Strictly Ballroom – A show synonymous with style, flair, and rhythm, Strictly Come Dancing continues to captivate and enthral audiences. With at least one season every year since 2004, this acclaimed series remains ever popular amongst TV and live viewers.
Strictly provides viewers with the chance to witness their favourite celebrities attempt elaborate ballroom routines, and has featured icons from a range of backgrounds. The competition, broadcast on the BBC, has regular episodes taking place in lavish and beautiful ballroom venues.
Strictly Ballroom – The Dances
Strictly is, by nature, a ballroom dance competition, and so features celebrities performing a variety of ballroom dances.
Of all ballroom dances, few are as instantly recognisable as the waltz. The waltz is a popular dance routine amongst celebrities in the first few weeks of each season’s competition. Easy to learn, but difficult to master, a well done waltz can give contestants a big head start in the early stages.
A similar dance to the waltz is the foxtrot, another commonly performed Strictly routine. The primary difference between the two dances are their different time signatures.
The foxtrot is characterised as a long and progressive dance, with some memorable Strictly renditions over the years. A versatile routine, the dance was combined with elements of the Charleston to create the quickstep dance. The quickstep is another popular Strictly routine, full of energy and light heartedness.
Aside from big bands and American swing music, Latin music contributes significantly to the show. The rhumba and the tango are two more popular routines, appearing often in the show. The tango, a dance originating from Argentina, is full of passion and style. The dance has variants staying true to its Argentine routes, and American & European variants.
Similarly, the ballroom rumba, known colloquially as the rhumba, is full of passion and flair. Another dance exhibited by various Strictly couples, a rhumba typically provides plenty of entertainment.
Strictly Ballroom – The Dancers
Of course, the show would not function without its celebrity participants. Likewise, the dances would not be possible without the professionals who teach them. The show has played host to celebrities from a variety of backgrounds, and celebrity dancers from a mix of cultures.
Appearing since 2009, professional dancer Aliona Vilani has won the competition twice, and finished as runner up once. Winning season 9 with Harry Judd, and season 13 with Jay McGuinness, she has registered multiple perfect scores.
One familiar face on the show is that of professional dancer Anton Du Beke. The Strictly veteran has appeared since the first season, with a catalogue of memorable moments. With pairings including former MP Ann Widdicombe, his routines have provided a generous helping of comedy. He became the first celebrity to bow out of Strictly 2018, with fashionista Susannah Constantine.
Slovenian ballroom champion Aljaž Skorjanec is another notable professional on the show. Debuting in 2013, he won his first season with TV personality Abbey Clancy, in the first all-female celebrity final seen on the show.
For a professional to win the show, it is important they are matched with a good partner. All celebrities are amateurs going in to the show, but it seems some are more suited than others.
The aforementioned Abbey Clancy won the 2013 season in style, registering multiple high scores throughout. A host of other celebrities have wowed judges with their newly acquired dancing skills.
Natasha Kaplinsky became the first contestant to win the competition, with her partner Brendan Cole. Ten distinct dances were performed across the series, with the news presenter registering the highest score for eight of them.
Olympian Louis Smith captivated audiences when he won series 10 in 2012. In an intense final show, the gymnast charmed judges with a Charleston, a salsa, and a showdance. Louis’ showdance scored a perfect 40, with his other two final dances each earning 39 points respectively.
So with the 2018 season in full swing, who will be crowned the next champion of strictly?
According to oddschecker, YouTuber Joe Sugg is the favourite to win the current season, with Ashley Roberts and Faye Tozer close behind.
Strictly Ballroom – At Home in Blackpool
One staple part of the long running television series is its iconic Blackpool Special.
The episode, typically broadcast live, is a favourite amongst Strictly fans, and takes place at the Blackpool Tower Ballroom.
Since its opening in 1899, the Blackpool Tower Ballroom has provided dance couples with a picturesque and prestigious setting to perform their routines.
The Ballroom has been a Strictly venue since 2004, making multiple appearances since. It has featured in every series since 2013.
The venue is held in very high regard by celebrities, professionals, and judges alike, with reaching the Blackpool week often considered a dream for many contestants. Professionals are equally keen to appear at the location, as it is home to a variety of international dance competitions.