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It Takes Two - Len's Dance Clinic

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BBC Eurovision Paul BBC Eurovision Paul | 15:14 UK time, Friday, 1 October 2010

Len's Dance Clinic is almost open and ready for business! 

Do you need a dancing diagnosis? Does your Foxtrot need a new injection of enthusiasm?  Is your Cha Cha Cha in need of a dose of technical knowledge? Maybe you've got two left feet on the dance floor or you're the mockery of your dancing chums?  Well look no further - Len's Dance Clinic will save the day!

Send in your dancing woes, whether be they're technical queries, step confusions, choreography conundrums or song uncertainties and hear wise old Len's helpful advice on It Takes Two.  We want to hear from you whatever your problems - it could be that you want some helpful steps for your wedding first dance - even a music suggestion or two.

Maybe you want to know how best to do a bouncy Jive when you've got flat feet, or perhaps you want to find the perfect style of dance to tempt your couch potato husband into accompanying you onto the dance floor...

Let us know your dancing dilemmas and Len will do his best to help.


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  • Comment number 1.

    I really find it difficult to dance the rumba, i can't seem to feel the rythm somehow. Any useful tips/tricks/hints?

  • Comment number 2.

    Len whilst I am an expert sofa judge of dancing I am actual dancing virgin - where should I start? Strictly history suggests it should not be a rhumba or a cha cha cha.

  • Comment number 3.

    I've started to learn Argentine tango however I am finding it really difficult to lead and direct my partner whereas she can follow the more experienced leads fairly easily. Any hints, tips, exercises you can suggest to get me on my way please.

  • Comment number 4.

    Hi Len, I'm only 5 foot tall! What height of dance partner should I have? What is the best height difference, I like tall boys eg Brian Fortuna & Robin Windsor!!! Help please!!!! XO

  • Comment number 5.

    Weekends are simply amazing now that 'Strictly' is back. The show is even better. The singers and music are amazing and what a production from start to finish. Celebrities are doing so well...but please can we have a very lucky member of the public to be part of the show. I know it is a gamble for the BBC...but think of the millions who are passionate about the show and would love to take part. My only concern is would the celebrity egos cope with the outside attention?%^& You can't say it would'nt make great telly! Let's shake things up a bit BBC. You know the public would love it!

  • Comment number 6.

    When my husband and I have our dance lessons he finds it difficult to "get round enough" in the turns whilst leading.
    Do you have any tips for him, before I tread on his toes again because his feet are in the wrong place?
    from Dancing Bunnie =:x

  • Comment number 7.

    In the Tango, why is it so important to keep knees flexed?

  • Comment number 8.

    Hi Len!

    What is the right kind of height difference between the man and woman for optimal dance potential???

    Thank you!

    Lucy x

  • Comment number 9.

    Len! Help me!!

    I keep wanting to lead in the modern jive and I anticipate the moves from the man. How can I relax more and not try to lead?

    Thanks! Rachel, Isle of Wight

  • Comment number 10.

    If you do ballet/tap etc. is it easier to pick up ballroom dancing than if you don't? Also when would you say is too late to take up ballroom dancing?

  • Comment number 11.

    I used to dance Latin American & Ballroom for 8 years, I loved it... but then I just stopped...
    Now, every time I watch Strictly show, it makes me cry....I would love to get back to it again...but would I still get a chance after all this years?

    Nika xx

  • Comment number 12.

    HI len

    I'm finding the rumba difficult I can't get the sexiness of it. I feel self concious and shy any help please !!! I need it xx


  • Comment number 13.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 14.

    I have arthritis in my feet, but it doesn't stop me from having a go. At my daughter's wedding last week my ex-husband and I did the jive for the first time together in 20 years - your programme has re-ignited my passion for dancing. At 65, most things have dropped, faded or fallen off but my feet still continue tapping!! Fabulous show.

  • Comment number 15.

    I find the chasses jive really fast and keep stumbaling any tips.
    From Kez (13 years old)

  • Comment number 16.

    Is it easier for a man and a woman to be roughly the same height as each other for dancing?

    Is it easier for someone you did other dances to pick up the Ballrom and Latin?

  • Comment number 17.

    Hi Len

    I started ballroom dancing when I was about 11 and have enjoyed it eversince. I love watching the show and so do my two girls, who both now do ballroom. I was wondering if the show would consider doing one for people like myself, or young children who enjoy ballroom/latin?

  • Comment number 18.

    hi len what do you think the best age to start ballroom and latin dancing is ?

  • Comment number 19.

    Hi Len I was just wondering in the Jive what is a 'drunken sailor' because I am not very sure about this.

  • Comment number 20.

    Len - you often came to my dance school when i was a juvenile/junior dancer, in particular to judge competitions, and you and Cherry often ended the day with a demonstration.... I seem to remember Cherry dancing with a broken wrist.... were you really practising in the bathroom??
    p.s. you always marked me very high!! thanks!!!
    Lou from Colchester

  • Comment number 21.

    Hello Len, it's lovely to be able to ask you a question.

    I'd like to know why the couples this year are not being penalised for breaking hold and doing lifts in the ballroom dances.

    Thank you.

  • Comment number 22.

    Hi Len

    My husband and I have only been married for 3 weeks - would we be better off learning the Latin or Ballroom?

  • Comment number 23.

    Yes, as a professional dancer/judge why are the contestants not being marked down for breaking hold and lifts.

    In previous years you have remarked about the 'faffing' at the start of a routine and even on a previous series you rebuked Bruno for giving a 10 in an American Smooth dance which had one more lift than is allowed.

  • Comment number 24.

    My wife wants to dance like Anne Widdicombe what should I do?

  • Comment number 25.

    Hi Len

    Love your smile! Watching the celebs learning its easy to spot the natural talent straight away and then there are those who struggle along not quite getting the lines or the feeling or the footwork despite how great their teachers are. I'm an adequate social dancer (some I am sure would say a barely adequate social dancer)whenever I watch the transformations I think 'wow! could I be that good if I had professional coaching for that many hours or is it just not in me to be that much better'? The steps can be taught, the technique can be learned most of the professionals (not sure about Jared) are at the top of their game and some are clearly amazing teachers (Erin for example) and most of the celebs are putting in the hours and wanting, like me, to be the best that they can be - so how come some just never do get it? The steps and the technique and lines dont change - just the people dancing them! Your observations would be really interesting, hopefully to more people than just me!

    Many thanks

  • Comment number 26.

    Hello Len

    The fox trot is supposed to be the hardest ballroom dance to learn is this correct and why is this?

  • Comment number 27.

    Any ideas where a slightly crazy 'single white female' can find a man who wants to learn to dance?

  • Comment number 28.

    Why don't we all STOP posting comments until the BBC come to their senses.

    They are not even taking the best bits from DWTS such as the judges deciding on their favourite dance from the 'previous' evening and opening the results show with that dance.

    I have lived and breathed dancing since I was 10 (I am now 56)and have been at the O2 every time Strictly has been there - no more - this is the end....................................

  • Comment number 29.

    My daughter is getting married next year and she wants the first dance to be the song From This Moment by Shania Twain.Could you please tell me what dance can be done to this song?
    Thank you.

  • Comment number 30.

    Not sure I see the point of Len's dance clinic now that, as a judge, he has allowed the dances to be so bastardised, many of them are now unrecognisable. One new male dancer was even reprimanded for being out of time this week and I don't remember that ever happening before.

    Shouldn't Len, as a professional and as head judge, be insisting on standards as taught by the professionals, rather than letting the programme degenerate into a series of show dances with tacky costumes and silly props?

  • Comment number 31.

    After learning a new routine I find that my leg muscles are very tight. Can you recommend any exercises to do before and after the dance class minimise this?
    I've been dancing for a couple of years now, and our dance teacher abandoned the class when her business failed. For a year one one of the guys who was one of the teachers assistants as he is a very good dancer agreed to coach us. However, as he is not a qualified teacher he's not clued up on warm up exercises etc.

  • Comment number 32.

    Dear Len,
    Will we ever see you and the other judges perform a routine on the Strictly Dance floor?

  • Comment number 33.

    Dear Len,
    What is it like sitting next to Craig Revel Horwood instead of Bruno Tonioli?

  • Comment number 34.

    Dear Len,
    Is there any difference between the hip action in all the latin dances?

  • Comment number 35.

    Dear Len,
    Why do you prefer being called Len and not Leonard?

  • Comment number 36.

    Hi Len
    Yes like strictlydomino Len i would love to see you do ROUTINE a nice Foxtrot or Quickstep. Come Len give us spin on the dance floor.

  • Comment number 37.

    Will we ever see you and the other judges perform a routine on the Strictly Dance floor?
    Like to see you, len, Craig or Bruno or all three of you perform a routine on the Strictly Dance Floor.

  • Comment number 38.

    Hi Len,

    I have an 8 year old son who is desperate to learn Ballroom dancing. Is he too old to begin? He is very tall, thin, bendy and has an inate ability to hear rhythm.

    Hope you can encourage him, or else send some tissues to mop his tears!

  • Comment number 39.

    Hi len

    I am having trouble getting the hips and using the floor in the rumba and i have got to do a dance exam coming up is there any hints/tips/tricks you could tell me.


  • Comment number 40.

    Does anyone know where I can puchase some AA fitting (very slim) ballroom/latin shoes from. My present shoes are superdance slim fitting which are probably a B or C fit. I have to wear full insoles in these and they are still not a very good fit.
    Surely I am not the only dancer with slim feet.
    I get my ordinary shoes from a specialist slim fitting shop but they can not help with dance shoes.

  • Comment number 41.

    Hi. TO CLAUDIA AND LEN: THANK YOU SOOOOOOOOOO Much for putting my question and getting a really informative answer. I can't believe it!

  • Comment number 42.

    Hi Len, I've been dancing both LA style salsa and Cuban style salsa for a year but I much profer cuban salsa ( I do dances like Rueda :) ) So long story short, I'm thinking of taking up ballroom dancing and noticed salsa was one of the dances. Do I need to be more of an LA style dancer or am I ok as a cuban style dancer to be in ballroom dancing?
    Love CubanQueen..Laura Jackson in Worcester x

  • Comment number 43.

    hi Len
    i have problems with timings in music i find it really hard. what is the the best tip you can give me for my timing issue? thanks

  • Comment number 44.

    Dear Dance God Len Goodman

    I love love love dancing Salsa, and I've gone to classes on and off for about 5 years. However I live in Yorkshire and Yorkshire men don't dance! At least they never show up to salsa classes. I'm so fed up because I'm 5'10 so I always end up having to take the lead.

    Please could len sprinkle his dance magic on the men of Yorkshire and make them dance?

  • Comment number 45.

    I am getting married next year and my fiancée and I would like to learn the argentine tango as our first dance but we are complete beginners would it be possible to learn this in 6 months so that it looks good!!

  • Comment number 46.

    do you all like the props?

  • Comment number 47.

    Dear Len.

    Please could you help I love going to Salsa but have one problem I cannot shimmy. Every other part of my body moves apart from my shoulders. Any tips on how I can avoid being the laughing stock of the salsa class.

  • Comment number 48.

    hi Len :D
    i cant dance to save my life but would really really love too ive tried basic steps but i just look really aukward any advice
    Katie x

  • Comment number 49.

    There have been various comments upon the Paso Doble and the fact that there are quite strict standards that have to be maintained.
    I have actually felt over the past decade there seem to be a variety of styles evolving as choreographers try to make the dance more individual and entertaining.
    I personally still enjoy the original Spanish Flamenco style of dance based upon the southern French duple-meter march dance step and imitating the moves of the Matador in the bull ring.
    Please could you explain what the official line that is taken by Judges when assessing a couple's Paso Doble routine?
    Keeeep Judging!!!

  • Comment number 50.

    Hi lovely Len i have been dancing at the browns dancentre, peterborough, for 20yrs,and can you tell me why there are always more women than men?? it is a class for singles,but why don't more men come ballroom dancing?? a few james jordan lookalikes would go down a treat!!!!cazamac

  • Comment number 51.

    Hi Len

    Many young dancers learn "old Time" such as the Kensington Two Step or Lilic waltz. Do you have a favorite "Old Time" dance and if so what is it?

    Would you like to see the celebs dancing "old Time"

  • Comment number 52.

    Hi Len, I have been dancing for 11 years now, but whenever I do a Latin American dance exam I get very self conscious, which affects my performance, and especially my hip movements. How can I get past this to improve my performance?

  • Comment number 53.

    Nothing to do with the clinic just want to know why it takes two takes so long to come onto iplayer - used to be able to watch it within half hour of transmission?

  • Comment number 54.

    Hi Len,
    How can I learn the Viennese Waltz so that I don't feel dizzy all the time like the Celebrities on Strictly?

    PS Please can you say Hi to Kaith, Natasha, Ruth and Hannah?

  • Comment number 55.

    Hi Len

    I love strictly come dancing. I also love the ballroom dances and don't now what is the easiest to do 1st? Can you please help me?

  • Comment number 56.

    I struggle in such dances as the Jive or Charleston I struggle with the leg flicks. They either feel flimsy, clumsy and understated or I lose balance. How can this be helped? Please help!

  • Comment number 57.

    I struggle in such dances as the Jive or Charleston I struggle with the leg flicks and kicks. They either feel flimsy, clumsy and understated or I lose balance. How can this be helped? Please help!

  • Comment number 58.

    Do you have any tips on increasing flexibility?

  • Comment number 59.

    Hi len, I have two questions. A few weeks ago you said that patsy's quickstep was gallopy, im having the same problem, can you help? Also, im struggling on my charleston Swivel Hips, Any tips?
    Also, some advice for Len. I havent had enough strictly fix this season so ive been watching dancing with the stars (which isnt as good as strictly). This week you were outraged with the 'bottom two', calm down and let the competition run its course.
    P.S. Love ya Len, you are the greatest judge, even though i think you are a bit meaning on dancing with the stars compared to strictly.

  • Comment number 60.

    Hi len, I have two questions. A few weeks ago you said that patsy's quickstep was gallopy, im having the same problem, can you help? Also, im struggling on my charleston Swivel feet, Any tips?
    Also, some advice for Len. I havent had enough strictly fix this season so ive been watching dancing with the stars (which isnt as good as strictly). This week you were outraged with the 'bottom two', calm down and let the competition run its course.
    P.S. Love ya Len, you are the greatest judge, even though i think you are a bit meaner on dancing with the stars compared to strictly.

    (Edited out a few mistakes)

  • Comment number 61.

    "Strictly Come dancing" dancer michelle said tonight that the music for her dance was entirly innapropiat,i agree,it was, in fact most of the music played for all the dances bears no relation to the dance being performed, obviously whoever picks it has never heard of Victor Sylvester type music where the srict tempo helps the dancer keep in time and makes the judges job nuch easier. Please pass this message on to Len Goodman and i thinke you will find he entirely agrees ! James Walker

  • Comment number 62.

    Len the dancers seem to be spending more and more time 'faffing' about before they actually start to dance. Should they have marks deleted for this?

  • Comment number 63.

    Hi Len, I have my Gold Star Latin test at the end of the month and I am having trouble making the Paso Doble look strong, although this applies to all of my routine it is much harder in complicated moves like twist turns, I am spending so much concentration on getting the steps correct that it begins to weak. Is there anything that you can suggest to help me out? [Personal details removed by Moderator]

  • Comment number 64.

    Hello, Len and Cluadia.

    Here's my question:

    While, the Paso Doble is often called a man's dance where the man is the centerpiece is there any dance style which could be called the woman's dance where the woman's the focus and her partner the sidekick?



  • Comment number 65.

    hi len i would like to ask you what can a couple do to get a 10 from you.

  • Comment number 66.

    Dear Len,

    Could you please explain to us why you are no longer enforcing the strict rules concerning lifts and other things that are happening in the dances this year, that you would never have allowed in previous years

  • Comment number 67.

    Hello Lennie!!. So am young first time dancer and i need to know what is more harder for a female latin or ballroom?so i can finally pick which one i wanna stick at? x

  • Comment number 68.

    Hi Len!!

    I can never ever remember my left from my right. Do you have any tips on how to make this easier?!


  • Comment number 69.

    Hello Len!

    How do you ensure that your shoulders stay down all the time while dancing? Mine always seem to be hunched up around my ears!

    Thank u Len,

  • Comment number 70.

    I broke my back 2 years ago and am considering taking up ballroom dancing as a form of gentle exercise. I have very limited flexibility in my back and am wondering what would be the best type of dances to try and take lessons in. My muscle tone in my body is terrible and as I am still relatively young, I would really like to improve this. Kind regards, Louise xx

  • Comment number 71.

    I agree with my wife, a professional well qualified dance teacher, we should be seeing more of ballroom and latin american dance steps rather than cabaret.
    Bring back Arlene, a very good choreographer with a good understanding of the real hardship of the profession.
    I can remember yourself as a competitor when I was a mere child beginer.
    I always look forward to your comments.

  • Comment number 72.

    In tonight's "It Takes Two", Len mentioned a couple of dancers, one couple being Janet & Richard Cleaves. Janet was bridesmaid to my Mum at her wedding nearly 50 years ago, I would love to put them in touch with each other again. Can anyone help?

  • Comment number 73.

    Hi Len, can you help?

    Myself and my dance partner are learning the Quickstep bronze routine. We’re fine on everything however he struggles with the basics, forward, side close side, back, side close side. The movement feels very bumpy, and not smooth at all. What’s he doing wrong, so I can tell him to put it right!!

    By the way, you’re a dance god!

  • Comment number 74.

    I love dancing the jive. However, i'm having trouble with the kick, ball change. Could you please tell me how to do it?

  • Comment number 75.

    Hi Len

    I have just watched video footage of me dancing - shocking state of affairs!

    My Latin and salsa is all a bit hairy fairy and my tango is more tiptoe through the tulips than 'come and get it big boy'

    Any tips to butch up my dancing?

    Love Kerstina x

  • Comment number 76.

    Claudia's top tonight (Thurs) was lovely - where is it from? Love the programme, can't wait for Saturday!!

  • Comment number 77.

    I have an old postcard written by my grandmother around the time of World War 2 - she refers to a dance called the 'tickle toe' - please can Len and Claudia show how it's done? Thanks!

  • Comment number 78.

    Hi Len my daughter does dancing at the local village hall but she desperately want's to get into competition dancing (she's 12 and 5ft 5ins). How do I go about finding a school that teaches to competition level and do I have to try to find a partner for her ot will the school? (she so wants to become a professional on Strictly and dance with someone like David Tenant!)

  • Comment number 79.

    Dear Len

    I have been taking flamenco lessons for about 2 years now and love it. However, like many of the dances on Stricly posture seems to play a huge part and my teacher is always telling me to keep my shoulders down.
    How do i keep my shoulders down whilst my arms are completely raised in the air and moving?! :S

  • Comment number 80.

    Dear Len, The bicycle tip in the waltz was really great! Do you have tips for creating a nice rise and fall in this dance? Any good advice how to practice this?

    Greetz from two Belgian fans!
    Koen & Wendy

  • Comment number 81.

    dear Len, i think this year you and Claudia should do a dance on the Xmas show after all the little tips you two done, it would be a great to see you both. Come on Len !!! what do you say ?? we would luv to Claudia in one of those fantastic dresses

  • Comment number 82.

    When in hold I've been told that the woman shouldn't lean back to form the topline, but should give this impression by the position of her head, and yet, on the programme, I frequently see the celebrities and professionals apparently leaning back and have even heard the judges comment when the celebrities are not leaning back enough. What is the correct position for the woman in ballroom hold?

  • Comment number 83.

    Len,i love all the latin dances especially the jive and the salsa, where shall i start with both of those dances?

  • Comment number 84.

    To Luscious Lenny-chops
    I'm about to take The Len Goodman Gold dance award...what tips can you offer me to getting TOP MARKS?

  • Comment number 85.

    Afternoon Len,

    What type of dance would you suggest for the song "The One I Love" by David Gray for our wedding? We are eager to get some lessons in soon, as have been very taken by the show this year as the format and quality of dancing have been excellent.

    Many Thanks


  • Comment number 86.

    I have a problem with my shoulders, mainly in ballroom, they seem to have a mind of their own and always rise up and I can't seem to keep them down - what do you suggest I do - is it a confidence issue??

  • Comment number 87.

    Dear Len, still waiting to see your steamy salsa with Craig Revel Horwood you promised last year....

  • Comment number 88.

    Hi Len,

    My fiance and I have learnt the viennese waltz for our first dance but my dress has quite a full train and even when hooked up is on the floor. I'm worried that my backwards steps and his steps will be hindered by my dress. We obviously can't have a 'dress rehearsal' how much of a problem could this be? Do you have any ideas of how we can both adjust our footwork to allow us a fault free first dance?

  • Comment number 89.

    Question for Len

    I am 5ft 2" and my husband is 6ft 2". Obviously that's not ideal but it's not worth divorcing in spite of our dancing difficulties. What can we both do to look a bit less odd on the dance floor.

  • Comment number 90.

    Hi Len

    When I dance the waltz with my dance partner and we do a whisk and chassy, we always seem to open up into promanade and cannot do it facing each other, is there any tips you can give us that will help so we can do it properly?

    thanks and I loved your book :)

  • Comment number 91.

    Question for Len

    Hi Len, I started having ballroom lessons around a year ago and have become ever so slightly addicted!!!....do you have any tips to help me overcome my obsession????

  • Comment number 92.

    Hi Len,

    Not exactly a dance tip request - but PLEASE can you tell me why you only gave Kara & Artem a 9 for their Argentine Tango???? I couldn't see what they could have done better??

    Thanks : )

  • Comment number 93.

    Hi Len,

    Firstly I'd just like to say that I think you are brilliant and are the font of all knowledge when it comes to ballroom and latin dancing. I really like your "stoke & slap" constructive criticism on Strictly, you always get it just right.

    I am training for my ISTD silver medal in ballroom dancing and the problem is that my quickstep is looking a bit "lumpy", especially the lock steps. I am not sure why this is; I know it should be looking nice and smooth and "glidey". Do you have any tips and or advice?

    Many thanks,
    Your number 1 superfan :-)

  • Comment number 94.

    Hi Len (although this question may be more suited to Claudia...),

    I have never worn heels before, but want to learn to dance. How would you suggest I wean myself onto heels??

    Thank you!
    Lucy x

  • Comment number 95.

    Hi Len
    I have always wondered what the same-foot lunge is in a foxtrot. Could you please tell me what it is?

  • Comment number 96.

    Hello Len I am just wondering what are promenades and counter promenades in the Paso Doble because I am not exactly sure.

    Thank you for your help on my last question

  • Comment number 97.

    Hi Len

    I hopeing you could give some tips on how to do the chachacha right, has i am not doing so well with the cha cha one step. I want to get it right for my dance exam wich is on dec the 12th it is per bronze medal exam.
    Thankyou i hope you can help

    emma :)

  • Comment number 98.

    Dear Len,
    I danced salsa for six years and loved it, but the informal nature of the lessons meant that people's progress was hard to judge,including my own! I think Salsa should become an official 'Latin' dance; after all, Samba was originally a street dance wasn't it? It would be good to see some of the techniques standardised. I don't think this would detract from the fun of the dance. The best salsa dancers I saw at salsa events were often those who had a more formal training in Latin and Ballroom dancing: they had 'neat feet' and beautiful frames. What are the processes involved in turning a street dance into a recognised Latin dance and is this likely to happen with the salsa? Thanks for reading my long question!

  • Comment number 99.

    Hello Len,i adore dancing but with my husband losing his job we cant afford dance lessons.Please can you suggest any way we can learn dancing without going to lessons.Thankyou p.s a big hello to everyone in the show!

  • Comment number 100.

    I would like to ask Len ... I have always wanted to learn Ballroom/Latin but have never had the chance. I am now 49 and have had 3 small strokes. I now use a stick to help me with stairs. I am left with poor balance and weak legs, can I still learn to dance and would it help with my problems and please will you teach me??? Please answer during "It Takes Two". Thanks.


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