So Strictly Come Dancing is less than a week away from starting, the spray-tanners are spraying, the dress makers are sewing and the celebrities are shaving; and we’re being treated to our last few training videos.
Up first is boyhood favourite Felicity Kendal & Vincent Simone. I read a great blog post about calculating your Ballroom or Latin quotient and apparently Felicity Kendal is a borderline case, so should in theory cope quite comfortably with both disciplines. Let’s see how the training is coming along…
Dancing on heels really does make a huge difference to your dancing. Latin American dances should be danced with the weight fully over the balls of the feet – the heels lightly touching the floor – and higher heels push your weight forward. This then allows for easier hip action and even guys wear 1 1/2 inch Cuban heels (as opposed to the Ballroom 1 inch).
For someone who isn’t used to dancing in heels this can take quite a bit of adjustment. I must admit that I’ve never tried anything higher than the Cuban heel, but if a student ever ordered a pair of ladies shoes in size 10 I’d be tempted to try them on. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have a cross-dressing fantasy or anything, but how can you truly teach someone else about the importance of high heels, and also understand a students limitations, if you don’t know how it feels yourself?
Anyway I digress, Felicity has a Cha Cha Cha as her first dance, and I think she has the personality to produce a fun and cheeky performance. However it does look like she is struggling with those heels and I’m sure she could have had slightly lower ones – they look nearer to 3 1/2 inch to me when I’m sure 2 1/2 inch would have been a good starting point!
Standing still Felicity excudes a very naughty sexy side (I’m thinking 48ish seconds in!) but she needs to be able to do that whilst moving too, which seems to be an issue right now. Her shoulders are too high during the natural top but I actually think Vincent could hold her a little lower and that would help.
I still have high hopes for Felicity but there is quite a bit of work still required I’d say.
Training clip number 2 this week is Kara Tointon & Artem Chigvintsev. Kara was restricted from training in week 1 to make up for the 20-odd hours of training she received taking party in Strictly for Sport Relief, will be interesting to see how that’s affected things.
So, one of the ‘hot young girls’ paired with one of the new ‘hot young professionals’, can’t imagine what the Strictly producers were thinking when they came up with that one?!
From the launch show I felt Artem was the strongest of the new professionals, and looked more at home than either Jared or Robin and the training video doesn’t disappoint.
Kara is looking like she’s picking up the steps quickly and does appear to have a good natural balance during those spins. I wish I could see more of her dancing as it’s difficult to see how well her hips are moving during the lock steps, obviously the body roll seems to work well. She probably should have her arm up, rather than down, during the locks away from him…but I’m sure it’s not polished yet.
Our third video of the week is Peter Shilton & Erin Boag. Peter is Erin’s second goalkeeper celebrity and whilst Peter Schmeichel didn’t exactly trip the light fantastic, Erin did wonders considering the starting material.
Peter is definitely going to excel more at Ballroom than Latin American I’ll wager. He does need to work on keeping his shoulders down and level, especially in promenade position (when the guy opens his left side and the girl the right side so that they are both looking in the same direction – see 25secs in). I also think more work is required in softening his rise and fall action.
I don’t think Peter will do too bad a performance on Friday, but I also don’t think he’ll stay long in the competition on current evidence.
Our final couple is Tina O’Brien & Jared Murillo. Jared didn’t impress me much in the launch show so I’m hoping to see a bit more potential in the training videos.
Not looking too bad as a starting point, though Tina does need to keep her toes in contact with the floor during her back locks and should concentrate on more separation between her top half and bottom half of her body.
Still there is some potential there so will be interesting to see how she performs this weekend.
Strictly Come Dancing is back with a vengeance on Friday 1st October, hope you’re looking forward to it?!