes covered up the failed landing of the last lift, a true competitor right there!

Dan & Nadiya - Tango

I feel watching Dan in this dance is like watching a dancer of two halves. His footwork and leg actions is massively better than his upper body position, frame and poise.

I would say some of his steps, particularly when syncopated, are far too skippy for the tango and his is missing the connection of his weight to the floor. But credit can not be taken away from his footwork which shows clear articulation and a great leg position.

Unfortunately his upper body let him down, more strength was needed through his posture and poise and his back was not able to support the shape needed for the couple. This left him slightly lacking in showing the dominance required from the leader in a Tango and the staccato action to compliment the figures!

Saying that I actually quite enjoyed the dance as I felt he gave great commitment to the role and was enjoyable to watch.

AJ & Kai - Salsa

A brave entrance from AJ, a solo start to the performance which should always be applauded rather than always relying on a pro! AJ has so much energy and personality and I feel this shone through all the way through. She does have a natural stage presence which I think always make her enjoyable to watch.

I feel again like John the suppleness and fluidity required in a Salsa just wasn't there, and some of her arm and leg lines require more finesse in the finishing, which again made her look a bit stiff.

Despite this she is a wonderful natural dancer and deserves credit for her consistency across all styles. She definitely deserved to stay in the competition!

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  • rosie

It’s Week 10 and that means now we only have 3 weeks left of the competition!! Before we jump into this weeks review…(an Argentine Tango special)…let’s see how the winning predictions our team made in the first week are holding up!

Rosie ❌Katie McGlynn & Gorka Marquez ❌Tom Fletcher & Amy Dowden ⭐️AJ Odudu & Kai Widdrington

Ian ⭐️AJ Odudu & Kai Widdrington ⭐️Dan Walker & Nadiya Bychkova ❌Tom Fletcher & Amy Dowden

Nic ⭐️AJ Odudu & Kai Widdrington ⭐️John Whaite and Johannes Radebe ⭐️Rhys Stephenson and Nancy Xu

Emma ❌Tilly Ramsey and Nikita Kuzmin, ❌Nina Wadia and Neil Jones, ⭐️John Whaite and Johannes Radebe.

Nic is clearly in the lead with her predictions with ALL 3 couples still in the running! Good work Nic!! 🤩

Now onto our review…an Argentine Tango special!

This week top of the Leaderboard was John and Johannes with their Argentine Tango. Always a crowd pleaser with the audience, and a style that we love teaching here at RISE. We asked our Argentine Tango teacher Ian for his take on this routine. Did he agree with the Judges.

John & Johannes - Argentine Tango Wow what a show stopper this dance was, the use of Ariel movements and progressive choreography really emboldened the character they were aiming to show. This was really emphasised by the use of Salida’s and Retroceso movements as these helped move their choreography around the floor. It was nice to see the use of a Basic 8 figuration which aided the following Corte actions. With regards to the series of Foot Flicks, Piquet Movements and Gancho Leg Flicks which are synonymous with Argentine Tango, I felt they were danced in appropriate proportion to the character and feel of dance that John & Johannes were demonstrating. These actions have a tendency to be over used in some cases on the show, sometimes up to 50% of the choreography. So it was refreshing to see that their routine didn’t make too much of a feature of this action. To me it seemed like each of the various figures and movements were well balanced, each one like a single cog in the engine of the choreography and this emboldened the performance the two showed as they danced. These figures were the canvas for their story of dance of which they executed superbly, complimented by a perfect choice of music. An all round A* performance in my view! -Ian

#danceinleeds #dancestudio #lovedance #strictlycomedancing

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!


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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