Blackpool Tango

Well its the early hours of saturday morning,im a little nervous this week. its blackpool,bigger crowd,each couple are dancing out of their skin,pressure is on after 3 10’s last week,tango is a tough dance and Nats has given me a hard fast routine….did you ever doubt she would? The routine is amazing again,she is so good its scary. However,this week has been tough as we have been way down on the training hours board with less than 10 hours. i have been so busy at hollyoaks filmin 7am to 9pm,yes now we are doin late shoots into the night now,great,it was tough before. So unfortunately we are not as prepared as we should be but thats my cue to go in early and train on my own so i know the routine inside and out. I had trouble with the quickstep and this is what i did last week. I went over it again and again until it was locked in. If i could just get that time to work on it,it will be a great night,so there is work to do. Had a little bump in my car this week as the papers have picked up on but just wanna say to all those lovely peeps who worried and sent msgs,im fine,bit stiff but i cant tell if thats the crash or the tough tango routine!! No excuses,we go out there and try to entertain everyone. Im having fun performing it,so hopefully this comes across despite my tango face(no smile)


Sunday-The Aftermath

wow what a weekend!! i would like to start by thanking everyone who is voting for us,we are having so much fun and dont wanna stop dancing. We want to keep entertaining and having fun so thank you for allowing us to do that. I say this because the weekend threw up a crazy result where a fantastic couple who should have been in the final were voted out. Zoe since day 1 has been an amazing friend who i admire greatly. She always had a smile on her face and was a genuinely lovely girl who i am honoured to have got to know and was gonna do great things in this comp before her exit. James too from day 1 has always been there for me with advice and i have used him as a role model on the dance floor. If i felt uncomfortable with any moves or girlie( i have a nak of doin girlie movements,Nat can only go so far to show me the masculine movements so the male pros are there to help,they dont have to but just do,they are such gents) james was always first across to advise me. He plays the bad boy and joker and he is,but he has a side that people dont see,the real pro that is there for everyone. Thanks for everything james,you two will be sorely missed and i cant wait til we dance again at the end of the series. Next can i say well done to Ali for getting through two performances when she was in so much pain,i know how she felt,i was in agony last week and wasnt looking forward to the dance off but if i had to,i waould have gone through the pain barrier as i did the first time,Ali went further and did do it twice. She was obviously in pain and still got through it. Anyone who says this show isnt hard is delusional,and anyone who questions Ali deserving to be here,that performance despite the pain is all people need to think about,well done lovely. She is a lovely girl who is doing really well and im proud i was her friend before this,i want to see her do really well and Brian is doin great things,they are a great partnership!! Onto my amazing partner,well well well,miss Lowe,what can i say? She has outdone herself again,she proved yet again her choreography is second to none, it was such an amazing routine and was an absolute pleasure to perform. Again i sang through the whole song and really enjoyed it from start to finish!! She has proved what a great teacher she is to get me through it,that was a tough routine but she pushed and pushed and said i could do it,i needed her to push me. It was a hard week but she was patient and determined to impress Bruno this week. In ballroom,she always wants to impress Len,he is head judge and loves ballroom,but Bruno wanted no mistakes after last week and it stuck with Nat. Probably more with me that her though,she does the hard work. Her choreography is always a 10,she is and the only thing letting her down each week was me,so i guess i finally feel ive made her proud. She always says she is but after a 39,no 40 due to bandy legs(i broke my leg craig,what can i do,they are shaped that way but i will try my best to impress you,i reeeeeeeeaaaaaaalllllllyyyyyyy want a 10 from him now) i feel i really have proved myself to her. There was still alot more that could have been done to improve the performance and thats something we will improve on each week,but the 10’s have got me brownie points for the weekend. However its back to the studio monday and she doesnt rest on those scores,she is onto tango for blackpool. She could have got 40 and still would have forgot about it by sunday,you cant rest on your last performance,everyone raised their game this week and scores were high,you cant make mistakes now,people are improving and its anyones comp. We have to work hard again and try to pull out another show like saturday. Possibly better as everyones is gettin so good. So two dances,tango and the group swing this week at the blackpool ballroom,two dances,same amount of time,the stakes just went up,lets hope we can all do well again in blackpool. A quick big up to craig who is goin home,well done mate,his best performance so far by a mile,he smashed it,and Nat cassidy too,this girl is unbelievable, i hope we can stay friends beyond this show,she is great in every way and im glad she is doin so well too,Vincent deserves a good partner as he too is a great guy(i youtube all his performances,he is so good at everything ) he too like james always has advice for me,he is a special guy my ‘piccolino’ ha ha! So after 6 hours group rehearsals,i sit on the train north writing this knowing im getting in about 11pm and it all starts again monday morning at 6:30am,why am i putting myself through all this punishment? ……….Because i love it!!!!!!!


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


Showtime

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?


Morning After Paso week

wow,dont think its sunk in yet. Week 2 and we walked away with an 8 and three 9’s after i messed up,came top of the table and had an absolute ball learning a great paso routine!!  I really wasnt expecting those marks or comments from the judges as you can probably see from my reactions. As soon as the routine finished you can see in my face i was dissapointed and kept apologising to Natalie. The dress rehearsal had gone perfect,it was the best i had ever done it so i was confident. Even Natalie said wow that was amazing,she said i had such intensity and power that she nearly fell over three times(that was a good thing apparently!!) .The paso is such an aggressive dance that maybe i was too hyped up and just got ahead of myself and was just a fraction ahead of the music. It was only for a second but it was noticable to me and got in my head,it wasnt as good as the dress run but hey,you guys and the judges didnt see that so maybe i should have just kept quiet. After my little lapse in timing,overall watchin it back,it wasnt as bad as i thought it was and the crowd really seemed to get behind us. At the time you cant see the audience or judges as you are…well i am so focused on Nat and the routine,i dont even see the camera men running round us during the routine,probably a good thing too. But it was good to hear the audience joining in and i had a lot of fun playing Juan the matador!! Once again Nat came up with great choreography,music choice was great and i was really gratefull to the judges for their great comments,just taking it all on board and hopefully make next week even better. We cant go backwards,we need to work even harder and put in massive efforts to progress and improve each week. I didnt think i could maintain that standard after opening week but we did,we went better and why shouldnt we. Ive never danced before so i still have a lot to learn and that ‘journey’ to make,everyone has that learning curve and im enjoying the begining of mine. There’s a long way to go but i have to take it a week at a time and concentrate on that routine,improving my posture,technique,hittin that footwork,adding that flair. Im having a ball,long may it continue,so fingers crossed, after a tough week in the studio,maximum effort in very little time by the way(im only gonna have about 8 hours this week,the shortest amount of time yet to learn a whole new routine,its a toughy as well.) hopefully i can come out fighting again and try get through that next round. This week its Frederico time…il leave you to figure out which dance is next…


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


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