Ballroom & Latin

Strictly review: Week 4

Each week our Ballroom and Latin American dance tutors will dissect the highs and lows of the weekend's Strictly Come Dancing episode. This week tutor Nick Breakspear casts his critical eye of proceedings. 

The fourth week of Strictly saw Judge Rinder present his Viennese waltz. This style is popular with viewers; it's very accessible and the music is often good.  The range of music available in upbeat 3/4 or 6/8 time means that a style that might otherwise be limited by its small number of syllabus figures is liberated by theme, costume, and make-up.

Dance examiners report the Viennese to be the style they see danced least well. This is partly because examination board strategy contributes to pupils being introduced to the style too late in their dancing careers, however the Viennese does itself present a relatively high level of challenge to teacher and pupil. The style is characterised by speed and rotation. Small inaccuracies in technique can have a large negative effect and make a dance that is already highly dependent on stamina inefficient and effortful, nevertheless it's one of the most exciting styles to dance particularly socially and pays large dividends, therefore.

Judge Rinder is a giving, charismatic performer. His Viennese was a charming story of bucolic romance inspired by and perfectly complimenting the innocence and oompah of Lulu's 1969 Eurovision joint-winner. Morley dancers will have recognised his natural turns, reverse turns, and change steps as Mr Rinder showed all the basic and some advanced figures (check to natural fleckel) together with some characterisation work. He recovered quickly from a fluff, which showed how well he knew the routine. His foot-closure was not precise but it was impossible to determine whether this was inadvertent inexactitude or brilliant characterisation! As the judges said obiter the length of Mr Rinder's stay on Strictly will depend in part on his team finding the balance between technique and performance. Both are indispensable - as in music the former without the latter is dull and the latter without the former is limited. Strictly would be loath to lose Mr Rinder and I expect to hear the judges in future not talking him up, as was the case this week with Ore Oduba's jive, but telling the viewers about Mr Rinder's underlying dance ability. The show won't want him to go Boom Bang-a-Bang too soon!

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