Strictly Come Dancing Live Tour

16 February 2009

Last weekend we went up to the O2 arena for the Strictly Come Dancing Tour and we had a fantastic day. Getting up there went really smoothly - the roads were clear and the views of the snow on the surrounding countryside was amazing. We got up there at about 11 o’clock and thought that we’d beat the rush and head straight to Nando’s for lunch - annoyingly they didn’t open till 12 so we headed back to Starbucks for coffee and a snack to give us energy for the hour before we could eat! We then explored the ‘Entertainment Avenue’ and headed back to Nando’s for lunch. We got in there first and were glad of that as we saw how big the queue was once we’d got our food.

After lunch we were originally thinking of going round the outside of the O2 to see the Thames and the other side of the building, but then we noticed that the O2 lounge was open and went to find out what it was. They let us in and we could then relax on comfortable chairs and sip cocktails until it was time to go into the arena.

As we’d been in the O2 lounge, When we headed into the arena we could just get the lift straight up from there instead of having to queue to get in at the main entrance.

The show itself was brilliant and the atmosphere was fantastic. It was great to see the dances that we’d seen on the television series live and there was a good balance of the familiar dances and new ones, with the different pairings that they had for the tour. I was also impressed with how they’d mapped the tv series into a live show so smoothly. There were 2 halves to the show with a 20 minute interval in between - the first half each couple did a ballroom dance, and the second half they each did a Latin dance. All the judges were there as well providing their comments and their scoring (although the winners were chosen just on the audience vote).

At the end of the first half, the lines opened to vote by text message for your favourite couple and at that point, I was undecided between Jodie and Ian’s Foxtrot and Rachel and Vincent’s Tango so I decided to wait until the second half to vote. In the interval we were able to go back down to the O2 Lounge, which was brilliant as it meant there was no waiting in queues, although it took us a while to get down there. In the second half, my favourite dance in the competition was Jill and Darrens’ Jive - which was so much better live than on television and they pulled in their 40 points again from the judges.

After the competition, there was a group dance with everybody in starting off with giant feathery wings which looked amazing and they really filled the massive dance floor between them. Following that Kristina and Matthew did a fantastic show dance - it was amazing how fast they move and how well they went together.

I live in the south of England with my wife and daughters. I work at IBM running the API Connect cloud services as part of a worldwide team. I enjoy walking, photography and spending time with my family.