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Strictly Dances Week 5

October 14, 2009

It’s Wednesday, which is fantastic news for me, as it means MidWeek Training Updates on It Takes Two, and we can confirm who’s dancing what! The choice this week is the Jive or the Viennese Waltz, two very different dances.

The Jive

The Jive is high energy, crisp kicks and flicks, and timing is incredibly important, as the side-by-side nature of many steps means that if the celeb is slightly ahead or behind the professional, it stands out a mile. There have been some fabulous Jives in previous series, and also some truly terrible ones. It’s ususually desribed as the hardest dance for tall couples. Many people would pick Jill and Darren’s series two winner as favourite, but mine is Louisa Lytton and Vincent Simone in series four:

This is from the tour, as most of the TV clips have been removed, but you can see at 0.15 where they are dancing side by side, how easily a small timing mistake would destroy the whole look of the dance. It’s far harder to hide errors and weaknesses in this dance than in many others. This one, from Jan Ravens and Anton DuBeke in series four shows, from 2.00, just how cruel it can be in highlighting any flaws:

So far, it is confirmed that Joe and Kristina, Chris and Ola, Laila and Anton and Craig and Flavia will dance the Jive this week. The others will most likely be Zoe and James and Ricky and Erin. It’s unlucky for Joe that he has got this dance, as I can’t see that he has the rhythm or musicality to make this work. Laila and Anton may also struggle, as fast latin dances are not usually his strongest suit, but hopefully a fun dance will work in Craig and Flavia’s favour and allow him to relax a little.

The Viennese Waltz

Traditionally this is a faster dance than the Waltz, and consists mostly of natural (to the right) and reverse (to the left) turns, and does not have as much rise and fall as the Waltz. It does not generally score as highly as the Waltz, and it’s proved to be difficult for many celebrities to master, as they struggle with the spinning motion. My favourite example is Alesha and Matthew’s from series 6, which is not the highest scoring example, but I prefer it:

As the dance is performed in close hold, it is slightly easier than with the Jive to disguise faults, but the footwork is important, as is the posture, particularly for the men,as shown in series 6 by Andrew Castle and Ola Jordan, who scored 24 for this (although it was their best dance):

This week, we know that Natalie and Vincent, Ricky and Natalie, Jo and Brendan and Phil and Katya are dancing the Viennese Waltz, plus probably Ali and Brian and Jade and Ian. Jo and Brendan in particular have been lucky with this, as she does not currently appear to have the timing or core strength required to pull off a credible Jive. Phil is apparently struggling with this dance, but it should suit Ali and Ricky, who have both shown that they are capable of the graceful lines required.

UPDATED – Ali and Brian are jiving this week, according to their interview on It Takes Two.

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