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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  • rosie

Week Six and this weekend we saw the

Spooky Halloween special!! 🕷🎃

This week at RISE we are discussing whether we agree with the dance off result.

Ian is our pro this week sharing his thoughts…

Judi and Graziano vs Katya and Adam

I felt that when comparing these two performances there seemed to be admirable qualities in both performances, both celebrities really have progressed a long way since the first episode.

However, I felt that Katya and Adam’s performance was more on theme for the Halloween special which would have worked in their favour. I feel that it would have been tough for Judi and Graziano to produce a strong Halloween performance with their song choice and Cha Cha routine even though they gave good reason for this.

Something that I felt was a reason for Katya and Adam being in the dance off was their lack of Viennese content, it was more like a show and less of a Viennese Waltz dance. Judi and Graziano brought more content to the table.

However Adam and Katya were the stronger dancers in my view and so the decision for Judi and Graziano to be knocked out of the competition seems appropriate as there were a lot of technical Cha Cha components missing in their routine.

I feel more could have been done to accentuate the contrast of the couple dynamic as Graziano is very tall and Judi is shorter and this could have been explored more. However instead they produced dancing which aimed to mirror and match one another, which can be both very intimidating and revealing, something Rosie highlighted a few weeks ago. I liked the use of Cha Cha figures in Judi and Graziano’s routine but it lacked substance, however contrastingly I was not a fan of Katya’s and Adam’s routine as it lacked substance in my view, but it was a very good performance piece. I feel this is what gave them the win over Judi and Graziano.

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  • rosie

It’s Monday again guys and this weekend we’ve been enjoying the 5th week of Strictly! 🤩

One thing we’ve heard a lot of our customers talk about is just how good Strictly is this year, and how there are so many great couples in the running to win.

This week we saw three couples achieve a coveted “10!”, so we asked our Pro’s if they agreed and did those couples indeed deserve a 10?

⭐️John & Johannes - (9, 9, 10, 10) Charleston

John and Johannes have managed to create great and believable characterisation in all the different styles they’ve performed in the competition so far. Charleston was no different and clearly this playful style was right up their street. At the beginning of the routine I thought a few nerves showed in John’s performance. Slightly shaky on the footwork, less sharp on his turns and a few missed hand connections. But these nerves soon settled down and by the end he delivered a fantastic job of the Charleston. Credit needs to be given to the tough physical nature of some of the lifts and tricks, all performed excellently. In addition this couple adopt a lot of side by side work into their routines which again we saw tonight, and is very typical of a Charleston. However this makes the celebrity directly comparable to the pro, hence why a lot of other couples avoid it. It’s great to see John meeting the challenge of dancing next to his pro and by no means falling short! Well done John, 10’s fully deserved. - Rosie

⭐️Rose & Giovanni (9, 10, 9, 9) Viennese Waltz

I absolutely loved this dance and thought Rose’s scores were very well deserved. Rose gave such a classy performance and the style of the dance definitely played to her strengths as an actress. She transitioned from the opening acting section into the dancing with such ease and confidence. She also started dancing and then moved into her frame whilst dancing the natural turns which can be quite tricky and hard to correct if it goes wrong or a bit wonky! Viennese waltz is a repetitive rotational dance with natural and reverse turns and occasionally pivots and fleckerls. Rose danced these consistently without ever compromising her frame, headline or position. I think the lack of complicated choreography is what stopped her from gaining 10s from the other judges, in comparison to what some of the other celebrities had learnt this week. With the consistency she showed throughout her dancing and commitment to the character I think she actually deserved a couple of extra 10s. Let’s see what happens next week? - Nic

⭐️AJ & Kai (8, 8, 10, 9) Argentine Tango

I was very interested to see AJ and Kai’s performance for the Argentine tango since it was mentioned last week. As the resident teacher in Argentine Tango for Rise I was looking forward to seeing how this couple would adopt this intricate style of dancing. I felt personally that this wasn’t their best dance unfortunately. Not to say their dancing was bad, they had fantastic characterisation and how they adopted the mood between the couple would have definitely been reflected in their scores. There was a good use of some Argentine figures, the use of flicking actions etc. However as it was designed as a powerful performance, this feature was what I saw most of in the dancing and it lacked the subtlety and nuance that Argentine tango presents. I would have perhaps scored them an 8 on this outing which is to reflect both the very good energy and characterisation as well as incorporation of some Argentine figures, but because the only time I saw that aspect of subtlety was when they both had their arms around each other. It would be difficult for me to say that this defines a good quality of Argentine tango. So not their best dance, but definitely not the worst of the evening. The Halloween special should definitely be an interesting one. - Ian

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