Strictly 2020 Week Nine: the final

Note: this blog contains no spoiler. You can safely read it, even if you haven’t yet caught up with the final 😉

This was the most enjoyable, heart-warming and spirit-lifting final ever, a suitable culmination of a fantastic series! I will be forever grateful to the BBC, the producers, team, pro dancers, judges and celebrities who committed to the show this year and made it happen under difficult circumstances.

It’s not just each week’s show that matters, but the fact that these people cared so much that they made it work. Thank you all!

Instead of reviewing any dances from the final – they were all magnificent and filled to the brim, even overflowing with dedication and energy – I am reflecting on what I’ve learnt from the finalists this year.

What I learnt from the Strictly 2020 finalists

Harvey & Janette: Confidence is healthy.

There’s a generation of young people out there that oozes confidence while being humble. Mental health, confidence and self-esteem seem to be more on the agenda than ever before and I enjoy seeing young people express themselves confidently. Nourishing healthy self-esteem is particularly relevant for professional dancers who go through tough, sometimes disheartening training. Staying healthy and believing in yourself is crucial for a successful career and a life lived well.

Jamie & Karen: Keep trying, in good spirit.

This one is particularly poignant for me. Strictly may be a competition against others in terms of format, but what Jamie showed is that really it’s about following your own path. It’s about how you learn and work, applying yourself to challenges and enjoying the journey and your own personal growth and what success means to you.

Maisie & Gorka: Practise and training lead to success.

It may sound obvious, but sometimes we forget this when something doesn’t work as well and as soon as we’d like it too. Maisie’s challenges required her to work specifically and to not just keep repeating the thing she was already doing well. She could’ve gotten away with that and shown good performances. However, she seems to have taken a step back to analyse what she needed to do, then did the tedious practise and eventually reaped the reward by being able to deliver much more refined, mature performances.

Bill & Oti: Artistry is everything.

A beginner often accesses dance by sorting their right foot from their left, their top half from their bottom half and so on. Bill had to do all that. But he also seems to have approached each dance with the mind of an artist. It felt to me that instead of being overwhelmed by all that was tough and alien, he looked at the challenge ahead of him from a perspective of wisdom. He accessed what he did know and used it wisely. I think of Bill’s performances when I’m in the studio working on my shows. It’s the greatest gift I could’ve gotten from Strictly this year.

Thank you to ALL the pros and celebrities for delivering incredible, inspiring performances. I wish you a Merry Christmas and all the best for the New Year. Can’t wait to see you in season 19 next September.

The Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special is on BBC One at 4.45pm on Christmas Day.

If you love to dance and can’t wait to celebrate an important occasion next year, I invite you to browse my Flamenco show followed by teaching and interaction with the guests.

I’m a professional Flamenco dancer performing at birthdays, weddings and anniversaries as well as charity and corporate events.

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