Archive for the “Strictly” Category

Friday Feeling

Well im on the train back down to london. Had a quick telephone interview with the main man from the north Adam Catterall on Rock FM. This show cracks me up every morning and sets me up for my long fridays,those guys are hilarious so thanks for the support. Thanks also to everyone who has been voting and supporting us over the weeks,especially mine and Nats own appreciation thread on the strictly forum,you guys are lovely and im dancing for all you guys too. Its a very humbling experience when people you dont know take to you and support you without wanting anything in return. Its positive energy that i love and try give back in life. It makes the world go round,i reject anythin negative,it just drags you down. Why should i entertain negative people or  energy,life is too short,embrace it enjoy it. If i died tomorrow,i lived today,and i lived it how i wanted surrounded by lovely people,doin things and jobs i love and wouldnt want it any way. Man i love life!!

Quickstep tomorrow and it is goin well,my leg is still giving me trouble and my legs are fatigued but a bit of physio today when i get to strictly should help. Loving the routine,Nat has come up with great choreography again,do you ever doubt? Its fast and fun and has some tough complicated and very intricate steps in there. Aim this week is to do a clean routine,i havnt really had one yet and i owe Nat one,she does all the hard work in the training room and i keep making silly mistakes and letting her down on the big day.She is great about and always congtratulates me after the show it but i need to pull my socks up,but hey that will come with time and experience,like Nat says,im new to dance and have a lot to learn so exciting times.  Last week was a shame,i really nailed the samba in the dress run and that morning and it was just the pain stoppin me from performing it properly. Thats the one dance that im really gutted about as i had so much more and wasnt making mistakes and couldnt stop smiling all the way through but thats the way the cookie crumbles,we move on and try and improve each week cos everyone is doin great. I really look forward to the weekends and the whole strictly experience,its such a laugh,tuffers and craig crackin me up,vincent being his smooth lovely self and james,ian and brendan rippin me to shredds,its great banter and id hate to have to stop now. Thats why we try our best,its a great place to be and you dont wanna leave,if i wanna stay,i have to do Nats proud and pull a clean performance out,heres to the quickstep.

samba night

its sunday evening and ive just got in after a tough week and hectic weekend. wow,it all happened back stage for me and Nat this weekend!! I damaged my leg in the dress rehearsal and Nat damaged her shoulder and nearly broke her toe when a door was opened on it!! We both practically bandaged what bits were hangin off and preyed we got through the 90 seconds. It was tough and it hurt alot,Alesha noticed i wasnt smiling,i tried to smile when i could but at points i thought the pain was gonna be too much and i nearly stopped. But no chance in hell would i let Nat down last night,her parents flew across from australia to watch her for the next few weeks,im gonna make sure that happens. Thats why i work so hard in the dance studios, i used to dance for me as im competitive and just love competitions,i hate to lose . Now i think im starting to realise that others are starting to rely on me. I have had so much support obviously from carley,friends and family,but people on the street just voicing their appreciation of what we are  doing on the dance floor. Its so warming when you realise people are being touched by what we do, a lovely lady said she cried during the viennese as she thought it was beautiful,others said it was like spying on a couple in love. This has always been our aim,to make people believe,inspire them to want to watch us,to want to vote for us. Everyone has voted us through this far so i guess its only right i do my part and dont let them down,so bring on the pain,i wont let excuses get in the way. Big Phil had an opperation and danced that week,we all have problems so lets just get on with it,i didnt use it as an excuse,Tess was really lovely to bring it up. She didnt have to but she wanted everyone to know i wasnt at full strength and bless her for that,she is just a really genuine person so thank you Tess. Met Vernon(legend) and their beautiful daughter too,what a family,stunning.  So most importantly,we are through to the next round. Ive taken today off from training. My leg needed the rest,as does Nat,i had physio instead so fingers crossed all will be ok for training tomorro. Im looking forward to it,quickstep,Nat is great in every dance but im sure a few will remember the pro dance quickstep was her choreography and recieved a standing ovation from all 4 judges so im in for a tough week but it should be great. She always challenges me and wont just settle for an easy routine that we can perfect for next saturday. She isnt happy with a perfect simple routine,she wants to push and push,she loads great routines with tough technical moves,the judges have picked up on it though they didnt clock we were the only ones to attempt the samba rolls(any move with samba in the title should surely be in the routine no matter how hard it is to perform) yet we were the only ones,well done Nat,again we were the only ones to fleckrel in the viennese,not just one way but both after a contra check(look at me and my dance chat!!) So im prepared for a tough week,im gettin an early night for once, and start tomoz after filmin,bring on the quickstep!!! Man it looks fast!!!

perfect 10 but aiming higher

i wish it was and maybe i could have done it better,but this was for me the best performance i have produced yet and im grateful to Alesha for recognising the effort put in to the performance.That was by far my toughest week and we had less time but put in every minute we could to drill the routine in and get it right. It felt great,so good that if you watch the dance back carefully,me and Nat were actually singing all the way through.It was so funny,we were actually singin out loud,we had so much fun. Everything felt right and i didnt have to think about the routine as Nat had drilled it into me so much during a crazy week,we could just enjoy the moment. And we did. I never thought id enjoy ballroom so much but Nat has brought it out in me. She has provoked a new love for this discipline and i had so much fun on saturday. I was amazed by the great comments that were given by the judges and they have made us more determined to come back next week and prove it wasnt a fluke,that we can entertain you guys every week. We are always improving but want to come out every week and want people to be excited by us,i want them to not want to miss our dance or if they do,they have to watch it back and find it on the internet as they enjoy our performances. We want to inspire people,like Natalie has inspired me. I never thought id love dance this much but she has made it so much fun to learn and challenges me each week.Im lovin strictly,but it wouldnt be as fun if i wasnt dancing with Natalie. Im glad she challenges me as i need to be pushed and want to dance the best i can, this can only happen if i work hard. She has reignited a competitive streak in me that i used to have when i played sports. I hated losing and no matter what they say,everyone in this competition wants to win,if they say otherwise,they are lying,or trying to play the audience. At least we are honest. Yeah i dream of winning and yeah we want to win,why wouldnt we, whats the point in playing for 4th place if you can play for 1st. I guess my dad  installed that in me from a young age and im glad he did. He made me always want to be better,to aim higher,to push through barriers,when someone said i couldnt do something,prove them wrong,addidas says it,impossible is nothing. Doctors said 6 years ago i would never play sports again and would be lucky to walk with out a limp,now im back playing football and american football and dancing in the toughest show on tv and lovin every minute of it. If id have settled and believed what the doctors said,i would never have tried. They said one thing but it made me determined to prove them wrong,i wasnt goin to give up,you should never give up in life,in any part of your life. Fight harder and achieve the things you didnt know possible,accomplish things people said couldnt be done. Go out tomorrow and prove someone wrong, aim for the life you want. Im trying, im not there yet myself so who am i to talk but hey…im working on it,im trying to make things happen….be lucky

Vienese waltz

well its friday afternoon and im heading south after the toughest week of the show so far. im shattered. Workin two shows is taking its toll and sleep is but a distant memory. But its ok, im workin hard and even though i feel physically and mentally shattered at the moment,im loving every minute of it. Who knew id love ballroom? its been a while since our last as we have had 3 latin dances in a row,so i was a bit ring rusty. But im back in the groove and enjoying it. The vienese is tough,its the waltz on speed and just involves rotation after rotation after rotation but rapid getting great distance and travelling all round the floor. there are limited moves in this dance but yet again nat has come up with fantastic choreography and challenged me to hit the top of the leader board again. The routine is quick,technical and if done right,looks and feels beautiful and graceful. if im out of time then it all falls apart….scary!!! Often a bit boring due to limited moves,nat has added a lot of light and shade in the form of speed across the floor and i expect it to be quicker than most other performances on the night, she likes to switch it up too so i think this could be a beautiful performance……as long as i make no mistakes….pressures on


well its been my toughest week yet!! This salsa routine,although not as technical as previous dances, is the fastest ive done yet with some crazy arm movement and ive taken a few elbows to the nose for bein out of time!!! If i lose focus for a second or am too physical with certain moves,the whole flow is ruined. If i let the nerves get to me,il be too physical and the moves wont work,i have to be as calm as possible whilst giving it my all as its a fun fast dance where i need maximum energy,controlled energy that is!!! This week is also my toughest because of my work schedule,ive been heavy in storyline for hollyoaks and working 7.30 til 7.30 sometimes 8 some nights so have only been able to get 2 hours training on some nights. we had less than 2 hours on monday to learn the routine as due to my schedule i wouldnt have enough time tues to learn and clean it for the directors cut on wednesday so had to work into the night finishin choreography at 1am!!! Nobody can say i dont want this or lack commitment!!! Im working like crazy to make sure i can give 100% to both shows and just hope it shows tonight. So back to the stage,its all hotting up and everyone again has raised their game looking at rehearsals. They all look great and im just hoping we can stick to our game plan and nail our routine. We cant change anyone elses path,we have to concentrate on our own and hope its enough,but i have confidence in both the routine and Nat,maybe i just need a little bit more in myself and we could really make things happen in this show. We will see,lets keep that focus Rico,enjoy tonight and hope you guys enjoy it too,i would like to think that this as its a happy dance and although its isnt as technical or beautiful as the waltz or rhumba,will be our most fun and entertaining yet. I loved the paso as i could play a definite character and had fun performing it but it was an aggressive dance, tonight if all goes well, should be fun fun fun…..

So Its Salsa Time

wow,i thought the paso was fast, this is rapid!!! Theres a part that i spin Nat about 15 times in a row,how she stands up after it deserves a ten in itself,i do two spins and the world pulls the rug from under me. But yet again i think its gonna be a good one. Its fast,technical  but more importantly for us,its fun fun fun!!!! we have had three serious dances and now its time to let what little hair i have down and go for broke. we wanna raise the roof this week and think we have come up with a fantastic routine to do so. again i need to watch for nerves and stay focused on the dance as its so fast,if i lose concentration for a second,it could all fall apart,its so intricate. Again Nat has come up with a great routine,this week we had sessions with richard marcel who has helped a few couples this week,this man can move,he performed the group salsa last week. So if everythin goes well,we could hopefully maintain our great start to the series and raise that bar again. Everyone else is,why cant we?

Calm Before the Storm

Well im back in my hotel in west london,its the night before paso week!!! Ive got the paso doble sat night and the pressure is on to pull out another performance. Last week went so well that theres that expectation each time we step out now,a good thing that people are excited by us,or an added pressure and higher perch to fall from? Guess we will find out sat night. Again the nerves havnt arrived but im not fooled this time,there were none last week til they called my name for us to take to the stage. Friday was the worst,sat was alot better and i wasnt as nervous. Im hoping it gets easier everytime you go out there,somethin you can get used to. Using the adrenaline and excitement to produce a better performance, instead of letting the occasion take you to an insecure place. That negative energy brings mistakes and with this week bein a fast routine,our paso is alot quicker than everyone elses,could mean more mistakes or losing track,i cant afford to fall behind as it will be near impossible to catch it up neatly and will be found out massively. But hey thats the challenge and one im looking forward to. Again Nat has come up with a fantastic routine,great choreography,shes under pressure too,the judges singled her out for it in not only our dances but the pro group quickstep,so hopefully we can both deliver on the night and entertain everyone as well as keepin the judges happy with a technical,quick tight routine…..bring on showtime,we shouldnt be here if we cant enjoy it and im havin a great time, fingers crossed and keep votin x

Dance Training Advantage my A***!!

Hillarious how 5 thirty minute sessions over 4 months became intensive training for one of the if not the toughest show on tv!!! It has been in a lot of press that i had an advantage because of lessons with Dale,(darren Bennetts twin brother) not sure that 5 lessons with your missus 2years before you knew you would be on strictly counts peeps!! ha ha. Ive had french lessons,still cant speak it tho!! My dad thinks its all down to him and his genes,but to be fair its true,you either have rythmn or you dont.2 years ago, as a present i bought Carley salsa lessons in Sheffield, but as we live the other side of the country near Liverpool,we couldnt justify the 3 hour round trip so had to jack it in after 5 lessons which spanned over 4 months as mine and Carleys filmin schedules never gave us days off together,so there you have it,rant over,another dopey rumour quashed!!! But hey even if i had continued, you will be hard pressed to find an actor who hasnt had dance training, not to mention pop stars in previous years like Rachel Stevens last year,everyone has experience in dance,you either have rythmn or you dont,whether its in a club or dance school,nothing can compare or prepare you for strictly come dancing. This is the toughest thing ive done,we are all in the same boat and no matter your experience all have to learn new routines,techniques and moves. This show is about who will want it the most,who will put in the most effort and determination to better themselves. At the end of the day,after my name it says actor not dancer,but i am tryin to change that hee hee

Make Natalie Lowe Strictlys Fave

We have only seen her for 2 weeks,yet she is the talk of the judges,the fans and i cant speak of her highly enough!!! Everyone has their favourite pro dancer and groups are set up in honour,Natalie is new,few knew of her reputation in Oz,but she is already making waves and i want her to be recognised for her monstrous efforts so far in the series. My aim,apart from obviously trying to win or stay in this competition for as long as possible is to make sure Natalie leaves this series as the new favourite pro dancer,a title she will rightly deserve and without doubt earn over the coming months!!! She is the greatest teacher,so patient and clever and has worked miracles with me! Her performances are always above and beyond,and demands attention,her choreography is imaginative,complex and beautiful( apart from our dances she choreographed the pro quick step which got a standing ovation by all four judges!!!) and she is a lovely person,so chilled ,funny and loved by all at the bbc or come to think of it,by anyone who meets her. So i want everyone behind her,not just me,im hoping we can make a great team and if i listen to everythin she says and asks of me,we will entertain til the end. For those unlucky enough not to have met her yet, shes one of the good ones….

Through to next Round!!!

I am so happy with this weekend. I made a few mistakes but most importantly,we are through to the next round and i am really looking forward to learning a new routine though only have about 12 hours to learn it is gonna be tough. Im still filmin hollyoaks during the day so its gonna have to be late nighters to try and nail what will no doubt be tough choreography from Nat.Again can i just say how amazing she has done this month to get me where i am. She was so patient,willing and i think she has more than proved herself to be a force to be reckoned with amongst the pros. I was so nervous in front of the judges after the waltz i looked pale and Nat had to squeeze my hand to stop them from shaking!! Same again saturday night,im not too bad during a performance,its just before behind the curtain and then facing the judges that my heart starts pounding!! I know we got great scores and a new strictly record(first ever 9 in round 1–big congrats to Natalie for that), but i just want to say thankyou to Carley,family and friends and a massive thankyou to anyone who voted for us and to please keep doin so as we are having so much fun and want to learn as many dances as possible,and hopefully surprise you with more routines now Nat has the bug!! Thanks again and i hope you enjoy the next round,weeks 3 yay!!!

« Previous PageNext Page »