Carla van der Sluijs, our Theatre Editor, spends a glamorous yet chaotic evening at ‘Strictly Come Dancing,’ hosted by the Ballroom and Latin Dance Society.

Ballroom and Latin Dance Society’s ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ had all the ingredients of a good show. In adherence to the well-known format, new dancers were partnered with experts to perform exciting, intricate routines, followed by feedback and scores from a panel of judges.

All the routines were of a very high quality. Aside from some expected nerves, the beginners looked relaxed and comfortable throughout their performances, which is testament to the warmth and encouragement of the society. The message rang clear that, with drive and enthusiasm, absolutely anyone can dance. An impressive range of acts accompanied the performances to keep the show diverse and stimulating, including Scottish dance group Highland Fusion and acapella band Vocal Bandits. Although some of their comedy fell flat, the comperes of the night provided light-hearted entertainment to introduce the various numbers.

Sadly, ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ suffered from a lack of organisation, which started right from when the show began (late). There were constant mix-ups as to who the next contestant was and although the comperes did their best to cope, they were being thrown in to the deep end. The audience voting system, a key component of the night, felt extremely chaotic. Blank scraps of paper were passed around the auditorium for viewers to write their favourite couple on. However, we were given no reminders of the performers and I ended up simply writing the names I remembered. The judges were another important factor of the show that was addressed disappointingly. Their positioning on the front row of the auditorium left us no view of their faces and although their critiques were interesting, it was a struggle to hear them without microphones.

The amazing quality of the dance and other performance acts rescued the show, but its chaos was difficult to ignore. A sense of haphazardness definitely hung over the evening and this unfortunately detracted from it. Despite this, I still left feeling inspired to put on my dancing shoes and give ballroom a try.

Carla van der Sluijs