Thursday, 11 September 2008

Ten Forgotten Gems

Ask anyone to name their top ten Strictly dances and the same ones appear time after time...such a list would usually consist of a mixture of one or both of Alesha’s Waltzes...maybe her Cha Cha too...Mark’s Salsa...Matt’s American Smooth...Jill’s know the story. So I decided to compile a list of fab dances that are sometimes overlooked...or forgotten for whatever reason, in the vain hope that they might be restored to grace as Strictly Classics. I also compiled this list because I have a rotten cold, am bored and depressed because I am too ill to go to my Salsa class. Sympathy very much appreciated.

Matt and Lilia's Waltz

Matt went from being ‘dull, dull, dull’ to dancing this beautiful Waltz that Len described as being ‘the best dance of the series so far.’ There have been many j-j-journeys on Strictly but Matt Dawson’s is still the one that sticks out as demonstrating the biggest transformation - yes, even more than Goughie...(controversial?) Unfortunately for Matt, he was out-shined (and out-glossed?) by Mark Ramprakash but Mark’s ballroom never quite made it up to this high standard.

Mark and Karen's Samba

This dance is overshadowed by the now-iconic Salsa and Argentine Tango routines, but this is a dance that really shouldn’t be lost in the Strictly wilderness...even if it’s just because of Karen’s wonderful hot pink costume and the camp-as-toasted-marshmellow music. This dance also signalled Ramps’ return after the previous week’s common disaster, also known as ‘Male Celeb Tries (and fails at) The Rumba.’

Louisa and Vincent's Quickstep

For a first dance, this was fantastic. It may not be technically accurate – and of course, she will always be remembered most for THAT jive – but this is so cuute! Wee Vincent sometimes made the choreography very difficult for Louisa and this is no exception – but, bless her little spangly shoes, she coped admirably.

Emma and Darren's Samba

Poor Emma, despite reaching the semi-final of series four, no one can remember any of her dances. At a push, people might remember her grimacing bull face in the (very good, actually) Paso Doble or even her Tango – though it’s more Mr Bennett’s genius selection of song that sticks out with that one. But this Samba is perky, fun and a very tricky routine for Emma to have mastered so early on in the competition. Its lack of kitsch perhaps makes it less memorable than some previous Sambas, but it certainly doesn’t deserve to be forgotten.

Alesha and Matthew's Foxtrot

Alesha-the best-thing-since-Jill-Halfpenny- Dixon will be remembered for an electric cha cha and two beautiful waltzes, but who can forget her stunning Foxtrot which caused Arlene to gush (something she usually only reserves for Ramps’ hips) ‘you glimmer, you glitter and bring warmth to everything you do’ ? The poignancy of Alesha’s utter disbelief at the judges’ positive comments makes the whole thing all the more charming.

Aled and Lilia's Samba

Aled’s Samba in Blackpool Tower Ballroom is remembered fondly by many...if only for those hip-thrusts, which he apparently choreographed himself. No one who’s seen it can resist replicating those movements when ‘It’s Not Unusual’ starts blaring out of the speakers...But hips aside, this is actually a fairly good example of a Samba. Aled isn’t generally remembered as one of the show’s better dancers, which is a darned shame, as, uh, he was.

Letitia and Darren's Paso Doble

You’ve got to remember that Letitia was in the bottom two after her first dance (a notso hotso rumba, if I remember correctly) so to come out, only three weeks later, and dance like she danced in this Paso was a major achievement. This was the highest scoring Paso of the night and quite rightly deserved its very decent score – in fact, it deserved more, Mr Craig Grumpy-Horwood. If there were ever a competition solely for use-of-skirt, this would win hems down.

Zoe and Ian's Freestyle

Possibly forgotten because they had already left the competition when they performed it, Zoe and Ian’s Freestyle is a lovely mixture of dance styles and steps. It’s also possibly overlooked due to Zoe having two iconic, memorable dances (her Samba and Tango) and by the other contestants’ freestyle routines, which are remembered for oh-so-opposite reasons. For this was the year of Puppetgate, oh yes...I still don’t think Erin’s got over that. But I digress, in this Showdance, Ian looks as though he’s having the time of his life. That is until he falls over.

Gethin and Camilla's Jive

Yes, his ballroom was already exquisite and he had treated us to that salsa, but what makes this jive special is that Gethin looks as though he’s having so. much. fun. Camilla’s choreography is fantastic – I particularly love those slides on the accents, and no, I don’t get the urge to copy them whenever I hear ‘Knock on Wood’ ... honest... Peculiar hands aside, if he’d have danced this in the semis, he might have pipped Matt to the final.

Penny and Ian's Quickstep

Another Quickstep first dance to make my list but this was truly, and excuse the Arleneism, DELICIOUS (unless it was just Penny’s dress that made me think of Granny Smith apples...) Sometimes I think it was criminal that Penny left so early, but to be fair, her jive was criminal it all balances out. I really wish we had got to see more ballroom from this couple however. What a pretty-as-peaches- pair they made.

1 comment:

Jaye said...

Hello there!

Love this list - you're so right, these have all been overlooked :)