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