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"My 2011 Adventures... Part 1"

My 2011 Adventures... Part 1

05
Feb
2011

Hi everyone!

I have been a little busy the last few months, sorry for not blogging sooner!

I wanted you to know I have been thinking of you all, and that I try my best to keep you updated through my 'tweets'. If you aren't already following me please follow me either through the website or Twitter so I can keep you in step with where I am, what I am up to, and what's new!

Strictly Speaking

As Strictly series 8 is now over I'll keep the round-up brief.  I thought this year was one of the best ever, particularly with changes to the format, a great new set and also allowing us the professionals to be slightly more 'adventurous' with the routines - I thought it was great! And just to remind you, I've added a couple of pictures below.

Erin Boag and Anton du Beke dancing to Moon River on Strictly's Movie Night Erin Boag and Anton du Beke - Ghostbusters Erin Boag and Anton du Beke as a Couple of Swells

Even though I was eliminated early (week 4) I had a wonderful time with Peter Shilton and was so pleased to have the opportunity to dance with a true football legend. Thank you Peter!

Christmas Special

I also had the great pleasure of performing on last year's Christmas special with Vince Cable the Business Secretary and Twickenham MP. I had heard about his love of dancing as it has been well publicised: he's been social dancing for many years and he told me that it gives him a great release from his busy lifestyle, and that he thoroughly enjoys it. When a man takes hold of you, you want to feel relaxed and don't want to worry that he'll step on your feet: I needn't have worried on that score with Vince, I was confident in his arms from the start.

I told him, "I do want you to have fun, but I also want you to go out there and be competitive!"

The most important thing for me was that I wanted him to be really proud of his performance. I only had seven, one-hour training sessions to teach Vince the Foxtrot, before taking to the dance floor to impress the judges. Although he was a little nervous at first he quickly found his feet and it was great fun from start to finish... and we finished runners-up in the celebrity 2010 Christmas Special!

Erin Boag and Vince Cable Erin Boag and Vince Cable

On the Road with 'Puttin' On The Ritz'

I am now on the road again and living out of a suitcase – well – not just one suitcase, we actually have to take two cars to carry all of our outfits! Anton and I are currently taking our new show across the UK and Ireland, and so far we've performed in theatres in Northampton, London, Leicester, Liverpool, Sheffield and Stoke on Trent. While you are reading this we will probably be in Belfast or Dublin and approaching the end of the third week of our 8-week tour.

The show is very hard work, and physically and mentally tiring but we both love it. We are joined on stage by four talented dancers, and this year our fabulous singer is Lance Ellington from the Strictly Come Dancing band. Our very large live orchestra plays a range of music by such greats as Leonard Bernstein and Cole Porter - it’s a fast show and we have some breathtaking numbers.

As a special treat this year I have added a little song and dance routine to the ensemble… yes you read it correctly, I am singing! Who would've thought it! It’s not as daunting as one would expect, actually I really enjoy it.

Puttin' on the Ritz

Click the image above to download the full list of tour dates and venues for 'Puttin’ on the Ritz, and if you haven’t already got tickets you can book them at Raymond Gubbay's website.

Monday Dance Classes

I have resumed my dance classes at Kingston Dance Studio every Monday between 7.30 and 10pm. If you've got the dancing bug, or just want to give it a go, come down and join in. We have beginners and intermediate lessons so all abilities are welcome – and everyone is very friendly. Beginners start at 7.30 and improvers at 8.45, no need to bring a partner, just come along and have fun.

Ok, I promise I won't leave it so long next time before updating my blog, but in the mean time don’t forget to follow me on twitter. For now I will leave you with one of my very favourite moments from Strictly 2010.


Lots of love,

Erin X
P.S. Please feel free to add your comments, as I often come on and read them all!

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"From Red Carpet to the Week 1 Waltz"

From Red Carpet to the Week 1 Waltz

07
Oct
2010

A Big Catch Up...

First of all I would like to say how sorry I am for not posting a blog for so long; as you can imagine things have been a little hectic over the last few weeks!

So I will start from the beginning...

The launch show went out with a big bang, there was the red carpet, a big new shiny set, lots of professional show numbers and of course the dazzling costumes. I myself had 3 costume changes for the one show!

Erin and Anton on the red carpet at the Launch show

You have to believe me when I say this; we did not know who our new partner would be until the announcement that you all saw on the launch show. I have read many comments that you though we must have known, due to the last dance where we ended up next to our partners at the end. What you didn’t know is that the professionals practised that dance with SEVEN different endings - one for each celebrity!

During the launch show it was announced that I was dancing with the Goalkeeping legend Peter Shilton, which I must say, at the time, was a big surprise to me because I didn't think they'd give me my sixth sportsman and second Goalkeeper out of eight series!

Don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining at all, as sportsmen know how to train really hard and are very competitive.

Straight after the launch I found out I was dancing the Waltz in the first week and had two and a half weeks to try and get him up to scratch.  Peter lives in Coventry, so hence I spend a lot of time trekking up and down the Motorways. The first few days were tough but Peter soon got to grips with what he had to do which was - basic technique, good frame and dancing to the music... no easy task for a complete beginner.

Erin Boag and Peter Shilton

As the days counted down Peter was getting better and better, he was feeling confident and so was I... until the day before the big show when we went for a short rehearsal on the Strictly set at the BBC studios.  What happened next I hadn’t experienced since series 2 with Julian Clary - Peter’s nerves kicked in with the reality of what was about to happen and all the steps disappeared from his mind!!  I tried to reassure Peter that this sometimes happens and not to be too hard on himself - it would all come right on the night. Well, that’s what I thought. I have to say I didn’t sleep well that night with the worry of what might happen in 24 hours live in front of 10 million people if Peter did in fact forget ALL his steps!!

The morning of the live show finally arrived, make-up and hair started at 9 o’clock and that was just Peter... just kidding, yes we do get there early, it can take a while to make us girls look pretty. After make-up and hair, we have band call, which is when we hear our music played by the live band for the very first time. Straight after it’s into costume, a quick powder and straight into the dress run. This is when we practise running the show as live to make sure hopefully everything runs smoothly before the actual live show!  If we have any spare time, we have a quick snack, then more make-up, more hair spray and then move onto the stairs behind the set - ready for the walk down as the show goes live.

We hear the title music start, the audience are roaring and Bruce and Tess go on; I straighten Peter’s tie, hold his hand, give him a smile before walking down the stairs for the very first time live. I am feeling very excited as the new series begins. 

Peter and I wait patiently for our turn to dance (we were second). Thankfully we don’t have to wait too long because the longer we wait, the more nervous Peter would become!  As the VT shows for our rehearsals, Peter and I walk down to take our place on the floor; our names are announced and the crowd are so loud that I am worried that we won’t be able to hear the start of our music!!

Throughout our dance I could feel Peter’s nerves - in fact I'm sure I could hear his heart beating, it was beating so hard. But he manages to get through and I am very proud of him for finishing his routine to a respectable standard for the first week.

The judges were very gentle and fair with their comments and awarded Peter 21 points but were very aware that he was nervous throughout his dance.

Erin Boag and Peter Shilton in their Waltz

Peter felt relieved to have finished the Waltz, but before he could relax it was straight into training on the Sunday morning at 10 o’clock to start work on the Salsa. We had to loosen those hips and make him feel confident and create a party atmosphere on the dance floor. Peter has been working really hard over the last few days getting his Salsa ready, losing his inhibitions, wriggling those hips and feeling a lot more confident. I am really hoping that this Saturday he feels a lot more relaxed, now he knows what to expect, and hopefully he can now enjoy the experience a lot more.

We look forward to performing our Salsa for you - fingers crossed - without any hitches on Saturday night. 

Inbetween all the rehearsals and driving up and down the motorway I managed to fit in a photo-shoot where you will probably see more of me than ever before!!! Watch this space for more updates...

Lots of love,

Erin
P.S. Don’t forget to vote, we need it! 

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