Strictly 2020 Week Two: The Paso Doble performances

Week 2 of Strictly Come Dancing 2020 saw two Paso Dobles. What a treat!

JJ Chalmers and Amy Dowden Paso Doble to Believer by Imagine Dragons

Craig commended JJ for achieving the characteristic body shaping of the Paso Doble, which truly is a great feat for week two. I also enjoyed JJ’s level of focus and commitment. The Paso Doble is not a light-hearted dance. It only works if you take it incredibly seriously and he did. His musicality and staccato movement were good and I felt that he paid meticulous attention to getting his steps right.

What I would like to see more of as he keeps learning, is for him to infuse his movement with more breath. What do I mean by that? It’s one of those intangible things that you feel when it’s there, but it’s hard to describe in words. I would like to feel as if he inhabits more space than his immediate physical body actually does. I want his movement to extend and radiate beyond the physical border of his body. I know this may sound very airy-fairy, but when it happens, we’ll all enjoy it 🙂

Caroline Quentin and Johannes Radebe Paso Doble to El Gato Montes by Ramon Cortez

I think Caroline got everything right and that she makes it look easy. It’s very enjoyable to watch her dance. Those are very important points and very impressive for week two. However, I wanted so much more from her. As an actress – I’ve seen her in powerful and strong-willed roles – I expected her to transform into the epitome of the Spanish fighter or Flamenco dancer.

Shirley said she thought “there’s a wild fire inside Caroline’s tummy wanting to get out”. I feel the same. I felt that she had tuned down the volume on her potential. It’s not my place to judge why, but I can’t wait to see what will happen when Caroline allows herself to fulfill much more or even all of her potential 🙂

Learning to dance

I know this week’s post included quite a bit of critique. But I’d never want to not acknowledge how unbelievably brave I think it is for the celebrities to learn something completely new that’s really different to anything they’ve done before and to commit to it in front of millions.

Learning to dance is emotional and extremely challenging for the body and mind. It can even be exposing and make you feel vulnerable, because part of the learning process is getting it wrong very many times. As grown-ups it’s tough to go through that and to take that risk (“what if this week it doesn’t work?)”. The speed at which the celebrities learn, fail, repeat and ultimately reap the rewards for their hard work, is incredible. Each week must be an emotional rollercoaster! I take my hat off to all of them every week.

Tomorrow, we go to the movies. Bring popcorn and enjoy Movie Week at 7.25pm on BBC One!


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