October 30th, 2011

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Very belatedly, it has dawned on me why I now have enough confidence to talk about dance. It is because I have watched every single episode of Strictly from series one episode one onwards! So, this is yet another thing, in a very long line indeed, that I have to thank the BBC for.

In case people believe I am too strongly biased in favour of the male celebrities, today's episode actually inspired me to talk about two female celebrities.

The first is someone, who based on her showing over the last 2 weeks, is actually a very strong contender for the Strictly crown and that is ... Chelsee! She always gives it 100%, and dances giving her heart and soul over to the music. That is what dancing should be about - letting the music take possession of you.

The second female celebrity that I would like to mention is Holly, because Holly and Artem's rendition of Swan Lake was breath-taking and heart-stopping. They brought high concept dance, executed to near perfection, to primetime terrestrial TV. This proves, to me at least, that you do not have to dumb down on a popular entertainment programme, you can take the audience with you to new heights. That is what they did.

However, the standout routine for me tonight was not Holly and Artem, but Harry and Aliona. Len was wrong about their routine and what they put on the stage. Maybe Len wants to see traditional ballroom. I would rather see spectacle, passion, and innovation. Aliona's choreography was genius, the storytelling in the piece was massively powerful and strong, Harry's execution of the concept and the steps was on another level, and the head-twisting gut-wrenching end was ... well ... I am speechless! This would have been a great showdance in the finale it was that good. Len missed the point!

To finish, I love the Halloween show concept. I think they introduced it last year and it just gets stronger and stronger. Their themed evenings eg Halloween, Big Band, Hollywood etc really work for me. Long may they continue.

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