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Former Latin American World & European champion. Open British, UK & International Latin American Champion. Professional dancer on Strictly Come Dancing with Diarmuid Gavin, Nicholas Owen & John Barnes.

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Friday, 30 September 2011

Training Videos - Finally Russell & Audley

Whew, I didn't think we'd get to see these two in training but thankfully the BBC gave us all the couples in the final hours yesterday.  And here are my final thoughts!

Audley Harrison And Natalie Lowe

Shrek he definitely is not but a sweet nickname for him.  I have a feeling Audley may surprise us all and look and dance like a Prince on the floor.  He looks like he has a very fluid and easy style of moving and like Rory, seems to already understand rise & fall.  Natalie is absolutely right, due to Audley's amazing height, he can afford depth of movement and his rise & fall can be exaggerated more than if someone doesn't have his height. This will enable them to increase their movement across floor and will have a wonderful lilting feeling about it. As I mentioned in an earlier blog (I think when talking about Robbie) sportsmen tend to learn visually and Audley confirmed this so, the quickest way for Natalie to teach him is to literally just show him by dancing herself what he has to do and look like.  Audley's personality seems very sincere and I can see the audience  warming to him.  For a very tall person, he has good posture and doesn't look down too much. He also has a great frame but must be careful not to drop his elbows which could then pull his posture down but at least he doesn't seem to have the problem of raised shoulders.  I am looking forward to seeing some great movement and style on the floor from Natalie & Audley.

I do feel for the male celebs that have to dance Waltz in the first week as this is not the easiest beginner dance to learn & they have to try to lead their partner around the floor whereas the female celebs can be lead (possibly dragged) around the floor which makes them automatically look better. Perhaps a Tango would be better in the 1st week? I'm not too sure what the solution is though.

Russell Grant & Flavia Cacace

'That's Entertainment' should be Russell's moto! Whatever he lacks technically, he will undoubtedly make up for in performance.  That should take them a long way and I for one cannot wait to see what they bring to the competition as they will certainly up the stakes in a theatrical sense!
Saying that though, technically his cha cha doesn't look too bad at all. He has a nice little hip action going on and some basic positions like New York look very nice and neat and even in training he looks like he is having a ball.  He isn't afraid of using his arms which for some men can be a struggle but his arms, hands and fingers look precise & finished.

I have heard some rumours about a injury but I always ignore those rumours as sometimes they are rather embellished for sensationalism, unless proven otherwise.  Everyone has injuries of some sort in the beginning as they are doing something their bodies aren't used to doing and the hours are long and gruelling BUT as any champion will tell you -  'No pain, No gain' or my favourite 'Blood, sweat & tears makes a dancer through the years' (or series in this case).

I think Russell & Flavia will be very entertaining & hopefully they will also prove to everyone that you can be a performer, entertainer and learn to dance at the same time & not only rely on one aspect to get the votes!

So, there we have it.  All 14 couples getting ready for tonight's show.  Oh, I know how they feel & for some, I wouldn't want to be in their shoes.  The nerves, the excitement, the tension & the unknown can almost be too much! They may even want to run away or suddenly feel like they can't do this and definitely can't remember anything.  But this much I know, once they get on the floor, dance and do their best whether they make mistakes or not, they will come off the floor feeling the greatest buzz ever and will want to do it all over again!  The dance bug would have well & truly sunk it's teeth into them! So, I wish them all the very best of luck, they will need it and hope that they all enjoy the competition, the entertainment and the spectacle that is Strictly Come Dancing!

We all look forward to watching you! Break a leg x

Strictly Come Dancing - A Professional's Opinion!

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