Camilla Dallerup and Ian Waite
Strictly Cha Cha with TV dance stars
By Martin Barber
Strictly Come Dancing stars Camilla Dallerup and Ian Waite invited visitors to the Royal Norfolk Show 2007 to bring their dancing shoes to the BBC Studio and join them in a celebrity Cha Cha masterclass.
Thousands of visitors took part in a Cha Cha masterclass hosted by Strictly Come Dancing's Camilla Dallerup and Ian Waite in the BBC Studio at the Royal Norfolk Show 2007.
Danish blonde bombshell Camilla's career highlights include being the Asia Pacific Latin American Champion and New Zealand Latin American Champion.
In season three she made it to the semi-finals with celebrity chef James Martin and in season four her dancing partner was Coronation Street heart-throb Ray Fearon.
Ian's dancing record is equally impressive.
A finalist in the European Professional Latin Championship and World Masters Professional Latin Championship, his Strictly Come Dancing partners include Denise Lewis, Zoe Ball and Mica Paris.
Speaking to BBC Norfolk ahead of the Royal Norfolk Show, Camilla told Martin Barber that her love of dance started at a very early age:
CD: My mum dragged me along when I was two-and-a-half and I learned to dance and walk at the same time I believe. I found out I was quite good at it and I love performing.
When I realised I could perform every Saturday in a competition, that's when I fell in love with dancing. I travelled to England for the first time to compete when I was 12 and that's when I met Ian for the first time.
MB: Ian Waite is now your professional dancing partner, but I'm guessing you were once rivals?
CD: Yes, and very close ones. If he made the semi-finals, so the top 12 in the world, I didn't and the other way round.
I don't know how we managed to keep friends, but I suppose it's because we used to respect each other professionally. I used to watch him and so on and always thought 'What a lovely dancer he is'.
Strictly Come Dancing: Ian and Camilla
MB: Dancing at this level is akin to playing sport – how competitive is it?
CD: It's a sport, slash art I think. It is competitive and I suppose in many ways it's personal. You can't set a stop-clock and see who's first over the line, it's about personal opinions.
You can have one judge that says 'I love your choreography, your interpretation of a song' and so on, and other that simply doesn't like the style you create – it's very personal.
MB: I'm glad you mentioned the judges. What's it like facing the Strictly Come Dancing panel every week on live TV?
CD: It's not fun and sometimes one takes it personally. I know for both Roger Black and James Martin it got really hard.
If you practice five or six hours a day, it's something you're not comfortable with but giving it your all – to then be told you look absolutely terrible, is not nice.
We have to spend a lot of time building up the celebrities' confidence again. I think people forget how much it takes to get out there in the first place and to then stand in front of 12 million people to be told you look rubbish – isn't fun.
MB: How did you get involved in the show?
The BBC came to the closed British Championships and asked if anybody was interested in doing an audition.
Brendan, who I was dancing with at the time, and I thought this sounds really exciting.
It was nice as the BBC wanted to make a programme where people could learn what dancing is about, how much hard work it is, the different dances – whereas programmes in the past have been about fake tan and feather boas.
MB: Are you surprised the show is so popular with viewers?
CD: It's succeeded everyone's expectation, but I'm not surprised because dance is such a brilliant hobby or sport.
When you go to dance, no matter how difficult your day has been, you can't think of anything else. It's so uplifting.
I thing the show is such a success as families can watch it together, comment and interact together – and that's what dancing is.
James Martin and Camilla Dallerup
It breaks down barriers between people and there is no social divide. Everyone can join in, meet up and have a good time together.
MB: What's Bruce Forsyth like to work with?
CD: He's a true gentleman, he's just lovely. He really understands the dancing and is genuinely interested in it. He really appreciates the hard work that everybody puts in and that makes a huge difference.
MB: Millions of people watch the programme. We're delighted you're coming to the Norfolk Show this year, what do you have in store for us?
CD: I'm so excited. We're going to get people to Cha Cha.
Anyone who comes to join us on the dance floor will leave knowing how to do the Cha Cha and that's really exciting. It's a simple dance, 20 minutes and you'll know how to do it. It's not difficult to learn the basic Cha Cha.
Camilla Dallerup and Ian Waite will presented a showcase performance and Cha Cha masterclass in the BBC Studio on both days of the Royal Norfolk Show 2007.
last updated: 15/07/07