Strictly 2020 Week Three: The Paso Doble performances

In week three of Strictly Come Dancing 2020 we again saw two Paso Dobles. And since it was Movie Week, neither was a traditional interpretation. Let’s see how Bill and Oti and Jason and Luba did.

Jason Bell and Luba Mushtuk Paso Doble to the Star Wars Theme

First up were Jason and Luba who took on the challenge to make John Williams’ Star Wars Theme into a Paso Doble. I can see how this could work as the music and the Paso have in common that they’re strong, imposing and epic in scope. Sadly, it didn’t come together for me, because the performance lacked the physical gravitas of the Paso Doble.

Jason didn’t manage to imbue his body with the posture, shaping and weight required. He said that as a big Star Wars fan he felt like a boy and that childhood dreams came true when dancing to the music, which I find adorable and I’m so glad he enjoyed himself. However, I think he needed to keep that feeling of enjoyment and build the Paso Doble character and emotions on top of it.

Jason brought the right motivation and enthusiasm to his Strictly training, but for a non-dance trained body it’s a huge challenge to embody emotions, music and style. I wish he could’ve continued on Strictly to see it come together for him. Everyone can learn to dance, but it takes people a different amount of time.

Bill Bailey and Oti Mabuse Paso Doble to The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Bill is a fascinating Strictly contestant. Many people will struggle to see beyond his physique and age, which may not make him an obvious winner of the glitterball trophy. But Bill has a strength, a superpower even, that many contestants lack: his musicality and knowledge of what music means. When he started I wondered if he’d be able to translate that knowledge into physical performance. I saw from week one that he can.

It clearly takes him a lot of training and work to get his body to do what he feels musically, and Oti’s there to make that happen in the best possible way. I invite you to watch the performance again and pay close attention to how he dances. You’ll see that his body is in close, intimate conversation with the music. I can see the focus and concentration, how he listens to the music and how his body responds to it. The performance gives me goosebumps even when watching it on screen. I wish I could’ve seen it live.

Bill seems to approach dance as an artist and interpreter of music and it works superbly. I imagine that Oti must be thrilled to work in such an exciting way. In conjunction with her training regime, it means Bill achieved the Paso style including the difficult shaping, breadth of movement and intricate rhythms.

Craig said that “if [Bill keeps] going like this [he thinks] we’ll be seeing him in the final”. I was on my feet cheering them on after this performance and I hope to continue to do so until Christmas 😉 .

Week four starts at 7.10 pm on BBC One. See you there on Saturday!

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