It’s that magical time of year again when dance fever takes the nation into hold!… Strictly Come Dancing is back – and for its fifteenth series, no less! Seeing how it’s grown from one year to the next, this new series is surely set to be the very best yet… So cue music, take your partners, and Let’s Dance!
As is customary at the start of each series of Strictly, I can’t help wondering if perhaps this year will be my lucky year. Will I finally get to hold that ever-elusive Glitterball aloft at the Grand Final? I’d like to say I’ve worked out a strategy after 14 series… but performing live under professional scrutiny with non-dancer partners always has its moments and things may not always go quite to plan! One must strive for excellence… and improvise where necessary!
— BBC Strictly✨ (@bbcstrictly) August 2, 2017
Rehearsals for us Professional Dancers began early August – lots of familiar faces from our extended Strictly Family back together again as we started learning our Pro routines – as well as our new dancers too: Dianne, Nadiya and Amy – they’ll certainly put three of our celebrities through their paces, of that I’m sure! Very talented dancers indeed, so let’s give them a very warm welcome!
Soon enough, we met with this series’ celebrity line-up at our first secret rehearsal – and what a multi-talented all-star cast emerged from behind the red curtain! The Saturdays’ Mollie King, Eastenders’ Davood Ghadani, ‘Loose Woman’ (dare I say!) Ruth Langsford, actress Gemma Atkinson, the most Reverend Richard Coles, Holby City’s Joe McFadden, celebrity chef Simon Rimmer, singer Aston Merrygold of JLS fame, the hilarious Susan Calman, all-rounder Brian Conley, GMB presenter Charlotte Hawkins, Chizzy Akudolu of Holby City fame, the wonderful Debbie McGee, paralympic champion sprinter Jonnie Peacock, and last but by no means least, the inimitable Alexandra Burke. What an incredible line-up, and each and every one of them fizzing with excitement as we all learned the steps for the first Group Dance!
— BBC Strictly✨ (@bbcstrictly) August 21, 2017
There’s yet another new face to the Strictly family this season with our brand new head judge, the very lovely ‘Queen of Latin’ Shirley Ballas. Whilst it won’t be the same without longstanding Len Goodman, head judge from the very start (though you can still see him on BBC1’s new gameshow ‘Partners In Rhyme‘ – and yours truly takes part in the first episode!)… I’m thrilled that our new Head Judge has as sharp an eye for the details, and is equally a stickler for the rules.
— BBC Strictly✨ (@bbcstrictly) September 5, 2017
To my great delight, as I’m sure you could tell during the Launch Show, my partner this time is none other than the aforementioned ‘Loose Woman’ and ray of sunshine on ‘This Morning’, it’s Ruth Langsford!
I must say, we’re a perfect match – in both height and humour – and eight days into training I’m already seeing glimmers of a dancer in the making, too. Ruth will be one to watch, mark my words!
— BBC Strictly✨ (@bbcstrictly) September 9, 2017
…In fact, I’ve gone so far as to say she’s an A A A Star pupil!
— BBC Strictly✨ (@bbcstrictly) September 16, 2017
Our dancefloor debut this coming Saturday night is the Waltz, to the beautiful Rodgers & Hammerstein classic from South Pacific: ‘This Nearly Was Mine’. Do you think there’s a subliminal reference to the Glitterball in there? Meanwhile, we’ve posture to perfect, framing to refine, let alone steps to learn!
Don’t forget to keep tabs on the Strictly page over at AntonAndErin.com – our dance card is ready for action and each week I’ll update it with dances and scores to see how we’re faring. You can look back through all past 14 series of Strictly there too – quite a trip down memory lane!
For our day-by-day progress, you can follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and Ruth on Twitter too so you can track our every move! Your support and message of encouragement really do mean a lot, and I never forget that it’s your votes each year that help keep me and my partner in the competition week on week.
Well my loves, back to training! I’m so looking forward to stepping out for the first time with Ruth this coming Saturday night. BBC1, 6:25pm – see you on the dance floor!
Much love, as always,