Ever since Ella was a toddler, she has loved Strictly Come Dancing. Even at the age of 2 or 3 she would get so excited on a Saturday night and she would rush up to her room to get a “fancy dress” to wear whilst watching the show. She would dance around on the rug (her dancefloor) and get me and her daddy to waltz around with her.
In the early days she would only make a few dances before her eyelids would get heavy but then we would watch it on catch up the next day, usually very early.
As she has gotten older, she has better staying power and the thrill of Strictly has never waned. She quickly chooses her favourite star and still likes to dress up. Nowadays, she even goes as far as getting a ballroom and a Latin outfit and can flit between the two depending on the dance.
We very rarely miss an episode as even if we are out on a Saturday the first thing we do on Sunday morning is watch it back on the I-Player.
This year, early in the season she asked if we could get tickets to see the show and was crushed when she found out you had to be 18. So, when the Strictly Live Tour adverts started popping up on the television, she quickly put tickets for that right at the top of her Christmas Wish List.
Mr TWB secured the tickets for us at Manchester Arena and then we just had to wait to see the joy on her face on Christmas morning. That, in itself, was magical.
In January the countdown started, literally every morning it would be 20 more days, 19 more days, 18 more day until we were there. I thought Ella was going to combust with excitement. She had been preparing her outfit all month. Finally opting for her sparkly shorts and top.
Now that is the back story of why – now for the main event.
We arrived with about 5 minutes to spare and took our seats which were pretty good. The music was playing the dancefloor ready and the excitement palpable. Then the countdown began. I was torn between watching the show and seeing Ella’s face as she had the biggest grin and was about to burst.
Then the music started and then the dancers began. Ore Odube who won the show in 2016 was the host and he was joined by some of the stars from this years show – Stacey Dooley, Joe Sugg, Ashley Roberts, Graeme Swann, Lauren Steadman, Faye Tozer and Dr Raj Sing along with the Strictly professionals and the judges – this year all them present including Shirley Ballas.
We were treated to some of the highlights of this years show, from Ashley’s amazing Jive set in a Fish and Chip Shop to Stacey’s Paso Doble and everything in between. In addition, the rest of the Strictly professionals thrilled the crowd with their dance skills and we were also treated to Darcy and Shirley taking to the dancefloor.
The judges put a little routine on for the crowd to join in and I am pleased to tell you we are still doing this at home now.
During the show Ore advised how the crowd could get involved and we were encouraged to vote for our favourite. Even hubby got involved. He and Ella both thought Ashley was robbed in the series so were both championing her. I was a Stacey fan and that didn’t change during the show. Although we all got it wrong and it was Joe and Diane that lifted the Glitterball.
There is something magical about Strictly and it definitely brings out the best in people. Even the security staff seemed to have been sprinkled with glitter. We had bought Ella a T-shirt and a scoring paddle, and she was so keen to go close to the dancefloor. Usually you would be ushered back to your seat, but they guided us down and let us take some pictures. Wherever, you turned – mums, dads, children, couples, friends, grandparent – everyone had a big cheesy grin on their face.
We were all pretty croaky through all the cheering and shouting and thoroughly entertained.
It was a cold, wet, miserable night in Manchester but Strictly Live Tour made all of that invisible as we were all in the bubble of joy.
We all absolutely loved the show, would definitely recommend this to anyone and it is an absolutely must for any Strictly fan. Will we return – absolutely after all we all must …