• 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

  • rosie

Strictly - Week 4!

The dancers are really getting their teeth into the competition now!

Its 4 weeks in and we are starting to see some real

stand out performances.

However for some there is also the disappointment of finding yourself at the bottom of the leaderboard.

So what do our Pro’s think the bottom 3 couples in this weeks leaderboard can improve to stand a better chance of a higher score in the coming weeks?

Rose Ayling-Ellis & Giovanni Pernice - Cha Cha

Credit has to be given to Rose firstly for her excellent timing and how she has overcome the challenge of not being able to hear the music.

She displayed some good technique required in the Cha-Cha during figures that were more stationary such as her Cuban Breaks, Time Steps and Swivels.

Her action was not as strong in steps that travelled more such as her Walks and Locks and Natural Top.

To improve this she needs to work on the use of her feet in connecting her weight and centre to the floor. This will allow her to create more pressure through her feet which will help her articulate the actions required, such as straight legs and hip actions. And also make her appear more grounded.

- Rosie

Dan Walker & Nadiya Bychkova - Cha Cha

I think Dan danced quite well in his Cha Cha and knew the routine really well so was really confident with it. He also looked like he was having loads of fun and really committed to the performance. For me it looked a little too “steppy” as there wasn’t a lot of flow from one move to the next. This made him also look quite wooden and stiff. I’d like to see him develop the use of his legs and knees more, this would also help him achieve his hip action and give more flow to his dancing and movements.


Judi Love & Graziano Di Prima - Waltz

From watching the waltz routine, I feel the choreography was well chosen and matched the couple dynamic. In order to move forward in a better direction perhaps more work on the actions required for each dance is needed. There are a lot of times when the dancing looks stiff. Waltz should have an ebb and flow to it emphasised by leg lowering actions and foot rise movements. In fairness the use of foot rise was ok but there needs to be more fluidity and a little bit more dynamic movement for this couple to stand out better I think. But the choice of choreography can’t be faulted.

- Ian

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It’s Week 3 already!! And it’s Monday. 🤩 That means it’s time for a RISE review.

🎬 This week was “Movie Week” and each of our team members have judged the dances based on a different aspect and picked their favourite performance based on this.

What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below!

Best technical performance by Rosie. 🔍

A tough choice between the top two on the leaderboard, however I am going to have to go with the Street Commercial routine by Rhys & Nancy. I loved the fact that it had a movie theme but without the gimmicks as this allowed the brilliant technique to shine through. The difficulty of this style should not be underestimated. Incorporating the different styles found within the street genre requires serious energetic movement throughout the full body. Rapid changing of levels and directions, agility and using the full body to create lots of different dynamic shapes. All of this to syncopations that match and enhance what you are hearing in the music the music. Rhys absolutely delivered all of this as well as great use of his feet to create the rhythm, energy and movement needed. For me I thought he deserved a few more 10’s!

Best choreography by Ian. 🏆

The choreographic choices for all the routines were very good. My favourite would have to be the Titanic Foxtrot as the use of content in this dance was outstanding, simplistic and pure. The use of weave actions, double Fallaway whisks and articulated use of foot work dancing through some characteristic Foxtrot figures like the Feather Step, 3-Step and Feather Finish were great to see, it just goes to show that there’s power in basic work.

Best Artistic Interpretation/Performance by Nic. 🎭

Hands down this was John & Johannes for me! It was believable and John completely committed to the character and the style of the dance. The way he held his face and mouth throughout and just slightly tilted his chin to depict the matadors stance without compromising his posture or position is quite a tricky thing to master, but he pulled it off wonderfully. Looking down without actually looking down. It was fierce! I also loved the use of an occasional "AH" or two, very traditional in a Paso Doble for the dancers to vocalise sounds which adds to the authenticity of the Paso. To take the famous Spanish dance that usually depicts a bullfight and transform it onto a pirate's ship deck so seamlessly and with such intention, I had to watch it twice to take it all in.

Most Entertaining Dance by Emma. 🎪

With so many entertaining dances this week I’m really struggling to pick just one favorite! One couple that really stood out to me was Katie and Gorka with their Cruella De Vil American Smooth. It’s mainly Katie’s portrayal of Cruella that did it for me! Her performance skills, her facial expressions, her whole character just screamed Cruella from the moment she walked down the stairs to the end of the dance. I think putting Gorka in a Dalmatian suit let the whole performance down a bit however….

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