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Aliona Vilani

February 2016 issue

We celebrate a world of dance this month, from ballroom in Shanghai to New York City Ballet choreographer Justin Peck and former Strictly professional Robin Windsor. Our cover stars are Cira Robinson and Mthuthuzeli November of Ballet Black. Ready to move on Nicola Rayner meets former Strictly Come Dancing professional Robin Windsor to talk about […]

Strictly Speaking week 11

What’s worse than a limp theme show? A limp theme show at a crucial stage of the competition. We might arguably have had the same quarter-final elimination without it – paso was always going to expose Princess Helen’s lack of versatility – but at least it would have resulted from a fair test of ballroom […]

December 2015 issue

As Christmas approaches, Dancing Times gets ready for The Nutcracker and for the final rounds of the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing ­– which appears on our cover for the first time, with cover stars Jay McGuiness and Aliona Vilani. We also meet promising young dancers – ballroom and Latin couple Glenn Richard Boyce and Alexandra […]

Strictly Speaking – week 8

We need to talk about music. Strictly precariously straddles the worlds of ballroom and entertainment, so it can’t – and shouldn’t – be wall-to-wall Victor Silvester, but we’ve reached a crisis point. Song and theme choices (as I understand it, some suggested by pros, but producers hold sway) are now actively handicapping couples, who can […]

Strictly Speaking week 7

Phew! A return to form following last week’s Halloween hellscape, with some great performances, the series’ first multiple 10s, and Jeremy Vine riding a horse. All that, AND copious amounts of genuinely informative training footage? You’re spoiling us, Mr Ambassador. As we’re now at the halfway stage, it was no surprise to see genial duffer […]

Strictly Speaking week 5

Let me start this Strictly recap by stating that whatever pain meds Len “8s for everyone!” Goodman is on, I want some. Perhaps they would have enlivened a rather dreary mid-series outing, in which everyone seemed to be pacing themselves for the Halloween insanity to come. It wasn’t until the final three dances (otherwise known as […]

Strictly Speaking week 4

It’s almost worth having bonkers Strictly theme shows just to make us really appreciate the relative sanity of a non-theme show. Well, almost. We’re into “I keep whacking myself with a hammer because it feels so good when I stop” territory, and there was still some bludgeoning to endure this weekend. For one, ludicrous music choices […]

Strictly Children in Need special UPDATE

For BBC Children in Need, young ballroom champions will take to the Strictly dancefloor, while original host Bruce Forsyth returns for this special episode.

Strictly speaking

Week 5 This year’s Strictly is becoming renowned for “shock” dance-offs, even though there’s nothing truly shocking about two mediocre lower-leaderboard pairs landing in the bottom. Perhaps more noteworthy is how it’s resisting the producers’ attempts at forced narratives: the hunky sportsman failed to set pulses racing, ditto the supposedly irresistible boy band member, while Judy […]

Strictly speaking

Week 2 It’s just the second week of Strictly, and the judges have already taken leave of their senses. It’s going to be a long series. The second performance show – the one which leads to an elimination, and in which, therefore, the scoring is a matter of LIFE AND DEATH (or at least marginal […]

Strictly speaking

Week 1  Strictly is back, and it has a bold new strategy for fending off the competition: absorb it all, like some kind of light-entertainment power-ingesting cannibal. Hence the patronising Gogglebox people-watching-people-watching-telly opening and X Factor belief that logic and coherence only impede your judging panel.

Strictly speaking

It’s been a turbulent summer. Warring nations. Deadly disease. Ferocious independence debates. And, of course, a luxuriously bearded baking hipster getting a bit cross with someone from the WI. But fear not, morose nation! Strictly is back, and we can all now join together in admiration of the human body’s ability to turn, leap, shimmy […]

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